Our in-depth Full Swing review, the access-all-areas Netflix documentary that takes us inside one of the PGA Tour’s most dramatic seasons.
JUMP TO: Episode-by-episode review
The first season finally hits the international streaming service on February 15, with eight 45-minute (ish) episodes going behind the scenes on the PGA Tour, and getting up close and personal with some of the game’s biggest stars as they experience the highest highs and lowest lows at everything from the weekly events to the Majors.
And if you’re expecting a documentary about the PGA Tour to shy away from the arrival of LIV Golf then think again. From the initial rumors to the confirmation and first event in London, the Saudi-backed series gets a lot of air time.
Full Swing is made by the production team behind Drive to Survive, the documentary which takes viewers inside Formula 1 and has been credited with attracting an entirely new audience to the sport.
But will it do the same for golf? We were given early access and have watched it all to answer all of the questions you may have around the season and break it down episode by episode.
Be warned, there are spoilers in the following piece.
What is Full Swing?
Full Swing is an eight-part Netflix documentary inspired and made by the team behind the hit F1 show Drive to Survive. It takes you behind the scenes of the 2022 PGA Tour season, covering regular tournaments, the Majors (Masters, US PGA, US Open, The Open) and the season-ending Tour Championship, and delving into players’ lives away from the course. Each episode focuses on specific players and tournaments, with a loose theme running through the show. The episodes are around 45 minutes long and will all be available on Netflix on February 15.
How can I watch Full Swing?
You’ll need a Netflix subscription to watch the season. Netflix subscriptions start from just £4.99/$6.99 per month and can be canceled at any time.
Does Full Swing cover the launch of LIV Golf?
Yes. It had to and the team deserves credit for doing so. A documentary series claiming to have no-holds-barred and behind-the-scenes access would have fallen at the first hurdle if it had been forced to ignore the biggest story in golf in 2022. LIV features in practically every episode, from the initial whisperings to the first event at Centurion Club in London. Episode Three, which focuses heavily on Ian Poulter, is the one to skip to if it’s the LIV content you’re looking for. And find out everything you need to know about LIV Golf here.
Does Tiger Woods feature in Full Swing?
Yes… sort of. From the opening moments of the first episode to the latter stages of the final episode, there is plenty of footage of Tiger and practically every player mentions the 15-time Major champion at some stage. But Woods doesn’t appear directly. Granted, he didn’t play a huge amount of events in 2022 and has never been one to throw himself in front of the cameras off the course, but a warts-and-all PGA Tour documentary charting one of the most headline-grabbing seasons of all time feels a little less impactful without the game’s most influential player involved.
The closing scenes of the season see an emotional Rory McIlroy discussing a text message he’s received from Tiger, and it’s that relationship and the fact Rory was convinced to be involved that makes us think the Big Cat could well be a part of season two if it’s commissioned.
Is Rory McIlroy in Full Swing?
Yes. There was a lot of talk that one of the biggest stars in golf wasn’t going to feature in the show, but the producers managed to convince the four-time Major Champion to get involved late in the day.
“I sort of took the attitude of see how the first season works out, see if I like it, like the idea, feel comfortable letting cameras get into my life a little bit more,” McIlroy explained at the Phoenix Open. “But I had a good chat with Chad (Mumm, Full Swing executive producer) in the summertime.
“Obviously with everything that’s going on in the world of golf, he just said having my voice in there in some way could just add a layer of context that wasn’t there already.
“I made sure that the parameters were very much like, look, you can film me – you’re not coming to my house, you’re not coming in my car, you’re not coming anywhere near my family, but you want to do some stuff with me at golf tournaments, totally fine.
“They were the ground rules that were set, and here we are.”
McIlroy appears briefly in several episodes, but the final show of the season is built around the Northern Irishman, and takes us from his heartbreak at the 150th Open Championship to his success at the Tour Championship, while delving into his role as an unofficial PGA Tour spokesman and all-round golf ambassador.
