‘Dude Perfect’ tries to introduce buttoned-up Masters to the younger crowd
It’s the Masters. Untucked.
In an effort to connect with a younger audience, Augusta National Golf Club recently gave the thumbs up to YouTube stars “Dude Perfect,” a Texas-based troupe of trick-shot artists, to shoot a video on some of the most hallowed ground in sports.
Using the famed “Amen Corner” as their playing field, Dude Perfect staged an “All Sports Golf Battle” starring Bryson DeChambeau, an 11-minute viral video that, since its release before the start of Masters week, has gotten more than seven million views.
The rules: Play a hole using a different implement on each shot, whether it’s a bat and ball, a Frisbee, a volleyball, a foam football, a tennis racket, a croquet mallet, or a pool cue to make a flat-on-your-belly putt. The competition would be on holes 11, 12 and 13.
Scottie Scheffler completed his surge to the top of the golf world Sunday, putting on a dominant display to win the Masters and his first major title.
Everyone involved was shocked that Augusta gave the OK, considering the club is exclusive and buttoned-down the club is.
“Every moment we were pinching ourselves and we were just looking at each other, mouthing to each other from across the fairway, like, ‘Is this real? I can’t believe this is actually happening,’” said Chad Coleman, chief marketing officer for Dude Perfect.
“You can see from the reactions of people who see the video, nobody can believe that actually happened. That’s a win for us and Augusta National because that means we’re reaching that broader audience.”
Augusta National reasoned that with 57 million YouTube followers and a wholesome, family-friendly blend of sports and comedy, Dude Perfect could be an ideal vehicle to broaden the interest base in both the Masters and the game of golf.
“My first reaction was, ‘Who are these guys? I’ve never heard of them,’” Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley said.
Tiger Woods continued to labor Sunday as he shot six-over-par 78 at Augusta National Golf Club in the final round of the Masters tournament.
“But it was something that I got comfortable with very quickly. No. 1, these are very upstanding young men who it was obvious to me in some discussions, some third-party discussions of people who had been dealing with them and things they actually said on video. They had the utmost respect and reverence for Augusta National.”
DeChambeau was immediately on board.
“They are awesome guys, and I’m glad we were able to show the game of golf in a different light,” he said. “Albeit some people don’t think it’s what should be done; I think it’s a great thing for guys that have never seen the game of golf and to bring to the Masters into a different, positive light.”
All Sports Golf Battle was the preferred format, but Dude Perfect had a fallback plan if Augusta National officials rejected that.
“Our Plan B was something called “Pro vs. Joe,” which would have been Tyler [Toney] from the Dude Perfect side playing Bryson or another tour pro on Amen Corner. But the tour pro would be blindfolded on every shot.
“The idea would be, who can shoot the lowest score from the tips, a blindfolded pro or Tyler, a 4-handicap just normal? We want to keep that one in our back pocket for another day.”
The classic white coveralls worn by caddies at the Masters have a long history, and tradition is the winner’s caddie keeps the outfit as a memento.
The video was shot in early March and required about 90 minutes on the course.
“We wanted to make sure we weren’t disrupting any member play that day,” Coleman said. “We were very strategic about when we got out there we wanted to spend the least amount of time on the course that we could. It’s not like they shut the course down for us.”
Said Ridley: “I think it accomplished what we wanted to. I’ve heard from a number of my law partners who have teenage children who said, ‘This is great. My kids want to go out and play golf.’ That’s sort of the idea.
“We’ll look at more things like that but always through a lens of our culture and respect for the game and respect for the institution in this place.”
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