Masters Boss Explains Why He Allowed Dude Perfect On Augusta National

Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley says the viral video will help broaden the appeal of the sport

Images of Fred Ridley and Dude Perfect with Bryson DeChambeau
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley has defended the decision to let the YouTube stars Dude Perfect, who are known for their trick shots and sports videos, perform stunts with Bryson DeChambeau at Augusta National. 

The group teamed up with DeChambeau to film the video in which they used a variety of equipment, including hockey sticks and bows and arrows, to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible in the Amen Corner area of the course. Ridley admits that, while he was sceptical at first, that didn't last. He said: “My first reaction was, who are these guys? I've never heard of them. But it was something that I got comfortable with very quickly. Number one, 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 explained that allowing the video was with a view to widening the sport’s appeal, particularly considering Dude Perfect's enormous number of followers. He said: “It was really part of our continuing effort to be relevant to different age groups and, you know, I understand that - well, going in we knew that this group had 57 million followers on YouTube, and that sort of got my attention."

The Augusta National chairman said he thinks the video achieved its aim – particularly considering the huge number of views it’s had so far: "You know, the results of the video have been great. I think the last time I saw, and I'm sure it's gone more than that, there have been five million views, and it was trending. It was the number one 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."

Ridley was also quick to reassure traditionalists that he’ll ensure that any similar steps in future will be taken with the values of Augusta National in mind. He said: “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.”

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Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.