As always, McIlroy speaks eloquently, honestly, and from the heart when sitting in front of the camera, but it’s the behind-the-scenes moments that are the best. His conversations around the PGA Tour’s new elevated events, the admission that his daughter doesn’t like golf, and his joy at Patrick Reed’s world rankings slide are all highlights, but it’s his dig at Phil Mickelson while being massaged before a round that made us laugh out loud.
Which other golfers feature in Full Swing?
Multiple players feature throughout every episode, but the main storyline of each is built around one or two players. Episode one focuses on Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, delving into their friendship and rivalry. That’s followed by Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler and the different states of their careers, before episode three sees Ian Poulter and LIV Golf at the fore.
Episode four follows Joel Dahmen as he questions his abilities, with the fifth episode following Matt Fitzpatrick’s journey to US Open glory, and taking us inside Dustin Johnson’s life and reasons for joining LIV. Episode six delves into Tony Finau and Collin Morikawa’s seasons, with the penultimate show following Mito Pereira and Sahith Theegala and the challenges of their rookie seasons, with Joaquin Niemann also featuring heavily. The season finale focuses fully on Rory McIlroy.
Does Full Swing just feature PGA Tour golfers?
No, there are plenty off faces you’ll recognize from off the course, too. Expect lots of commentary from journalists Dan Rapaport and Dylan Dethier, broadcasters Brandel Chamblee, Amanda Renner, Henni Koyack and Tiger’s former coach Sean Foley, throughout. Rapaport and Foley make particularly good contributions and it’s great to get the views and insights of people who don’t have to remain neutral.
There’s also plenty of footage of the players with their caddies, friends, partners and families. Matt Fitzpatrick’s episode is particularly heavy on this and makes for an emotional watch.
Will there be more seasons of Full Swing?
Season two has yet to be confirmed but we will be amazed if it doesn’t happen. Drive to Survive is now into its fifth season and, with the changing face of golf, there are undoubtedly going to be a lot of storylines for the cameras to follow. The reaction from viewers will inevitably dictate whether Netflix calls for more, but with the number of golf fans around the world and the number of headlines golf has attracted during the past 12 months, we would be amazed if it doesn’t prove a hit.
Will Full Swing attract new fans to golf?
We’re yet to be convinced. It has been designed to cater to non-golf fans with terminology (birdie, par, cut) and the format and significance of different tournaments repeatedly (and somewhat painfully) explained throughout the episodes, even cutting into and spoiling the flow of some key moments.
But where Drive to Survive takes full advantage of the adrenaline and horsepower-fueled world of F1 to make the sport and its stars seem uber-sexy, Full Swing never quite manages to do that with golf – perhaps understandably.
Yes, there is stylish cinematography, incredible drone footage (especially at Augusta), high-quality-editing, gripping storylines, emotional twists, and the classic good guys vs bad guys tales that any big show needs, but we’re not sure there’s enough to make a casual sports desperate to follow the game after they’ve watched it.
The incredible emotion, especially in the episodes around Dahmen, Fitzpatrick, and Finau, will certainly prove gripping for any viewer, and the presence of household names like Rory and Poulter will help the documentary transcend the game, but it could take a second season, and the help of a certain Tiger Woods to complete that leap.
Is Full Swing chronological?
Absolutely not. It starts in May, then jumps back to February and April, pushes forward to June, back to March, on to July, and finishes at the season-ending Tour Championship. But this show isn’t designed to tell viewers how the PGA Tour flows, it’s a story about the people inside the Tour, the emotion it creates, and how it impacts their lives.
Full Swing Review: Episode-by-episode
Full Swing Review: Episode One – Frenemies
The series begins relatively gently, focusing on Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth’s long-time friendship, set against the backdrop of the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
Spieth was bidding to complete the career grand slam while Thomas was looking to win his second Major and close the gap on his friend to just one Grand Slam title.
