Sports

Dude Perfect trades Iron for Disrespect at the Masters

Augusta, Ga. – Bryson DeChambeau stood on the tee, studied the 500 yards or so between himself and the green on the 11th hole on the outside edge of Augusta National, took his club of choice from his blue golf bag and let go.

The shot went maybe 40 yards. Worse, it sailed almost directly to the left and out of bounds.

“Foreground!” said DeChambeau, laughing, because what else are you supposed to do when you’re up against Amen Corner with a tennis racquet? Or a frisbee. Or a croquet mallet. Or a pool cue. Or a foam football. Or whatever that mesh thing with a weighted ball inside is called. (The official name is foxtail.)

DeChambeau’s tour of one of the most iconic stretches of one of the world’s most famous golf courses last month did not include a golf club. Sorry, this is against the rules of All Sports Golf, the game invented by Texas-based YouTube stars Dude Perfect.

The quintet, who started making trick shot videos over a decade ago, now have 57 million YouTube subscribers. Her channel is an irreverent mix of sports and comedy aimed at kids who might only know the Masters as that golf thing with the boys in green jackets seeing their parents on warm early spring afternoons.

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Or just the kind of audience that the powerful in a place that fiercely protects its timeless traditions know must meet in the middle if they are to grow the game and the tournament’s brand.

The 11-minute video the group released ahead of the 86th Masters last weekend doesn’t look like what you’ll see when the traditional broadcast begins on Thursday. An unorthodox putt hit with a croquet mallet. A volleyball hit Rae’s Creek. A Nerf football throw from just short of the green on the par-5 13th that settled 3 feet from the hole. Players prone to do tap-ins with a pool stick.

All of this is where Augusta National approved the project, a decision that came as a shock to everyone, including DeChambeau.

“Everyone was (surprised),” said the 19th player in the world. “And I think that’s a pretty cool feature of what Augusta is doing now, and I see it changing in a very cool way for a younger audience, a new generation.”

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Don’t misunderstand DeChambeau. The rules are still the rules: No cell phones on the property. No shorts for the players. In some ways, access is more limited than ever.

“I’m still tiptoeing here,” said Collin Morikawa. The 25-year-old two-time major champion had to remember not to run during a practice round earlier in the week when he spotted a fan on the first fairway.

But the members of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world are trying – at least to the outside world – to tie in with the next wave on their own terms. The Masters – yes, the Masters – has a TikTok account.

Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley was quick to embrace the idea of ​​having Dude Perfect turn the club’s 11th, 12th and 13th holes into a content creator’s paradise. Well, at least after 69-year-old Ridley found out who Dude Perfect was.

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Ridley admitted on Wednesday he had never heard of the group but was won over by their reverence for the course and the game. And yes, that number of over 57 million subscribers caught his attention as well.

The clip has more than 6.2 million views and counting as of Wednesday afternoon. The final round of Hideki Matsuyama’s historic Masters win last spring drew an audience of 9.45 million, most of whom probably only know Dude Perfect as the guys who scream a lot when they do things like the back of one Quads stand and throw a soccer ball through a basketball hoop in the stands at the Super Bowl.

“I think it achieved what we wanted,” said Ridley. “I’ve heard from some of my legal partners who have teenage children who are like, ‘This is great. My kids want to go out and play golf.’ That’s the idea.”

It has to be if the tournament wants to expand its footprint. Anna Davis, just 16, last weekend captured the women’s amateur with her ponytails poking out from under her white bucket hat.

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Davis freely admitted that she doesn’t usually pay much attention to the Masters, saying, “Do they really do that?” when told that Dude Perfect has been doing his thing in a place where the way that Things are made, not much has changed over the years.

“They let things slide here,” Davis said. “It’s kind of cool that they let things like that happen.”

Well, within reason. The video ends with DeChambeau and the Dude Perfect crew bouncing balls – this time golf balls – across the pond on the par-3 16th, an activity that was once considered taboo and has become a tradition in its own right over the past 30 years .

Perhaps Dude Perfect, turning parts of Augusta into his own personal playground, will become A Thing. Maybe not.

“We’re going to look at more things like this, but always through the lens of our culture and respect for the game and respect for the institution in that place,” Ridley said.

A place that constantly tries to thread the delicate needle between topicality and timelessness.

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https://www.local10.com/sports/2022/04/06/dude-perfect-trades-irons-for-irreverence-at-the-masters/ Dude Perfect trades Iron for Disrespect at the Masters

Joel McCord

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