Fred Ridley on Dude Perfect video: ‘It accomplished what we wanted to’
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Admittedly, Fred Ridley had never heard of Dude Perfect.
“My first reaction was, who are these guys?” said the Augusta National Golf Club chairman.
“But it was something that I got comfortable with very quickly.”
When Ridley heard that the social-media creators were interested in doing a video inside the gates of the club, it didn’t take long for him to realize the opportunity at hand. Dude Perfect has 57 million followers on YouTube, many of them kids – a perfect chance to grow the game, Ridley thought, just in a different way than initiatives such as the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Drive, Chip and Putt.
“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. “And so it was really part of our continuing effort to be relevant to different age groups.”
After receiving the green light from the club, Dude Perfect sought help from Bryson DeChambeau in creating the video, which featured the five Dude Perfect members and DeChambeau competing in an all-sports competition around Amen Corner. From throwing Vortex footballs and frisbees to hitting shots with tennis racquets and pool cues, the final product was well received by many, including Ridley.
“You know, the results of the video have been great,” Ridley said. “I think the last time I saw, and I’m sure it’s gone more than that, there have been 5 million views, and it was trending. It was the No. 1 YouTube video at the time. 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.”