And we thought it couldn’t be done — a truly, pee-in-your pants-laughing, hilarious golf…well, anything. In the history of the game. No joke. I can’t stop laughing and tears are streaming down my face! In a good way for a change this week! But I wasn’t expecting anything less. It’s quite a feat to create a video that crosses over to non-golf industry people — I’m fairly certain anyone, who doesn’t know or watch or like golf, will be LMAOLOLZ.
Wait, what am I talking about? Well, it’s the video we’ve all been waiting for…since the pro-am on Wednesday at the Abu Dhabi Championship. At least those of us who saw and/or heard the anecdotes from just about every player, manager, media person, insider on the European Tour.
It is genius. The European Tour video team hired a new “reporter” Tom Gray, who was covering the event for something called Mirage Sports Media to interview a bunch of the players during the pro-am. Thing is, it was a prank.
Part of the genius was that the production team asked Chris Wood and Nicolas Colsaerts to help out. They were behind the scenes directing Tom via an ear piece. What may have been even more amazing was Martin Kaymer joined them to direct perhaps the funniest bit, featuring Rafa Cabrera-Bello. It was absolutely incredible because obviously, by including the players, they knew exactly which buttons to press to wind up their peers/friends.
A few highlights that were cut: Tom actually got Henrik to answer that same question EIGHT times, but obviously it was edited. Bless his heart, he’s such a nice guy that he actually did it. He was exhausted, too, from a few long travel days between Florida, Sweden and Abu Dhabi, not to mention jet-lagged.
I was actually standing behind the tee when Dustin was about to tee off and chatting with his pal from TaylorMade who occasionally moonlights as his caddie. DJ came over and told us how he called him two-time major champion Zach Johnson. He actually got a kick out of it and was amused, and said he messed with Tom a little after that (which isn’t shown in the cut that’s been released), and joked that he wouldn’t answer his questions after mistaking him for Zach.
Before I even heard that, I saw Tom standing by the tee, acting very strange. I was like, what is this guy doing? What’s happening? Who is this doofus?!? OK, so this part was cut out of what was unveiled today in Dustin Johnson’s interview. After DJ teed off the first hole of the pro-am, Tom ran up to him again as he was walking off the tee and said something like, “I’m so sorry, I just Googled you…what’s it like to have Wayne Gretzky as your father?”
I couldn’t even hear anything past “sorry…” at the time, but I literally had my hands in my face from secondhand embarrassment just watching the interaction. I even considered tweeting this super uncomfortable moment, but then I didn’t want to be mean and couldn’t really explain the whole situation. Glad I didn’t!
Oh man, there is so much more amazing content that they didn’t show, but will slowly release them in the upcoming months. I’ve been saying this for years, but this production team from the European Tour consistently produces the most creative and best content in all of golf. No TV network or any other golf-related entity comes even close. (I would absolutely love to work with them…hint-hint). It helps that the powers-that-be trust the team and give them free reign. They don’t have to go through like eight layers of bureaucracy for approval.
When you take away the concern of protecting precious golfers’ “images” and stodgy old men who simply don’t get the modern world and act like they want to “grow the game,” yet simply try to control *everything,* it perpetuates golf’s stodgy, uptight image. But by trusting a young team of millenials (!!!) to use their best judgment and do as they wish, this is the result. And there’s also crossover appeal!
THIS IS HOW YOU GROW THE GAME.
I recommend checking out the European Tour’s YouTube page and going to the “popular uploads” section — watch a few of the interviews with Little Billy or the Mannequin Challenge and there are many more.
Thank you, European Tour, for releasing this video today (Friday, January 20th). Now excuse me while I watch this video on loop and drink alone in my hotel room until I blackout. Which won’t take much because I have a lower tolerance than 15 year olds who are having their first beer. Maybe 3 glasses of wine? Perhaps 4? But don’t think I’d last that long. (I mean, last night was the first time I’ve been drunk in probably over a year at least, so my tolerance is so low that just a whiff of alcohol gets me buzzed).
Good night and good luck.