By Bo Wood
George Bryan is on the road again. This time he is winding his way through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to VLOG for his YouTube channel, Bryan Bros Golf. The professional golfer/social media star enjoyed a decorated junior and amateur career, culminating in three years of All-American honors at the University of South Carolina.
“I had high goals and aspirations where I feel a lot of kids just go into college and are just happy they are on the team,” says Bryan.
Success in the SEC came early and often. During his sophomore season at the 2008 Schenkel Invitational, Bryan birdied the last hole to win the tournament over two future PGA TOUR stalwarts, Billy Horschel and Michael Thompson. It was a moment he will be proud of forever. With a handful of strong finishes in the college game, he knew a career as a professional golfer was in the cards.
After graduating from UofSC in 2010, Bryan only found minor successes on the pro-circuit, scrapping his way on the mini-tours and landing invitations to select events on the now Korn Ferry Tour. At the same time, social media content creation was becoming popular, so Bryan, along with his brother, Wesley, uploaded a trick-shot video to YouTube. It did well, so they put out another. That one went viral. Still young and hopeful about earning their PGA TOUR cards, the brothers decided to monetize their social media fame while chasing their professional playing dreams. Enter Bryan Bros Golf.
“We sent our videos out to every news editor, every golf editor you can think of… and turned it into a trick shot brand where we would make videos, travel around, and do shows,” Bryan says. “That was able to fund our golf careers, and it spawned out of boredom and me running out of money on the mini-tours.”
Influencer stardom was still in its infancy but Bryan knew of a similar brand to model their content and approach after.
“In 2014, we were just trick-shot guys, and we knew Dude Perfect was doing sports (but not golf) and having success,” Bryan says. “People were doing random golf shots but never consistent content under one channel or one account. We built it out of that mindset.”
As their cult following grew to mainstream media, including features on ESPN, more traditional golf dreams came calling. While building their social media portfolio, Wesley Bryan earned his PGA TOUR card in 2016, and the elder Bryan jetted back and forth from the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and PGA TOUR Canada. While George Bryan didn’t have the breakthrough he was hoping for, he still had Bryan Bros Golf in his back pocket.
“In 2019, we decided to give the content thing another go, but under the branding of making it about playing golf and having fun by filming course VLOGS and matches, Bryan says.
“Playing real golf instead of doing trick shots. It’s picked up steam. Wesley wanted to get back involved, so it’s Bryan Bros 2.0 where we make golf content for people to enjoy. Viewers get to see high-level professional golfers compete on YouTube.”
Five years after their first video dropped, Bryan found that the competition among golf-focused content is becoming more fierce every day.
“There’s something for everyone,” Bryan says. “There are probably 50 people I know of now that are doing golf content versus when we first started maybe five people.”
Today Bryan Bros Golf boasts more than 300,000 followers across their channels, and is a staple of golf-focused social media. The venture, combined with mini-tour events, puts enough money in Bryan’s pocket to continue to chase his ultimate goal of playing on the PGA TOUR. With sponsorship deals in place, he is able to focus on both his game as a professional golfer and also content creation. For certain projects he turns to the help of videographers and editors, but says he does a lot of the filming himself.
“If I’m lucky, my wife will come out to film,” he says. “But I enjoy filming and creating a fun video for people to watch. I get to be artistic and use the creative side of my brain, but I also get to compete against myself and try to shoot a low number.”
Bryan also offers advice to up and coming junior golfers, college scholarship hopefuls, and future stars of social media.
On Junior Golfers
“For junior golfers just starting competition, play your local tours and your local state golf association. They run really good tournaments. Get comfortable shooting low numbers and winning, and the rest will take care of itself. If you shoot 65 in your club championship or your local tournament then you will get noticed.”
On College Golfers
“Go into college with the mindset, not that you just want to make the team, go in with the mindset that, hey, my freshman year I want to dominate. Put the work in to compete against seniors. You’re not just good enough to be the No. 5 guy, you’re good enough to be No. 1… I believed and worked at it from day one, not intimidated or scared. Work hard, have goals, enjoy the process.”
On Social Media
“If you do it genuinely just to have fun and use it as a creative outlet, you’ll be able to sustain yourself over the year it takes for your channels to get to a point where people are watching and noticing you. Have fun, do something creative, don’t try to go viral, don’t worry about views or likes. Just do the stuff that makes you happy… that ultimately will lead to a lot more people watching.”
Social Media Handles
YouTube: Bryan Bros Golf
Twitter: @BryanBros Golf
Facebook: Bryan Bros Golf