Some might describe Erik Anders Lang as a late bloomer where golfing is concerned, but this particular bloom has flourished in no more than five years into a vibrant bouquet of a career.
Focusing on the spirit and passion to the game, he spends as much time as possible on the course, but he also hosts the show “Adventures in Golf” for Skratch TV and has made several documentaries that give new, vivid insights to the sport. Considering this, it is no great surprise that he has teamed up with the German golf ball company Vice Golf for a series of TV-commercials. The 3.8 (or perhaps 5.3, or 4.3 – he was not entirely sure himself) handicapper told us why Vice Golf and Erik Anders Lang are the perfect match.
When did you first discover your passion for golf?
My brother, who is 10 years older than me, would constantly ask me to play, but I didn’t want to, because the way I saw it, golf was a game for the crusty, conservative CEOs amongst which I did not really find myself. But curiosity kept nagging at me, and I thought: “Fine, I’ll try it once.” So, I went out with my brother and I literally fell in love right the fi rst second. I loved the club, I loved the ball, the grass, the water and the pleated shorts – I just loved it all. I was back the next day and started taking lessons. Initially I thought I would just live on the driving range for the rest of my life, but obviously, I did end up playing and fell madly in love with it. Golf has everything I’ve ever wanted in a game.
Curiosity kept nagging at me and I thought: Fine, I ´ ll try it once! (Erik Anders Lang)
What has been the most impressive golfing moment you have experienced so far?
Thanks to “Adventures in Golf” I’ve visited amazing places, met almost every famous golfer and got the chance to talk to most of them about their game. But one of the most inspiring things is in the movie that I made in partnership with the PGA Tour: “Be the Ball”. Golfers learned to meditate and we watched to see if they got better at golf. They did, and beyond that: one of the experimentees we were working with secured his PGA Tour card. That was one of the most beautiful experiences of my entire life, watching this experiment with hundreds of people involved, all centered around a sport I never thought I’d play.
A series of Vice Golf ads launched on “Golf Channel” starring you giving “unsolicited advice”, How did the collaboration begin?
I was just shooting a travel show for another network, when I got an email from Vice Golf asking me about a collaboration. I already played their balls and my friend Michael Collins, who worked for ESPN, had a Vice Golf hat and we talked about these German guys who made a top-performing golf ball for half the price that was also pretty stylish. So, you can imagine when I got the email, I was pretty excited. We went back and forth with a bunch of ideas about what would be funny and I came up with this character that just can’t keep his opinions to himself about his golf equipment. He’s on an almost evangelistic rampage to help all golfers – giving everyone he meets a great piece of advice.
What about the brand Vice Golf appeals to you most of all?
Vice balls have this x-factor about them – they’re shaking up golf. That’s harder than just selling a golf ball – to shake up the golf industry itself. Th ey tell you what you’re getting is a good deal, but what you’re really getting is a good vibe. I also think nowadays people want transparency and simplicity. Vice Golf accomplishes this by cutting out the middle man. People can order their balls directly online and know exactly what they’re getting – it’s the future, and incidentally also the reason I haven’t left my bed in the past 12 years.
If you could change something about the way golf is being played, what would it be?
I know from my own experiences that my game began to prosper when I focused on enjoying it more. So, what I’d want to change is that. Everyone should enjoy golf as much as they enjoy life – that’s why I play Vice Golf balls.