First Published by Golf.com
There is a moment in the trailer for “Full Swing” that manages to capture the buzz around the show in its entirety. It is a soundbite from an interview with longtime pro (and heel character) Ian Poulter, whose gleeful smirk preens through the screen and smacks viewers straight in the chest.
“Well,” Poulter says. “You picked a hell of a year to follow professional golf.”
The highly anticipated Netflix docuseries — which dropped Wednesday morning for viewers worldwide — is more or less … that. A recounting of golf’s most turbulent season in decades and a look behind the scenes at the figures responsible for it. But as those who have been in and around the golf world for these last 12 months know, the show is also so much more than that.
Here are 7 things we know.
WHAT IS IT?
“Full Swing” comes to us from Box to Box Productions — the same folks behind F1’s highly popular “Drive to Survive” and tennis’ “Break Point” — and like its sports doc siblings, the show aims to capture the behind-the-scenes goodness of the sport’s biggest names.
Through persistence and the help of a few key PGA Tour contacts (Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas chief among them), the fly-on-the-wall style docuseries earned unprecedented access to the game’s biggest players and events during the 2022 season, from the start of the season all the way through the Tour Championship in August.
Cameras rolled behind the scenes during the rollercoaster 2022 season in golf, capturing everything from major championship drama to the creation of LIV. The first season of the show features glimpses into the day-to-day lives of stars, the in-round drama of golf’s biggest events and just about everything else in between.
WHO’S IN IT?
Most of golf’s biggest names star in the show, including the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka. Even the major championships — including Augusta National (!!!) — opened their doors to Netflix crews.
HOW TO WATCH
Full Swing is broken into eight 45-minute episodes, each of which is available through Netflix. The show opted not to cover the golf season chronologically — or to cover much tournament drama — instead focusing on the characters in its shows. Each episode follows a different star player throughout the season, with bits of competition sprinkled throughout.
Producer Chad Mumm, a self-prescribed golf nut, had been lobbying the PGA Tour to create the show for years. Originally, his vision was to cover the sport in the ilk of “Hard Knocks,” the NFL Films docuseries, but it was another sports documentary that pushed his pitch to the Tour over the edge. After Netflix’s “Drive To Survive” pushed a younger, highly coveted generation of sports fans into rabid Formula 1 fandom, Mumm finally found the PGA Tour willing to listen. After the Tour signed on, Mumm was surprised to find Augusta National, the USGA and a fair chunk of the sport’s biggest players willing to listen.
Episode 1 focuses on the friendship between Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
Episode 2 shows Brooks Koepka grappling with injury and irrelevance.
Episode 3 follows LIV defector Ian Poulter.
Episode 4 chronicles the foibles of the lovable Joel Dahmen.
Episode 5 features LIV’s creation and the U.S. Open.
Episode 6 tracks Tony Finau and Collin Morikawa through the Masters and Open.
Episode 7 relives Mito Pereira and Sahith Theegala’s journey toward their first pro win.
Episode 8 showcases Rory McIlroy’s Tour Championship victory … and his battle for change in pro golf.
An unprecedented look at Masters week promises intrigue, while Rory McIlroy’s highly publicized last-second interview promises to earn the attention of golf fans everywhere.