How combining hip-hop and golf helped one man win $10,000 and a trip to Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach ‘Golf is great’ video winner

Jarell English aka Rory Blaklroy submitted this winning video in the Myrtle Beach "Golf is great" video contest. Courtesy of Jerell English.
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Jarell English aka Rory Blaklroy submitted this winning video in the Myrtle Beach "Golf is great" video contest. Courtesy of Jerell English.

Jarell English has been piecing together lyrics for a comedic golf rap song for two years, and planned to make a video for the song and post it on social media.

He discovered a more ambitious purpose for the song and video when he saw a post on Instagram touting the third annual Myrtle Beach Golf is Great video contest.

So he set the lyrics to a beat and filmed a video for the song “Pick It Up” with three friends on a golf course, and it has earned the resident of Fort Worth, Texas, $10,000, a golf trip for a foursome to Myrtle Beach and other prizes as the contest winner.

The prizes include a round of golf in Myrtle Beach with Paige Spiranac, a model, social media personality and former pro golfer who serves as an ambassador for the Myrtle Beach golf market. English learned of the contest on Spiranac’s Instagram page.

“I thought [the contest] would be perfect, and I looked at the videos from the previous year,” said English, who took about a week and a half to shoot and edit the video. “ . . . I knew the idea I had would be completely different to what other people were doing.”

The contest is administered by the Golf Tourism Solutions marketing and technology agency that promotes the Myrtle Beach golf market.

GTS marketing director Jenna Hottel said approximately 50 videos were submitted for the 2018 contest. Ten finalists were established through online public voting, and a GTS committee chose the winner.

“The videos we have received have been amazing,” Hottel said. “Some will bring you to tears, some will make you laugh. They’re really creative and thoughtful, and they really portray people’s passion for the game of golf. It was a difficult choice for sure. But Jarell’s video was the most creative of all of them.”

Hottel said Golf Tourism Solutions believes the contest has been successful and will continue it in 2019.

English, 29, who played basketball at Texas Lutheran, was a high school social studies teacher and basketball coach for six years and recently resigned his teaching position to be a private basketball skills coach.

That presumably gave him more time to spend with his two young sons, ages 1 and 2 1/2, and to play golf, but he lost revenue with the career change so the cost of golf became more of an issue.

English had a plan for that. He created the social media alter ego Rory Blaklroy – with Instagram and Twitter accounts – in the hopes of gaining a significant following and parlaying that into free or discounted rounds of golf and equipment.

“If I wasn’t making as much as I was teaching, I still wanted to play golf. I didn’t want to stop. The goal was really just to get more golf opportunities,” said the 13 handicap.

English said his wife, who also played college basketball, regularly played golf before the couple had children and now only plays a few times a year. He knew she’d be more supportive of him playing the game if it didn’t take money from the family. The $10,000 should help that cause.

“If I could get comped rounds, then I would have a reason to continue to do it and my wife would be more, I guess, receptive to me playing golf,” English said. “If I wanted to go golf, [the social media sites] could potentially serve a purpose.”

English has found creative ways to play golf in the past. In college, he made golf affordable and therefore possible by taking a golf class for three consecutive semesters so he could get the free rounds offered through the class at a local course.

English recently made a second video promoting the PGA Tour Superstore in his area that is now on YouTube. He has a store membership and passed it every day on his way to work for the past several years and often stopped in to hit balls and try equipment. He shared some lyrics and employees were interested and he filmed the video at the store.

He has dubbed his comedic golf rap Sand Trap Music. “I plan to continue to do the music for fun,” he said. “Hopefully what I do will expose people to [golf] that may not have been exposed to it before and maybe catch some eyes and get more people into the game. I think once people are introduced to it, they see how fun it is, they see how addictive it is.”

He believes the game has a lot of room to expand through minorities.

“When you typically think of golf, like all through high school whenever I heard of golf, I was like it’s not something that’s for me. The stereotypical golf thing is it’s for old white males. But the game has changed a lot,” English said. “The idea that hip-hop doesn’t go with it kind of goes with that old thought.

“ . . . Once you get into it, when people are introduced to it they love it no matter what age. It’s a game that brings people together. I didn’t realize how many minorities were out there playing golf at a high level. There have been a lot of people that have hit me up or I’ve connected with, and it’s not just African Americans.”

English’s two sons are the biggest fans of his videos. His oldest, though he can’t spell words yet, can find it and play it on YouTube. “He seems to find it and when the song comes on the 1-year-old will just lose his mind and start screaming and shaking his head saying, ‘Dada, dada, dada.’ “ The older one will say, ‘Hey you want to go hit golf balls, you want to go hit golf balls?”

“. . . That’s something I’m looking forward to doing in the future is having something to be able to go and relax and bond as father and son besides what you’re doing in a basketball gym.”

English said he and his wife may spend some of the $10,000 on a trip. “We never had a honeymoon so we’ll probably take a vacation with it,” he said, “and we’re big on planning for the future, so it’ll go into the bank or an investment account.

“Some will pay for the future music videos.”

English expects to make his Myrtle Beach trip in late March.

Academy honored

The Steve Dresser Golf Academy at True Blue Golf Club in Pawleys Island has earned a trio of national awards.

The Golf Range Association of America (GRAA) Magazine, which is published by the PGA of America, has named Steve Dresser a Top 50 Growth of Game Teaching Professional for the second straight year.

The award is based on offering programs that help develop players of all levels. Applicants must submit essays on their programs and a video showing programs and student success.

The magazine also praised the Dresser driving range by deeming it a Top 50 Public Range for the fifth consecutive year based on amenities such as tee stations, short game areas, target greens and teaching services.

In the December 2018 issue of Golf Digest, Dresser’s academy was recognized as a Top 100 Club Fitting facility for the third time. The criteria included the number of certified fitters, fitting carts available, technology used and sales volume.

The Dresser Academy has served the Grand Strand since 1989.

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