“He’s one of my best friends. We’re always going to pull for each other, but at the same time I hope that I beat him in every single tournament we play in for the rest of our lives,” Thomas says, without a hint of a smile.
We see Spieth win the RBC Heritage and Thomas struggle with his game as we jump cleverly between tournament footage, off-course content, and videos from Thomas’ childhood, which explain how his father and coach Mike (himself a PGA Professional) got him into the game.
While the less-obsessed golf fan will enjoy the on-course action and finding out what happens, it’s moments like Spieth and Thomas jabbing at each other over a card game, joking about Spieth’s best man’s speech for Thomas’ forthcoming wedding, and playing for big money during a pre-tournament visit to Southern Hills that helps you understand their friendship.
When the action does reach the PGA Championship we get the first mention of LIV, with the absence of defending champion Phil Mickelson and the influx of Saudi Arabian money into the game covered.
Rooting for each other
On the course, Spieth’s grand slam hopes disappear, leaving Thomas to battle for the title. “As much as I want to beat him, when I’m done and can’t, he’s the guy I’m rooting for him,” Speith says.
As Thomas produces a stunning final round, Mito Pereira, who is the subject of a later episode, looks set to hold on to his lead and lift his first Major as he takes a one-shot lead to the 72nd hole. A horrendous tee shot and a double-bogey follow and we get a heartbreaking close-up of the Chilean as he reflects with his caddie. “I fucked it up, man… on the last hole.” It’s these moments that golf fans will come for and that we wish there were more of. Too often they feel as though they’re cut off too quickly to allow for another explanation of terminology or formats.
Perreira’s demise allows Thomas to seal a dramatic play-off victory over Will Zalatoris and creates the first truly emotional scenes of the season, as he and his father embrace and sob at the side of the 18th green. “That’s why you never give up, right?,” Thomas Jnr says.
It’s refreshing to see the players outside of their competitive mindset, with Thomas wishing “it would go slower so you could enjoy it more!”. You also get an insight into the post-round commitments of a Major champion as the episode concludes with an exhausted-looking Thomas leaving the course in the dark – but not until he’s shown his gratitude to the loyal fans who have waited for their moment with the champion.
Today’s Golfer verdict: 3.5/5 – A gentle but unspectacular opening to the series.
Full Swing Review: Episode Two – Win or Go Home
“Winning is an addiction, man. It’s like meth. That’s how I think of it,” Brooks Koepka says.
The four-time Major champion, his battle to find the form that took him to World No.1, and the importance of winning are the focus of this episode, as the 32-year-old discusses his injury nightmare and, somewhat surprisingly, his self-doubt and insecurity – a far cry from the Koepka we’ve seen in public.
We see the American star demoralized at home after agonizing late mistakes cost him a successful defense at last year’s WM Phoenix Open – his favorite event – and saw Scottie Scheffler begin his stunning run to the top of the world rankings.
It’s a clever juxtaposition from the Full Swing team, setting Koepka’s struggles against the ease with which Scheffler is playing the game.
Koepka is seen struggling to switch off, even when talking to his fiance Jena, playing with his dog, or sitting by the pool at home. The vulnerability he shows makes you want to root for a man who, on the surface of it, has never been easy to root for. A conversation with his Mum makes for fascinating viewing as he shows off a large gap in his trophy wall that is reserved for the Masters trophy.
“I go back to the last Major I won. I would pay back every dollar I’ve ever made in this game just to have that feeling again for another hour,” says Koepka (pre-LIV move).
We head from Koepka’s home and struggle to Scheffler’s arrival at the Masters, some incredible footage from inside Augusta National Golf Club (enough to make the episode worth watching alone), and Tiger’s return to Augusta.
Koepka goes on to miss the cut and says he feels “very embarrassed” for the first time in his golf career, before admitting he’s jealous of other players who are winning.
But just as you’re feeling genuine sympathy for Koepka comes one final question. “This LIV thing, this Saudi-backed golf league, seems to be picking up some steam. Have you given that much thought?” The laugh and raised eyebrows say more than any words.
