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Jan 06, 2015 | 09:05 AM

Don't Try These at Home

At last it’s here. Yes folks, we’re talking about the just released compilation of the Bryan Brothers’ Top 10 Trick Shots of 2014. George and Wesley Bryan are a couple of young South Carolina golf pros who, when not trying to play their way onto the PGA Tour, produce some of the game’s most mind-boggling videos. We’re not sure which is more entertaining, their shots or their celebrations. You decide. 

The fact that their shots are less about being tricks and more about actual golf skill. Both George, 26, and Wesley, 24, are professional golfers who were previously standouts at the University of South Carolina, boasting the school's best and sixth-best career scoring records, respectively.

Related: Epic Trick Shots With The Bryan Bros

"We pride ourselves on the fact we center it around real golf," said George, who was a PING All-American three times.

"Every shot is a great golf shot that we pulled off and you could hit on an actual course," said Wesley, a former All-SEC selection who can hit a straight 275-yard drive out of the air. "So the reactions are authentic."

The brothers' main goal remains making it onto the PGA Tour. But both acknowledge their new hobby has helped with their actual day jobs.

"It's taken some pressure off and eased my mind," George said. "Pro golf is all I've thought about for four years so it's nice to have a little outlet."

"It definitely helps with creativity," said Wesley, who added it's changed how he's viewed certain pressure shots. "I'll have a tee shot and I'll think if I threw the ball up and hit it, I'd have no problem hitting the fairway. If you can't hit a fairway when the ball is just sitting there on a tee, you might as well go home."

This year, George IV has been helping his father, George III, run his George Bryan Golf Academy in Chapin, S.C., while playing mostly one-day Carolina Mountain Tour events. Previously, he mainly played on the eGolf Professional Tour, where Wesley has spent much of this year. The two have been making videos during their free time, but now, they plan on turning the pro golf off-season into trick shot prime season.

"We're going to be pumping out stuff," said Wesley, who alluded to an upcoming NASCAR-themed video being in the works and that the two have been in talks to partner with some bigger names. And yes, they know who the Bryan brothers of men's tennis doubles fame are and hope to do a video with them as well.

"There's no group like us that's primarily doing golf shots . . . that's why we wanted to push it so hard," George said. "Golf is trying to get younger and hip and we can fit that mold by bringing entertainment and fun."


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Jan 05, 2015 | 10:58 AM

Life After Golf

What happens when a tour pro can’t be a tour pro anymore? There’s a fascinating story in today’s New York Times about Meaghan Francella, who played on the LPGA Tour from 2006-13, twice finished in the top 10 in major championships, won more than $1.1 million, and who topped Annika Sorenstam in a playoff in 2007. But starting in 2011, Francella (shown above in 2012) was missing far more cuts than she was making and the game stopped being fun. After twice missing at the Tour’s qualifying school, she quit playing to return as a caddie, both for veterans and young players. Francella will be back out on the LPGA Tour in 2015—as caddie for Taiwan’s Min Lee—proving there is a life in golf after golf. Both are players to watch this year.

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Jan 02, 2015 | 09:57 AM

Sunshine Swing

When golf came to the U.S. at the end of the 19th century, it first took root around Chicago and New York. But it also settled in Florida, where new hotels and railroad lines were attracting visitors to the booming Sunshine State. Honoring the game’s importance to the state’s growth then and now, the Florida Historic Golf Trail is a collection of more than 50 public, resort, municipal, and military courses established between 1897 and 1949 and still operating today, charmers like El Campeon at Mission Inn Resort, near Orlando, shown above in 1936. A number of the courses were designed by noted architects and frequented by early stars such as Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Babe Zaharias, and Gene Sarazen. The state has created a special website with information on all the courses, as well as a trail scorecard to help golfers chart their experiences as they play from the panhandle to the Keys.

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Jan 01, 2015 | 06:54 AM

Happy LINKS New Year

If you’re expecting 2015 to be a great year, all of us at LINKS Magazine are with you. You’re going to see some changes and new features from us, starting with eight editions of HotLINKS, our all-digital publication, that will come out in those months that the print magazine does not. Look for HotLINKS in the first week of January, March, May, July, August, September, November, and December. (That’s the cover of our January edition, above, which has a special section on Caribbean golf.) Remember, you can sign up for HotLINKS for free or get it as part of your “all-access” subscription to the print magazine and all our digital properties. We’re already working on lots of great articles and much more both in print and digital, and don’t want you to miss a single issue. So if you’re not already getting LINKS—in print and digital—it’s time to sign up. Plus, don’t forget to check out our website, linksmagazine.com, every day for the latest news and information from throughout the world of golf. Have a Happy New Year with lots of golf—and lots of LINKS. Enjoy!

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