We got the questions before the Bryan Brothers even launched the video with Clarkie at Pinehurst.
How do these guys do it? How many takes are there? Does the ball go anywhere?
After spending the afternoon with the Bryan Brothers as they shot their video the week of Thanksgiving, we have the answers.
But why just answer questions when you can ALSO rank all of the trick shots they performed with Clarkie while here?
So let’s do that. We’ve cut the video into the singular trick shots, and this is our countdown. Disagree? Let us know below.
On to it.
No. 8 THE HANDFUL
How they did it: On the range at the Pinehurst Golf Academy, Clarkie fit as many golf balls in his hands as he could, which was four. This was the Bryans’ first shot of the day (that’s Wesley Bryan doing the swing). It was also the easiest. This was their second try – the first one was one miss by Wesley – but then they started again, and this was it. Amazing to see right off the bat.
No. 7 CLARKIECAM 2
How they did it: Again, on the range at the Pinehurst Golf Academy, and we added slow motion to this one. George practiced a bit with the wedge to judge the height over Clarkie that he wanted, taking about 2 minutes to do that. This was another one that would’ve been good to go after two takes, only Wesley thought he could connect more solidly if they tried again. So they did. And Wesley crushed the very next try.
No. 6 THISTLE DHU
How they did it: Clarkie buries this from 50 feet on Pinehurst’s putting course, Thistle Dhu. That this comes in at just No. 6 gives you an idea of the degree of the difficulty for what’s coming next.
No. 5 CLARKIE & PAYNE
How they did it: A couple of things about this one. First, we had the pin placed in the same hole location as when Payne Stewart made the putt to win the 1999 U.S. Open. (Note: Pinehurst places the pin here on 18 of No. 2 on every Sunday; this was also the USGA’s hole location for Sunday’s round of the 2005 U.S. Open, the 2014 U.S. Open and the 2014 Women’s U.S. Open).
Yes, the putt is a bit shorter than Payne’s. Still, Clarkie lipped out his first attempt – we all thought it was good – then jarred it on the very next try. Why is this higher than Thistle Dhu? Because it’s Payne, and because Clarkie did the Payne pose.
Also, remember that Clarkie had part of his right femur removed during surgery. That makes his pose even better.
No. 4 GEORGE’S REPLACEMENT
How they did it: This was the second shot set up that day. Clarkie is using his own clubs, and this one took a few takes, though still, not nearly as many as you’d think. This shot hinged on Clarkie, who had to figure out how hard to chip the ball against the slate to set up the winner for Wesley. (Here’s one miss.) Still, within a few tries, they had it.
No. 3 THE TWO-BALL CHIP
How they did it: You almost had to be there for this one just to recognize how crazy it is, and it’s so wild that we have to show this one in slow motion as well.
This was the third shot of the day, right after George’s Replacement, and Clarkie had his chipping technique down cold. You can hear it in George’s voice when they connect on this one. As they were setting it up, you got the feeling the Bryans weren’t real sure they would pull this one off. But it took under five tries, mostly because Clarkie set them up beautifully. It really foreshadowed what we saw at the end of the day.
No. 2 CLARKIECAM
How they did it: A truly remarkable shot, begun in the bunker to the right of the first green on No. 2. Clarkie serves as a tripod here; he’s wearing the GoPro camera and is behind Wesley. We went around No. 2 a bit to look for a spot for the shot, and after coming back from the 5th green, we stopped at 1.
“George, George, GEORGE!” Wesley said. “The ‘Hit-the-Deck!’ RIGHT HERE!”
George wasn’t so sure. “Uh, if you take one off the toe, I’m in trouble.”
“Ah, just get down,” Wesley said.
And then, under his breath, “Just be quick.”
This one took the most tries of the day, but mostly because the bunker shot had to be so precise. Wesley pull-hooked one into the trees lining the right side of the 18th fairway once, but he never toed one. And when they got it…it…was…a…BOMB. In fact, Wesley kept it between the native areas and in the fairway, up to about 30 yards shy of the first teebox.
“I got a fairway-in-regulation on that one!” Wesley said.
These guys clearly enjoy their lives. Make sure to watch this one in slow motion.
No. 1 THE SWING
How they did it: Look at that gorgeous swing. How can that not be No. 1?
How many takes for that one?
And it was right down the middle.