But it’s hardly the brothers’ first taste of media fame.
George, 27, and Wesley, 24, auditioned for spots in January 2014, were confirmed by Golf Channel in June and took part in the golf-skills competition over a two-week stretch of September (also competing is Brandon Hartzell, 27, a Charleston-based mini-tour player and Kiawah Island caddie).
By the time they traveled to West Palm Beach, Florida, to record the “Big Break: The Palm Beaches” series, though, the two former University of South Carolina golfers were already famous on social media, thanks to their now-viral YouTube “trick shot” performances.
“We got the (Golf Channel) call before we got popular,” Wesley says. “I was on the way to the beach with my wife (Elizabeth) when I got the call, and it was pretty neat.”
Almost as “neat” as their repertoire of shots, that is. The two had read a newspaper article about “a couple of guys on YouTube pulling off these shots, and they didn’t look that hard,” Wesley says. “We tried them, just messing around, and we were able to pull them off, too.”
They posted videos on social media. “Pretty quickly, we got a lot of positive reactions,” he says. Soon, they were executing shots with higher degrees of difficulty and including their parents (George III and Valerie) and sister Mary Chandler Bryan in the fun.
“My favorite one is the ‘hit and duck,’” George IV says. “I chip it in the air to Wesley, duck and he hits it over my head.” Another favorite is Wesley hitting a downhill shot with a basketball — which goes through a hoop, of course.
Many of their trick shots are variations of a Bryan tossing or chipping a ball into the air and the other smashing it with a driver, baseball-style. In another video, one brother chips a ball into a tilted board, causing the ball to bound over his head, off another board and into a cup.
The Bryans and their trick shots have been featured in several golf publications and on Golf Channel and other TV shows. Wesley says he quickly developed “a knack for hitting shots out of the air,” noting that George IV is “predominantly the set-up man.” George IV doesn’t argue that. “One hundred percent, I know he’s the star,” he says. “Every team, you have to know your role, and I know mine.”
Their lifelong sibling rivalry also comes through during “Big Break.” Though contractually prohibited from revealing any results, Wesley says, “Obviously, any time we tee it up, play video games, there has to be a clear-cut winner and loser. It’s fun to compete with him anytime.”
Besides enjoying the fun, George IV says they hope to use their fame to help further their professional golf ambitions. “We’re at the point where the exposure can do nothing but help our careers,” he says. “Plus we have the opportunity to win a PGA Tour (tournament appearance) exemption if one of us wins, and we’re trying to take advantage of that.”
“It’s definitely not a bad thing, being all over Golf Channel,” Wesley adds. “And there are worse places that West Palm to spend two weeks.”
South Carolina’s past king of “Big Break,” Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, struggled not to reveal his victory during a second appearance on the series. “Everyone asks how you did, or wants a hint,” Wesley says, “but that’s a lawsuit waiting. I’m trying not to lose my house, my car, over that.”
“All I can tell you,” George IV says, “is to tune in Monday at 9 p.m.” The brothers, and their fans, are planning to.