Erick Lottary and RNG Golf Club Signal a New Future for the Sport

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Courtesy of Erick Lottary / RNG Golf Club

Golf isn’t a sport well-known for its inclusivity. Built around an outdated prescriptive dress code and existing within financially inaccessible venues, golf has never been a sport for everybody. But it should be.

Erick Lottary, founder of RNG Golf Club, is a multi-hyphenate who defies strict categorization—simply “a creative,” in his words. The content he's been producing over the past few months is revealing a world in which golf doesn't need to be this hyper-serious, elitist sport. It can be something fun you do with your friends. We caught up with Lottary to hear a bit about his journey as a musician, getting into golf, the release of the brand's first clothing collection and the future for RNG.

“To be totally honest with you, none of this shit was supposed to happen,” Erick tells me when we hop on a call to discuss the recent explosion of his golf commentary videos. He’s on the course during our conversation, punctuating answers to questions with the thwack of his club connecting with the ball and exclamations you’re probably familiar with if you’ve watched his content. 

“I ain't doing nothing special, bro. I'm literally just talking. This how we talk for real. This how me and my gang talk, the quick little one-liners and making little sound effects and shit on everything. It don't just be golf, you feel me?”

Lottary just started playing golf less than two years ago, but he’s been making music for over 10. “I got good at a whole bunch of shit,” he tells me of the work he’s put into music over the years. “I got good at video, audio. I got good at music, and I've been chasing this shit for the longest, bro. And then I go and bullshit around with some golf and all of this shit happens. Y'all don't even really know how deep the rabbit hole go, gang,” he says with a chuckle.

His most recent release, the EP "Christmas Came Early," is a more introspective, R&B-inspired collection than his more bombastic 2018 record, "You Can Tell." Listening to his music over the years, you can hear the development of his sound, his lyrical ability and the evolution of his ear for beats. In all of his music, he is clearly a writer first and foremost; his rhymes and lyricism—like in the golf videos—reflect Erick's unique ability of knowing exactly what to say.

Rather than viewing the golf content as separate from his music, Erick sees it all as part of building his brand as an entertainer. “I want them to fuck with me for me as a person, rather than just to think I'm funny, you know what I'm saying? So I give a lot of my personality through social media, and if they fuck with me in that way, they like me as a person.”

Playing golf

Lottary's been in Charlotte for about a decade, and got into golf—hesitantly—in 2021, when a friend encouraged him to come along one day. “I didn't even wanna play this shit for real. We went to a driving range and bro was like, ‘You know, hit a couple of balls.’ I hit a couple of 'em joints. Every single one of them was going straight, you feel me?” He eventually went and played his first 18, and “Bro was like, ‘Yo, I ain't never seen a beginner play as good as you.’ I might have hit like a 102 or some shit like that. It's still high as fuck now that I'm into golf. But I played hella good for my first time, and I was kind of hooked on that shit.”

His earliest golf content was more buttoned up, like a traditional commentator talking about the games. “Nobody was fucking with it, bro. I done deleted that shit,” he laughs. “So then I finally was like, fuck it bro, I'm gonna just be me.”

This answer is interrupted by another thwack of a ball off the tee and then Erick gives the play by play like only he can: “That was off the tee, just a little clappage. That motherfucker might have went high up in the air, but it looked like a good clap.”

It’s exactly the commentary that he provides in his videos, and just as funny to hear it in real time as he’s describing the pivot to the content that put him on his trajectory. 

When we ask Erick if he’s thought about what he could mean for the sport, he answers quickly, “Not at all, bro.” But as he continues talking, it’s clear that it isn’t that simple: “A lot of people be telling me that, but I feel like I ain't doing nothing that other people haven't done. There's a lot of people that I know who play golf. They'll go out there in whatever the fuck they wanna wear.

"I don't really realize how much it means to people sometimes. And they be telling me, bro, I be making they fucking day. This shit crazy. For real, bro. I ain't really used to no shit like this, bro. I ain't even gonna cap, this shit kinda crazy.”

Erick and his friends aren’t just loosening the strict rules around golf in the way they eschew the game’s outdated aesthetics; their overall approach to the game is centered around having fun with friends and not taking it so seriously. “We on the 15th hole, bro, we ain't even took no score. I just be coming out here because I love the game,” he says of the game that’s unfolding as we talk.

“This shit fun as hell, bro. There was a stigma about this shit for the longest. And everybody was just like, 'Ain't nobody playing that bullshit, man. That's for white folk.' That's what people would always say to me. And I don't like that shit. Cause like, fuck that. Why is it for them?

With me doing all of this shit, I'm kind of trying to help people be like, ‘Fuck it, I'm gonna play and try it.'

- Erick Lottary

“Tiger came out and changed the whole fucking game, and it kind of helped a lot. But bro, there's still a stigma to it to this day. Even with me doing all of this shit, I'm kind of trying to help people be like, ‘You know, fuck it, I'm gonna play and try it.’”

RNG Golf Club and the Future

Lottary just released his very first clothing collection under the RNG moniker. “We sold out in an hour,” he tells us, and you can hear the pride in his voice. 

“If people ask me what I do, I just tell 'em I'm a creative. I'm way better at a lot of shit than I am at this. So that’s what I’m trying to do, figure out what the next move is.”

He plans to release more music in the next few months; another clothing collection is on the way; and of course the golf videos will keep coming.

"RNG is definitely gonna be staying around for a while," he tells us of the future: "If motherfuckers think this shit funny, I ain't gonna cap. We didn't even start yet. The noise affects and shit that me at my homies, this shit get hilarious. Like cry on the floor hilarious. That shit is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Stop trying to conform to what you think everybody might like and just do what you like. And I guarantee you there's gonna be a lot of motherfuckers who like that shit.

- Erick Lottary

We end our conversation with some advice from Erick based on what he's learned in this rise over the past few months: "I would just say, don't try to conform. Do what you want to do. I tried to conform for like hella long, bro. When I just started doing what the fuck I wanted to do, some shit popped. Be yourself in all of this shit."

In our entire conversation, Erick is always referencing how much he loves being able to put his friends on in all of these videos. They're getting recognized on the golf course, and getting to build their own followings as well. When I ask him for his favorite thing about this work, it's the easiest answer yet: "Just kicking it with the homies for real, gang."

Before he leaves us to finish his round, one final nugget of advice: "Stop trying to conform to what you think everybody might like and just do what you like. And I guarantee you there's gonna be a lot of motherfuckers who like that shit."

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