Today’s Golfer verdict: 4/5 – An eye-opening and potentially opinion-changing episode.
Full Swing Review: Episode Three – Money or Legacy
“My name is Ian Poulter. My profession is wannabe golfer.”
While the LIV question didn’t rear its head until the end of episode two, it dominates episode three, which focuses on the Ryder Cup star.
Poulter is a renowned showman and it’s clear from the outset that he always knows when the cameras are on, even when they’re just trying to capture natural moments. A slip from his caddie is greeted by an immediate turn and “did you get that” to the crew, there are lots of glances at the cameras and everything feels somewhat staged.
His disappointment at an awful performance at the WGC Match Play (“He almost broke my hand,” says Matt Fitzpatrick after Poulter concedes their clash) and subsequent failure to qualify for the Masters is understandable. But the dramatic throwing of equipment across the locker room wouldn’t have been out of place in a scripted Netflix drama.
Fashion faux pas
In fairness, it is one of the funnier episodes in the season, especially when the talk turns to Poulter’s fashion sense. Describing a pair of pink and baby blue trousers as looking “like a walking gender reveal party” is a line that the finest comics would be proud of.
The episode gives us unrivaled access to the Englishman’s life, meeting his family, going into his homes and even traveling with him on his private jet as he enjoys an entertaining family putting competition at 30,000 feet. But it’s not until the closing stages when the crews have been inside LIV’s first event in London and Poulter’s signing has been confirmed that he seems to drop the act. It makes for fascinating viewing.
“People ask ‘don’t you have enough already?’, but it’s all relative,” he explains, also telling viewers how devastated he’d be if he couldn’t be Ryder Cup captain. But while he speaks honestly and eloquently, it’s unlikely that the 47-year-old will have gained many new fans.
Today’s Golfer verdict: 3/5 – Plenty of soundbites and drama but it feels like the least honest episode of the season.
Full Swing Review: Episode Four – Imposter Syndrome
In contrast to Ian Poulter, Joel Dahmen should expect to gain a legion of new fans after Full Swing airs.
Forget golf, Dahmen comes across as one of the most likable people in the world and this is comfortably among the best episodes in the series.
If Poulter and Koepka have spent much of their careers as walking adverts for confidence, Dahmen is a billboard for self-doubt. The 35-year-old American has no hesitation in telling the cameras that he is out of his depth in the company of the world’s best golfers.
“It’s not like I don’t try and don’t practice, but someone’s got to be the 70th best golfer in the world… might as well be me. I am a middle-of-the-road PGA Tour player. I’m not a threat, really.”
“All the best players, they’re way better than I am, and I’ll never be a top player in the world and I will never win Majors.”
It’s an emotional rollercoaster of an episode, taking us from the WM Phoenix Open, where an over-excited Dahmen whips off his shirt on TPC Scottsdale’s famous par-3 16th (“Beer cans are flying, it’s loud, and I kind of got caught up in the moment myself… And then the Tour calls and yells at you because you’re not meant to take your shirt off on a golf course, which makes sense.”), to conversations about cancer.
The C Word
Dahmen admits he didn’t truly grieve after losing his mother aged 17 and also discusses his own fight against testicular cancer in 2011, downplaying the seriousness of it.
The episode is split into two parts and focuses on Dahmen’s attempt to reach the US Open via the single-day 36-hole qualifier. Seemingly out of contention after a poor opening 18 holes, he enjoys a couple of Whiteclaws (alcoholic drinks) with his lunch and shoots a five-under-par round to qualify for the Major.
“I would say most of my adult beverage nights with Joel end with me yelling at him about how good he is at golf and trying to get him to realize it,” fellow golfer and close friend Max Homa says.
Geno Bonnalie, Dahmen’s caddie and best friend, provides some hilarious moments and insight, even suggesting Dahmen could withdraw with injury so they could get an earlier flight during one poor performance, while Dahmen’s pregnant wife Lona shows more belief in her husband than he does in himself.
