How did No Laying Up’s Tourist Sauce begin? The man behind the camera remembers
No Laying Up/YouTube
In the beginning, D.J. Piehowski remembers, there were just a lot of ideas.
“And I think we also had a lot of naïveté about what it would take to bring those things into the world, so we were willing to bite off a lot,” he says. “Our reach definitely extended out grasp on a lot of things, but, y’know, we grabbed hold of some stuff.”
That’s a typical undersell from the director-producer-editor-shooter at No Laying Up, a golf content company that began as a Twitter account and now includes a podcast network and a handful of video series with a fiercely loyal following. Its five founders — Piehowski, “Soly,” “Neil,” “Tron,” and “Big Randy” — juggle responsibilities, with Soly captaining podcasts, Neil and Tron tackling merch, Big Randy on the financials and all of the above producing, shooting and starring in their videos. But from the beginning the man most often behind the camera has been Piehowski himself.
He joined us last week on the Drop Zone podcast to talk about the latest season of Tourist Sauce, an ambitious travel series that now boasts 40-minute episodes, character deep dives, epic visuals and (frequently) more than 100,000 YouTube viewers.
(Note: We also had him on largely to dissect the comparisons between HBO’s Succession and the current PGA Tour, which was a ton of fun. So there’s that, too…)
Piehowski’s background included a stint at Golfweek and then a half-decade at the PGA Tour, where he cut his teeth in a variety of video roles that included producing, editing and shooting. He yearned to combine those skills with his journalism degree and to bring some life to the world of golf that he and his friends knew and loved.
“There was incredibly high-end stuff that Golf Channel was doing at the time and outside of that, there wasn’t really that much on YouTube,” he says. “We thought from a half-buddies trip, half-‘whoa, look around, this is crazy!’ perspective, we thought we could get our arms around that.”
He remembers the goal — and the opportunity — presented by Tourist Sauce, Season 1, which was set in Australia.
“We had no sponsor, we had really no prospects at the time. We were kinda like, ‘I think if we do this, maybe we can get a car from BMW,’ who we were working with at the time. Maybe we can sell them on the fact that they should sponsor this thing after the fact. We’ll shoot it as if they did sponsor it, hopefully they do and it kinda just went from there. So we kinda just figured it out as we went, which obviously had tremendous benefits and tremendous negatives.”
Piehowski remembers the promise of capturing on video what he describes as “an insanely visual sport.” He remembers the joy of hearing from editor Matt Golden, who said his specialty was “taking a big barrel of discombobulated footage and weaving it into a story.
“I was like, ‘Ohh, buddy, do I have a job for you,'” Piehowski says.
And he remembers those early days, struggling to figure out composition and just about everything else, too, “handicapped by the fact that we’re idiots who don’t know what we’re doing,” but confident in the big-picture idea that these trips would be the sort of aspirational-yet-relatable stories people would watch.
For more from Piehowski, including exhaustive Succession/PGA Tour comparisons, listen to the podcast on Spotify, on Apple Podcasts or wherever you find podcasts. You can also check out a trimmed-down video version below. And of course No Laying Up’s Tourist Sauce is available on their YouTube channel here.