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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Who's got Klout?

By Sam Alipour
ESPN The Magazine

Ben Crane
Ben Crane has 104,432 Twitter followers and more than 14 million YouTube views.

This is an extended interview from ESPN the Magazine. Golfer Ben Crane is best known for his goofy videos and slow play. But the four-time PGA Tour winner  is also the driver behind the Golf Boys, a foursome of pros-turned-pop-stars. Crane tells The Mag how he avoids social media sand traps.

Your Klout score is sky high. What's your trick?
You have to be willing to poke fun at yourself. When you laugh at yourself, it loosens everybody up. The elephant's not in the room anymore.

What's your primary goal with social media?
Just to enjoy myself. You have to be willing to poke fun at yourself. I get to play golf for a living and have fun with my friends doing things that are completely stupid.

What's your top Twitter topic?
The things we do every day butdon't talk about it. For example, when you have to use the toilet at an airport, you look down the row of 10 stalls and go, "Which one is the least used?" Most people think nobody goes in the last one. They don't want to walk that far. I'm guessing it's the first one because everybody's thinking the same way.

C'mon, there's only one logical answer: a middle stall.
I don't know, because there's that guy who can't make it to the very end, so he blows that whole thought process up.

Many people don't know you were the brains behind Golf Boys. Did you just wake up and say, "I got it! Let's make idiots of ourselves"?
The first video wasn't premeditated. I had no idea how it'd turn out. The guys each came to me and said, "I love your YouTube videos. I'd love to do one with you." So I said, "Let's do one as a band." We came up with stupid names like 99 Degrees, 1 Degree Hotter. But people don't know who we are, so we just called it Golf Boys.

Indeed, my par-3 pals know you, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan thanks to Golf Boys.
People tell us, "I like your video, and I think I like you." We've had people do parody videos or dress up like us for Halloween. Kids tell me, "You're my favorite golfer!" That didn't happen three years ago.

Why the two-year layoff between the Golf Boys videos?
We had no idea the first one would get so much attention. When songwriter Mat Kearney asked if we were doing another one, I said we didn't have a song. He called back a few hours later with "2.0h." The guys heard it and said, "We're getting back in the studio."

In the first video, you just say "oh, oh, oh" a lot. For the second, you brought a musician aboard. What can we expect from the third -- a symphony?
Listen, we're still celebrating the second one. There's been no talk of a third. It's a lot of work.

Most common trash talk you field through social media?
They'll go to, "You took too long to hit a shot today."

Are you a LOL or Haha guy?
I'm more LOL, which I used to think meant Lots of Love.

Don't take this the wrong way, but my mom thought the same thing.
I like that. I hear great things about your mom.

Okay, this isn't awkward. How about a fill-in-the-blank: I'm a little embarrassed to admit I follow ...
@Earth_Pics. What can I say, I like the pictures. I only follow like 50 people.

That's a small number, even for a celebrity. Why only 50?
I only have so much time. I'm pretty picky.

Favorite follow among golfers?
Maybe Bubba. His caddie, Ted Scott, is pretty good too.

Favorite follow outside of golf?
Pastors Rick Warren and Louie Giglio.

Well, then, here's a terrible transition: who's your social media crush?
My wife isn't on Twitter, and I don't follow any girls.

I'm stoked that I'm being followed by BLANK?
Chris Tomlin, a musician.

I wish BLANK would follow me.
Timothy Keller, my favorite author. His books have changed my life.

That's cool, but can he write a song for a Golf Boys video?
That's too lofty even for Timothy.

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