AUGUSTA, Ga. – Dude Perfect at Augusta National Golf Club? It happened.
“My first reaction was, who are these guys?” said Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley. “I’ve never heard of them.”
Ridley may be a little too old to be familiar with the former Texas A&M college roommates who perform sports videos and have amassed 57.3 million subscribers on YouTube, but the club greenlit the sixsome to play the club’s famed Amen Corner (holes 11-13) in an All-Sports Battle using everything from frisbees, baseball bats, tennis racquets, hockey sticks and pool cues to get a ball into the hole.
Joining the Dude Perfect boys was none other than 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau. Asked how surprised he was that the club signed off on this venture, DeChambeau said, “Everybody was. And I think that’s a pretty cool attribute of what Augusta is doing now, and I see it changing in a very cool way for a younger audience, new generation.”
Dude Perfect’s Tyler Toney echoed DeChambeau’s sentiment.
“If you would have asked me what are the chances that you all would ever film an all-sports battle at Augusta National, I’d have said zero, but here we are,” he said.
Once Ridley learned more about the group and their concept, he didn’t need much convincing.
“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,” Ridley said. “It was really part of our continuing effort to be relevant to different age groups. I think that as times are changing with a new generation coming about, I think it’s awesome that Dude Perfect was allowed to be out here and we were able to do that, to showcase a different side to the game of golf.”
It was the latest effort by Augusta National to “grow the game,” and attempt to attract a younger audience to the sport. In recent years the club has instituted the Drive, Chip & Putt, Augusta National Women’s Amateur as well as amateur competitions in the Asian-Pacific region and Latin America.
DeChambeau detailed during his pre-tournament press conference how about three weeks ago he was planning to play a practice round at Augusta National and received an Instagram message from Dude Perfect.
“They are like, ‘Well, we are going to be at Augusta and heard you were going to be at Augusta.’ I was like, ‘How did they find that out?’ I was not going to go because of my hand. And ultimately, they said, ‘We are going to be doing all different sports.’ I was like, ‘OK, that’s really cool, different. How can I be part of it with just one hand?’ They are like, ‘Well, it’s just going to be your right hand, besides baseball.’ ”
The 11-minute video voiced by Jim Nantz of CBS Sports already has more than 6.3 million views and 270,000 likes in its first four days.
“We had a bunch of fun,” DeChambeau added. “They are awesome guys, and I’m glad we were able to show the game of golf in a different light. 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.”
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