Behind The ScenesESPN Films

New 30 for 30 “Hit It Hard” profiles golf legend John Daly; watch an exclusive clip

Hit it Hard,” from co-directors Gabe Spitzer and David Terry Fine, premieres on ESPN this evening at 8 p.m. ET.

The latest 30 for 30 documentary takes a look at the rags-to-riches journey of one of sport’s most colorful personalities, pro golfer John Daly.

Ever since Daly shocked the sports world by coming out of nowhere to win the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick 25 years ago, the blond bomber from Dardanelle, Ark., has been one of the most popular – and polarizing – figures in a sport that cherishes its traditions and minds its manners.

When we began the film, we went in thinking ‘This guy is going to be crazy, he just doesn’t give a damn,’ but we found that there are definitely more layers to Daly.
– Gabe Spitzer, co-director,
“Hit It Hard”

He is the people’s champion. But as Spitzer tells Front Row, Daly is not exactly what people expect.

“When we began the film, we went in thinking ‘This guy is going to be crazy, he just doesn’t give a damn,’ but we found that there are definitely more layers to Daly,” said Spitzer. “He had a lot of success thrown at him early and in many cases, he was just not able to deal with it.”

“Hit it Hard” is a revealing and rollicking documentary that covers Daly’s rise and fall, his redemption at the British Open in St. Andrews in 1995, and his struggles with various vices and depression. It also reveals a person whose story runs much deeper than his motto of “Sip It, Grip It, Rip It.”

As seen in the exclusive film clip above, Daly cherishes having an honest relationship with his fans.

Spitzer remarked, “As we got to know John, it became clear that he truly wants a legacy where people look back and respect him.”

Fans can join the social conversation during tonight’s premiere with the hashtag #HitItHard. Watch the film’s trailer below.

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