Daly, Fred (1911–90), professional golfer, was born 11 October 1911 in Causeway Street, Portrush, Co. Antrim, youngest among six children of Dan Daly, blacksmith and motor mechanic, and his wife Nancy. When Fred left the local school at 14, he was apprenticed to an electrician. However, his father and brothers were artisan members of Royal Portrush Golf Club, and from a very early age Fred was an enthusiastic player and earned some money as a caddy. He played in competitions from about the age of 11, encouraged by members who gave him cast-off clubs. After six months he abandoned his apprenticeship, and in 1931, two years after his marriage, took a job at 25s. (£1.25) a week as golf professional and greenkeeper at Mahee Island. He moved to Lurgan club, in 1939 to City of Derry, and in March 1944 to Balmoral Golf Club, Belfast. Daly was already successful in local and Irish competitions; he won the Ulster championship in 1936, and held that trophy ten more times. He was Irish professional champion in 1940, 1946, and 1952, and in 1946 became the first Irishman to win the Irish Open. His greatest achievement came in 1947 when, winning by one shot at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake, he became the first Irishman to win the British Open. When he became British professional matchplay champion the same year, he was the first golfer to achieve this double success since 1905. He was relatively successful in subsequent British Opens; in 1948 he was second, in 1950 third, and in 1951 (playing at his old club, Royal Portrush) he came fourth. He was an automatic selection to play against America in the Ryder Cup in 1947, the first Irish player to be thus honoured. He played in the Ryder Cup team again in 1949 and 1953, and captained a British and Irish team which toured South Africa in 1950. No previous Irish golfer had achieved more celebrity or popularity: after his triumph in the British Open, he was accorded a civic reception in Portrush and was made an honorary life member of many golf clubs. His newspaper articles on golf were collected into a volume, Golf as I see it (1951); he was a well known after-dinner speaker, and golfclubs which he helped design and which bore his name were best-sellers for fifteen years from 1948. In 1983 he was made MBE. Daly died in Belfast on 18 November 1990; his funeral to Ballywillin cemetery near Portrush was attended by many prominent sports people.
He married Jean McCreadie from Coleraine, who was praised for her courage during the Troubles in Northern Ireland when she carried a bomb out of the golf shop at Balmoral club. She died in 2002. The eldest of their three sons died of polio, aged three.