This week’s 30 for 30 Reaction features the newly released 30 for 30 “Hit it Hard” following John Daly’s sudden rise to fame and the demise that followed. What originally drew me to this film and subsequently led to it being chosen for this week’s (long overdue) 30 for 30 reaction was the fact that I know very little to absolutely nothing about John Daly and the way of the PGA back in the 90s. The only golf I know revolves about current superstars like Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and the Tiger years. So you could make the argument that I was excited to actually learn something from a 30 for 30 film.
So just in case you have no idea who John Daly is or what “Hit it Hard” is about, let’s give a little background. John Daly rose to fame after winning the 1991 PGA Championship. He was the 9th alternate of the tournament and played four days of unbeatable golf. His sudden rise to fame of course led to unbelievable pressure which led to a demise that makes John Daly the best cautionary tale for those trying to make it in professional golf. But his history aside, there’s a lot of life lessons that can be taken from this film.
The first and most important life lesson given in the film is to “Just Keep Swinging.” While this nugget of advice was given to the average golfer looking to improve their game, it goes beyond just the sport of golf. This can literally be applied to every facet of life. Think about it if you’re struggling to lose weight, just keep swinging and eventually it will happen. If you’re trying to find a job, just keep swinging and eventually someone will take a chance. If you’re trying to make it in professional sports, just keep swinging and eventually you will get so good that teams will be falling over themselves to sign you. This nugget of wisdom also indirectly preaches that hard work pays off. If you just keep swinging that shows that you are working hard and it’s a cliché, but true, that hard work pays off.
The second important life lesson of “Hit it Hard” is that you don’t have to fit the mold in order to be successful. So often people are told that they have to have a certain education level, act a certain way, and just be a certain type of person in order to make it in whatever field they want. But Daly’s winning of the 1991 PGA Championship proves that you can defy the norm and still win. As long as you are true to who you are and what you stand for, success will come.
The third lesson isn’t really a life lesson but more of a lesson for professional sports. All too often we read stories about young kids reaching a high level of success too quickly and not knowing how to deal with not the sudden attention but also the windfall of money that comes along with it. How hard is to figure out a way to help these kids adjust to their new success to avoid the pitfalls that always happen?
Ultimately, I think that “Hit it Hard” was a fantastic documentary. I truly feel like I learned a lot about how only John Daly but about what professional golf was like the 90s and still like today. I recommend seeing this documentary because you are guaranteed to learn something new.