And it’s for them, as much as Dahmen, that you feel delighted when he leads the US Open heading into the weekend and goes on to record his best-ever finish.
Today’s Golfer verdict: 4.5/5 – Arguably the best episode of the series, Imposter Syndrome gives us the access and moments we expected from every episode and gained Joel Dahmen a lot of credit.
Full Swing Review: Episode 5 – American Dreams
“I’ve been in Sheffield for a week now and not been recognized once. I told you, no-one-knows who I am in Sheffield,” laughs Matt Fitzpatrick as he drives through his home city with manager and childhood friend Ted Brady.
The Englishman is the main focus of this episode as the crew delves into Fitzpatrick’s stats obsession (he’s recorded every shot he’s hit since his teens) and work ethic as he strives for his first victory in America.
We’re taken on a journey, from the disappointment of Fiztpatrick’s failure to win from the final group of the US PGA to his dramatic victory at the US Open just a few weeks later.
Seeing a relaxed Fitzpatrick joking with fellow pros about their form, discussing which pros might be heading for LIV, listening to radio commentators questioning whether he’s capable of winning a Major, and interacting with his family makes for fascinating viewing.
More fascinating is the insight we get into the crowds as the Ryder Cup star pushes for victory at Brookline. Television coverage picks up the odd comment or “mash potato”, but the Full Swing microphones make you realize just how much outside noise and negative comments the players have to deal with when the pressure is already on.
Foster and the family
The outpouring of emotion between Fitzpatrick, caddie Billie Foster, and Fitzpatrick’s family when the trophy has been sealed will bring a tear to even the toughest viewer’s eye, but it’s quickly replaced with smiles as the Englishman bangs the trophy into a locker room bench before being mocked by Foster in a locker-room victory speech.
Dustin Johnson, his wife Paulina, and the American’s inner circle also feature prominently as they speak refreshingly honestly about his move to LIV. A surprisingly funny DJ is full of praise for the PGA Tour and the opportunities it has given him to create a legacy and it’s clear that he has no desire to burn bridges.
“I had a wonderful career on the PGA Tour. I’m very proud of it and always will be. But it came down to the offer they (LIV) made me – playing less, making more money. Pretty simple.”
Today’s Golfer verdict: 4/5 – An open and honest episode that is full of emotion and shows the role family plays in the players’ lives.
Full Swing Review: Episode 6 – Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better
While Tiger Woods doesn’t appear directly in Full Swing, he’s given credit for inspiring two very different players in the shape of Tony Finau and Collin Morikawa in this episode.
It is built around the distractions Finau faces as a family man and the steely, Tiger-like focus of Morikawa.
The Full Swing cameras do nothing to harm Finau’s reputation as one of the nicest guys on the PGA Tour and it’s refreshing to see that the man we watch on the course and in interviews is exactly the same at home.
The American covers everything from his path into the game and the challenges he’s faced, to traveling with his family and balancing being a husband and father with his desire to win. The discussion around the death of his mother and father-in-law is truly emotional.
“My career means a lot to me, and at times I think we can mistake that it means everything,” Finau says. “Could my game have taken a back seat (after his father-in-law died)? Maybe. Potentially. But that’s not nearly as important to me as my wife was and me being there for her as the strength she’s been for me for many years.”
Seeing Finau head back to his childhood neighborhood with his father, visit the home where he grew up and see the golf-ball-shaped dents in the door of the garage he used to use as a makeshift indoor swing studio is genuinely touching.
“People used to think it was normal to hear (the golf balls), like a shotgun, because the neighborhood was shooting, too,” Finau’s father Kelepi laughs.
We also see the side of professional sport that often goes unconsidered as Finau is forced to miss his son’s Junior Worlds golf tournament because it clashed with the 150th Open at St Andrews. Fortunately, perhaps, neither Finau or his son managed to win without the other present.
