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Dude Perfect trades his shackles for irreverence at the Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Bryson DeChambeau stood on the tee box, surveyed the 500 yards between himself and the green at the 11th hole on the outskirts of Augusta National, picked out his club of choice from his golf bag blue and dropped.

The shot went maybe 40 yards. Worse still, he sailed almost directly left and out of bounds.

” Before ! DeChambeau said with a laugh, because what else is there to do when you take on Amen Corner with a tennis racket? Or a Frisbee. Or a croquet mallet. Or a pool cue. Or a foam soccer ball. Or whatever that mesh is called with a weighted ball. (It’s official name is foxtail.)

DeChambeau’s tour around one of the most famous stretches of one of the most famous courses on the planet last month did not include a golf club. Sorry, it’s against the rules of All Sports Golf, the game invented by YouTube stars Texas Dude Perfect.

The quintet – who started goofing off by making fake videos more than a decade ago – now have 57 million YouTube subscribers. Their channel is an irreverent mix of sports and comedy aimed at kids who may only know the Masters as that golf thing with the guys in green jackets their parents watch on warm early spring afternoons.

Or, exactly the kind of audience that the powers that be in a place fiercely protective of its ageless lore know it needs to meet in the middle if it wants to grow the game, and the tournament brand in the process.

The 11-minute video the band released last weekend ahead of the 86th Masters is nothing like what you’ll see when the mainstream broadcast begins on Thursday. Unorthodox putt with a croquet mallet. A volleyball hit Rae’s Creek. A Nerf football pitch short of the green on the par-5 13th that settled 3 feet from the hole. Players lying on their stomach for tap-ins with a pool stick.

That was all entirely the point when 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 attribute of what Augusta is doing now, and I see it changing in a really cool way for a younger audience, a new generation.”

Make no mistake about DeChambeau. The rules are always the rules: no cell phones on the property. No shorts for players. Access in some respects is more limited than ever.

“I always tiptoe 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 along the first fairway.

Yet the members of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world are trying – seemingly anyway – to tune into the next wave somewhat on their terms. The Masters — yes, the Masters — have a TikTok account.

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

Ridley admitted on Wednesday that he had never heard of the group but had been won over by their respect for the course and the game. And yes, that subscriber number of over 57 million also caught his eye. .

The clip has over 6.2 million views and has been counting since Wednesday afternoon. The final round of Hideki Matsuyama’s historic Masters victory last spring drew an audience of 9.45 million, most of them probably only familiar with Dude Perfect because those guys who yell a lot when they do things like standing on the back of a four-wheeler and throwing a soccer ball through a basketball hoop into the stands at the Super Bowl.

“I think it accomplished what we wanted,” Ridley said. “I’ve heard a number of my legal partners who have teenage children say, ‘That’s great. My kids want to go out and play golf. That’s kind of the idea.

It has to be if the tournament is to expand its footprint. Anna Davis, just 16, captured the female amateur last weekend with her ponytails spilling out from under her white bob.

Davis freely admitted that she doesn’t usually pay much attention to the Masters and said “did they really?” When told that Dude Perfect did his thing at a place where the way things were done hadn’t changed much over the years.

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

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

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

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

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


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