Lights, camera, action — thoughts on Netflix’s new docuseries following PGA Tour players

The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, Jan. 12, 2023

Happy Golf Thursday, my friends! I’m sure by now, you’ve all heard the news about the new Netflix documentary about the PGA Tour, ‘Full Swing’, that’s hitting the streaming service in a little over a month (February 15 to be exact). The trailer hit social media yesterday and the golf world is already obsessed with it.

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It’s much more of a teaser than trailer, we aren’t given too much of what the docuseries will portray exactly, but rather who will be featured. But here’s what we do know, and what we can infer based on the 54 seconds we’ve seen so far.

The documentary has the same creators as the Formula 1: Drive to Survive, docuseries that took the world by storm, back in 2019. So we can already assume that the style of shooting will be similar, as well as the layout of the story telling. Unlike traditional documentaries, which typically sit at 100 minutes or so, docuseries allow creators to go a little bit deeper, more intimate, simply because they have more time available. Rather than a couple hours, you’re tuned in for two, if not three times more screen time.

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We’ll most likely see the usual things like how players practice, the preparation we don’t see beyond major tournaments/events, their familial relationships, the relationships players have with each other — you know, classic documentary stuff.

Over a span of eight episodes, we will also get an intimate view point of all four of golf’s major championships: the Masters/Augusta National, PGA Championship, US Open and Open Championship.

The players that will star in Full Swing are: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka, Scottie Scheffler, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Matt Fitzpatrick, Sahith Theegala, Joel Dahmen, Mito Pereira and Cameron Young.

A fascinating collection of players, including players who defected from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf. The major question in everyone’s mind is, will the LIV Golf drama be discussed? And if so, how much of it will drive the story?

Based on Ian Poulter’s quote from the trailer, “you picked a hell of a year to start following the PGA Tour,” I think it’s a fair to assume that LIV will be talked about ad nauseam.

This series is meant to spotlight golf in 2022, and that story can’t be told in full without LIV Golf.

Something to note, is when the documentary was initially introduced, Rory McIlroy wasn’t signed on to be featured, but rather was signed on once filming had already began. He’s easily the biggest name in the cast, and has become a figurehead for the PGA Tour over the course of the LIV Golf saga.

Rory is a fan favorite. Golfers of all ages like him as a person and a player, so to have his voice in the mix will be a good thing. And I hope that this encourages the other tour players involved to speak more openly about their stances on LIV Golf and the overall future of golf.

Over 223.09 million people have a subscription to Netflix. The coverage of the 2022 Masters tournament had 12.443 million viewers during the final hour of 6-7 p.m. ET, and peaked at 13.160 million from 6:45-7 p.m. when Scheffler finished and secured his first green jacket.

Golf has never seen coverage like this before. For it to be highlighted in this way is huge. It’s giving people access to golf in a whole new way. Full Swing is a step in the right direction of golf becoming culturally relevant. In the same way that Drive to Survive introduced a new demographic of Formula 1 fans, this docuseries will do the same thing to golf.

My hope is that the series does well enough to produce a season two, and that in season two, some LPGA players will be featured. Because just like the PGA vs. LIV drama, you can’t tell the full story of professional golf in 2022 without mentioning the record breaking year for the women on tour.

Have your popcorn and Arnold Palmer’s ready on February 15 — I know I’ll be tuned in!

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Tuesdays: Tennis
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Written by Addie Parker