The cameras follow Finau from junior clinics to the Masters and Open, all the while questioning the 33-year-old’s focus on golf and reminding the audience that he hasn’t won enough. Thankfully, Finau proves that being a family man and winning golf tournaments don’t have to be separate as he silences the doubters with back-to-back PGA Tour wins at the 3M Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Finau’s portrayal is in stark contrast to Morikawa, a young father to a young daughter who many consider has the same attitude and focus as Tiger at his peak, leading to inevitable comparisons. The two-time Major champion discusses his obsession with organization, getting used to being a father
Winless since the 2021 Open, we see him return the trophy to Martin Slumbers before missing the cut at St Andrews as he discusses facing the first real run of disappointment in his career.
The episode also includes one of the strangest scenes of the season, when Morikawa sits down with adidas to discuss clothing choices. While it shows the level of detail Morikawa goes into to ensure every aspect is perfect and the off-course demand on players’ time, it feels like a scene that could have been far better used.
Today’s Golfer verdict: 4.5/5 – One of the most likable men in sport paired with one of the most successful makes for the best episode of Full Swing.
Full Swing Review: Episode 7 – Golf Is Hard
The jeopardy of being a rookie on the PGA Tour is the subject of the penultimate episode… except it doesn’t contain much jeopardy. The Full Swing team cannot be blamed for Sahith Theegala and Mito Pereira producing such exceptional early-season form that their status on Tour was never at any risk, but it does mean the episode lacks in any real drama.
Instead, we see a lot of what it’s like for Pereira and Theegala to be adjusting to their new lives. For Pereira, a relatively old rookie at 27, there are huge expectations after a successful amateur and Korn Ferry Tour career. From the outside at least, there is less hype around 24-year-old Theegala, but “I don’t want to suck in front of all these people!”
We see plenty of childhood footage of the American as he reflects on his lifelong goal to reach the Tour and we hear from his father about the journey to help his son achieve his goal – a journey that started by watching Tiger Woods on television.
Living away from his parents for the first time, Theegala talks about his nerves, becoming more organized, doing his own laundry, and adjusting to new surroundings.
The editors try to build the atmosphere by basing the action around Theegala’s near miss at the WM Phoenix Open and Pereira’s heartbreaking PGA Championship collapse. As good as it is, previous episodes will already have told any casual golf fans the result of both those tournaments.
Of course, watching the American and Chilean’s disappointment through the eyes of their loved ones and friends creates a totally different perspective, and viewing Theegala’s post-round outpouring of emotion when he sees his parents is a powerful moment.
We also learn a lot about Pereira’s long-time friendship with Joaquin Niemann. Niemann grew up idolizing Pereira, but the tables turned when the younger man reached the PGA Tour first. Pereira is waiting beside the 72nd hole as Niemann wins the Genesis wire-to-wire (expect more Tiger footage), but admits it’s hard to see and has increased his desire to win.
The downside of the series taking so long to hit our screens is that things have changed it seems likely that Pereira’s desire to win a PGA Tour event has been overpowered by a big-money offer to join Niemann and LIV for 2023.
Today’s Golfer verdict: 3.5/5 – Likeable players and lots of behind-the-scenes, but the episode lacks true drama or insight, largely because so much of what happens is detailed in earlier episodes.
Full Swing Review: Episode 8 – Everything Has Led To This
For a long period it looked as though Rory McIlroy wasn’t going to appear directly in Full Swing, which would’ve been a massive miss for a series already lacking Tiger Woods. Thankfully, a mid-season breakfast chat with executive producer Chad Mumm convinced the four-time Major champion to be involved and the entire final episode is built around him.
Unsurprisingly, McIlroy is candid and open and despite the presence of the cameras, you never get the feeling that he’s playing for them or censoring his behavior because of them.
It begins in a light-hearted fashion with McIlroy revealing that his daughter, Poppy, has told him she doesn’t like golf, but talk soon turns to more serious matters as he admits he’s allowed some of golf’s more contentious issues to become a little too personal.
