March 4 2013
After an 18 month hiatus, golf's favorite boy band is reuniting.
"Golf Boys", a group founded by PGA TOUR star Ben Crane, featuring Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan which parodies boy bands, have released their second song, “2.Oh”. The song was written by the golfers' friend and popular recording artist, Mat Kearney.
The first Golf Boys video, released in June of 2011, quickly became an Internet sensation and has amassed nearly 6 million views on YouTube. Aside from Tiger Woods-related videos, it's the most viewed video on the Internet featuring professional golfers.
An encore video was not originally planned, but fans begged for one relentlessly.
Crane, the unofficial band leader, reached out to Kearney, an avid golfer and friend from his college days in Eugene, OR, to help with the second song. Kearney set out to write a song that played off of the golfers’ individual style and personality, but also managed to name-drop numerous PGA TOUR stars including: Stewart Cink, Aaron Baddeley, Adam Scott, Ricky Barnes, Rory Sabbatini, Kevin Na, Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen, Bo Van Pelt and Stuart Appleby.
“Ben and I have been friends for a long time,” says Kearney. “He mentioned they might do a new Golf Boys song, so I got off the phone and tried to come up with a hard hitting hip hop track. I thought using golfers’ names as puns would be pretty dang funny. I sat there for hours cracking myself up. How often do you get to write a rap for someone who's won the Masters?”
The video is on Ben Crane's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/bencranegolf
The Golf Boys use the videos to raise money for charity and hope to introduce a younger generation to the game of golf. For their second video, the Golf Boys are partnering with international aid organization, charity:water. 100% of proceeds from Golf Boys “2.Oh” will be dedicated to the construction of clean water wells in Ethiopia through charity:water. Since 2006, charity:water has been able to provide clean water to over 3.2 million people in 20 countries. The Golf Boys set up a fundraising page on the charity:water website so that fans can learn more about the cause and, if interested, contribute: www.mycharitywater.org/GolfBoys. "We are in a truly unique era," says Crane, "I love that we can goof off on YouTube and help people across the world. I'm all in for that."
Watson agrees. "We obviously don't have any profit motive here. We're just having fun and sharing a bit of our personality with fans. I think it's awesome that we will be able to provide clean water and awareness for our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia. If we can reach new fans and grow the game of golf in the process, that's a huge bonus.”
Historically, golf has had one of the older viewer demographics in sports, something that Crane feels provides an opportunity for Golf Boys.
"Tournament golf requires tremendous focus. We can't show raw personality in competition like other sports,” says Crane. “I think making these videos has helped make us more relatable to a demographic that might not otherwise be attracted to golf. As professional golfers, we’re sort of caretakers of the game. There is nothing wrong with being an older sport, but we want to do our best to grow it. The easiest way to do that is by engaging younger fans.”
Crane created a YouTube channel in September of 2010 after filming a popular workout parody video as a favor for a friend. The video went "viral" around the golf community and Crane was encouraged to start a regular series. Since that time, Crane has released numerous videos poking fun at his supposed insecurities such as his pace of play, pre-round routine and rapid hair loss. In January of 2013, Crane's YouTube channel passed Lebron James to become the second most-viewed YouTube channel of any active athlete. Crane doesn't profit from the viewership, as the channel is “owned” by he and his wife’s foundation and any revenue received is donated to charities that they support.
“On a personal level, social media has done a lot to change the perception of who I am,” says Crane. “I think I’ve been able to show fans a different side of myself and other pro golfers. I’m a golfer, first and foremost, but spending one day every few months to create a video that raises money for charity and might grow the game is too good of an opportunity to pass up.”