McIlroy is quickly highlighted as the leader for the players on the PGA Tour and speaks openly about how he fell in love with the game and his passion for its history. Commentary is beautifully interwoven with home and archive footage of McIlroy’s childhood and career, before the talk, inevitably, turns to LIV and the editors effectively bill the 150th Open as the PGA Tour vs LIV.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how The Open ends – heartbreak for McIlroy as Cameron Smith lifts the Claret Jug ahead of his LIV defection – but the lack of post-final round footage is perhaps the only disappointment from this episode. It is possible that the crew hadn’t reached an agreement with the Northern Irishman at that stage but, as people who were behind the scenes at The Open, we saw first-hand both the shock and the emotion that McIlroy released after he’d left the ‘main stage’, and it would have added even more depth to an otherwise great episode.
The portrayal of McIlroy as one of the key faces in golf’s future continues with some lovely footage from a junior clinic and the star discussing letters he received from Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. He also talks about his plans to create a more modern-facing game while testing a VR golf experience.
From there we head to the season-ending Tour Championship and the race for the FedEx Cup (cue more explanations of format) – a trophy McIlroy suggests is “right alongside winning a Major Championship”.
We also see Jay Monahan announce big changes and elevated events for the PGA Tour schedule, with all of the top players committed to those events, in a bid to see off LIV.
Appreciating their position
A fascinating chat between McIlroy and Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour’s chief tournaments and competitions officer, follows around the lunch table, as the player suggests he and his colleagues have “all gotten a little soft” when it comes to their schedules.
It comes immediately before McIlroy is seen reveling in Patrick Reed’s slide down the World Rankings following his LIV move and discussing conversations he’d had with Cam Smith about LIV after The Open.
This ten-minute spell is among the best in the entire series and the scene in the players’ locker room that sees McIlroy makes his feelings about Phil Mickelson clear – “f*ck you, Phil” – before saying ” I hope that makes it in” is gold.
Redemption follows as McIlroy talks us through chasing down World No.1 Scottie Scheffler to win the Tour Championship and FedEx cup, but it’s the aftermath that is a must-watch for golf fans. We see Monahan singing the champion’s praises in a speech before he heads to the locker room and enjoys a glass of wine while checking his phone.
It’s that closing scene, where McIlroy receives a text from Tiger and clearly remains in awe of his hero, that ends the series perfectly.
Today’s Golfer verdict: 4/5 – Saving the biggest star until the end of the series wasn’t a deliberate choice but it works and leaves you hungry for more.
Full Swing – Today’s Golfer’s Overall Verdict: 3.5/5
It’s an enjoyable watch, the coverage of the changing face of golf is excellent and the cinematography and behind-the-scenes access will keep golf and non-golf fans watching. But… We can’t help but feel that there were some seriously missed opportunities to delve that little bit deeper. This feels like more of a surface scratch.
It appears the usually meddlesome PGA Tour allowed the crews exceptional access and the players who signed up for the show were, mostly, open, honest, and willing to let the cameras gain some real insight into their lives. With more than 700 hours’ worth of content recorded, we’d love to see some of the footage that ended up on the cutting room floor.
If season two gets the go-ahead, it would be great to see the show step away from the formulaic Netflix documentary style – one size doesn’t have to fit all. We’d also love to see a few more players and stories included and perhaps a rethink around how the episodes are released. Getting them out throughout the season and closer to the events they are covering would inevitably make them more relevant and dramatic.
And while the overall editing is excellent the amplification and adding of sounds felt unnecessary, especially when the effect added to an iron swing is clearly of a driver hitting the ball, and the ball dropping in the cup is used on every putt.
That said, with more LIV drama, World Rankings quarrels, elevated tournaments, and a Ryder Cup to look forward to in 2023 we hope the cameras keep rolling… and that Tiger Woods agrees to take part.
– The most influential people in golf
BECOME A TODAY’S GOLFER MEMBER: Unlimited access to premium content and exclusive rewards!