A 56-second video set the golf world ablaze with excitement Wednesday when the first official trailer for “Full Swing”, a Netflix documentary on professional golf, was released.
News of the project – set to be available to stream Feb. 15 – broke more than a year ago and fans have been impatiently waiting for the highly anticipated series, especially after LIV Golf stormed onto the scene. Last January, 23 players were confirmed to be part of the show, but the trailer only announced 14 players, including world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
Looking at the players who were featured in the trailer, here’s a handful of storylines we hope to see covered when the show goes live:
The Greatest Show on Grass
We have to start here at the People’s Open. The cameras were rolling when the beer cans showered the famed 16th hole, and also when Joel Dahmen and Harry Higgs took off their shirts in wild celebration. It was a great tournament, and I can’t wait to relive it all again.
Not to mention there has to be some great content from talking to some of the more hydrated fans at the 16th, right?
Joel Dahmen and Harry Higgs take their shirts off on the 16th hole during the final round of the 2022 WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. (Photo: Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
Scottie Scheffler’s run to No. 1
Scottie Scheffler won four events over six starts last season, and the cameras were there to capture it all from his first at the WM Phoenix Open to his last at the Masters. Not only will we get to see Scheffler behind the scenes during this incredible run that led him to world No. 1, but fans will also get to Augusta National up close and personal in a way they’ve never seen before.
Scottie Scheffler talks to the crowd while wearing his green jacket after winning the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo: Adam Cairns-Augusta Chronicle/USA TODAY Sports)
How much will Rory McIlroy be involved?
The world No. 1 wasn’t previously included on the list of confirmed players, but he made a splash appearance at the end of the trailer. Journalist Jamie Weir warned fans to temper their expectations for McIlroy’s involvement, to which producer Chad Mumm said we’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Last year was a big one for McIlroy. He won the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup for a third time, the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai for a fourth time, all while constantly speaking out against LIV Golf. Frankly it doesn’t matter how much or how little McIlroy is involved. He speaks his mind and his perspective on the game is more valuable now than ever before.
Rory McIlroy talks to Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, prior to The Match at Pelican Golf Club on December 10, 2022 in Belleair, Florida. (Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for The Match)
Storybook win at the Country Club
Matt Fitzpatrick winning the U.S. Open at The Country Club, the site of his 2013 U.S. Amateur win, is some Hollywood-level storytelling. Unfortunately for Fitz, a movie was already made about a U.S. Open at the famed club in Massachusetts, so he’ll have to settle with “Full Swing”.
Plain and simple, I can’t wait to see what the cameras got that week.
Matt Fitzpatrick celebrates winning the U.S. Open with caddie Billy Foster during the final round of the U.S. Open. (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)
The breakout star
One of the best young players on Tour, Sahith Theegala had three top-five finishes in 2022 at the WM Phoenix Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Travelers. Theegala is always a great quote during interviews and fringe golf fans who are unfamiliar with his game and personality may see him as the breakout star from the show.
Sahith Theegala plays his shot from the second tee at Sea Island Resort Seaside Course on November 20, 2022 in St Simons Island, Georgia. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
The return of Jordan Spieth
Last year was another good one for Jordan Spieth in his return to the conversation among golf’s elite. He won at the RBC Heritage and finished second the following week at the AT&T Byron Nelson, his second runner-up finish of the season. That said, he was largely a non-factor at majors, with a best finish of T-8 at the Open. It’ll be intriguing to see how the show covers the widely loved Spieth. The creators of “Full Swing” are also behind Formula 1: Drive to Survive, and they did a phenomenal job with fan-favorite driver Daniel Ricciardo. Let’s see how they handle Spieth.
Jordan Spieth of the United States lines up a putt during The Match 7 at Pelican at Pelican Golf Club on December 10, 2022 in Belleair, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images for The Match)
More on Collin Morikawa
Lucky for the rising star on Tour, his performance last week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions won’t be on the show (this year, at least). I’m hesitant to call him another potential breakout star for the show because at just 25 years old, Morikawa already has five PGA Tour wins, including a pair of majors, under his belt. Last season was his first without a win since turning pro in 2019, but the former Cal star still managed to miss just four cuts and crack the top 10 eight times.
We know a lot about Morikawa, the player. After seeing the way he responded to his historic collapse in Hawaii, I hope the show details Morikawa, the person, a bit more.
Collin Morikawa acknowledges after making his putt on the first hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort – The Plantation Course. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Family time with the Finau’s
Tony Finau is coming off the most successful season of his career. After a two-win campaign that included seven top-10 finishes in the 2021-22 season, Finau already has another win under his belt this season. In Drive to Survive,a viewers get to see a lot of drivers and their lives at home. The cameras are bound to have gotten some good content with Finau, his wife Alayna, and their five children.
The (not so) real question that needs an answer, though: Just how many awfully patterned shirts are in his closet?
Tony Finau with caddie Mark Urbanek on the second faiway during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. (Photo: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports)
Speaking of families: Meet the Poulters
Ian Poulter has been one of the more divisive figures in the game who have taken their talents to LIV Golf, but the trailer showed a lot of clips of Poulter the father with his kids, both on the golf course and trampoline. His son, Luke, is a freshman on the Florida golf team and is a pretty good player in his own right.
Unfortunately for Poulter, the trailer also shows him losing his mind via a temper tantrum in the locker room at the WGC-Dell Match Play. It’s been a tough week online for Poulter.
Can Dustin Johnson hoop?
We know Dustin Johnson likes to workout, but can he still hoop? I’m sure the majority of his time on the show will be focused on his move to LIV Golf, but the trailer showed DJ handling a basketball and it seemed pretty smooth.
Golfers are athletes too, people forget.
Joaquin Niemann’s road to LIV Golf
Joaquin Niemann had himself an interesting year. After winning at the Genesis Invitational, Tiger Woods’ event near Los Angeles, he went on to finish T-11 at the Tour Championship before leaving for LIV Golf. Niemann wasn’t one of the 23 early confirmed players last January, but was clearly added after his Genesis win.
As a young player who had a bright future with the PGA Tour, I’ll be curious to see if we learn anything about his LIV decision once the cameras started rolling.
Event host Tiger Woods poses with tournament winner Joaquin Niemann following the final round of the 2022 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
What’s Brooks Koepka up to?
Another LIV player who has been signed to the Netflix show on from the jump, Brooks Koepka had a largely forgettable final season on Tour before he sold out – his words – and took the money to join the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit.
Aside from a T-3 at the WM Phoenix Open and T-5 at the WGC- Dell Match Play, Koepka struggled on Tour in 2022 with seven missed cuts to just nine made (though he did win on LIV at its event in Saudi Arabia). The show appears to include some boat time with Koepka, and the four-time major winner can talk smack with he best of ‘em. He’s bound to say something entertaining.
Brooks Koepka tees off on the 6th hole during the Pro-Am tournament before the LIV Golf series at Trump National Doral. (Photo: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Last but not least, the PGA Championship
Justin Thomas claimed another major at last year’s PGA Championship via a playoff, and he seems to be heavily involved in the show. The talk of the PGA coverage, however, will undoubtedly focus on Mito Pereira and his blown chance at history. After leaving his birdie putt on the lip on the 17th, Pereira drilled his tee shot on 18 into a creek on the right side of the fairway and made double-bogey 6 to miss a playoff by one shot.
As our Steve DiMeglio wrote: “In 15 minutes, he lost his grip on the Wanamaker, his place in history and his chance to put his first PGA Tour title on his resume.”
Pereira was listed as an early commit to the show in January, so I’d imagine the cameras were rolling the entire week at Southern Hills. It’ll also be interesting to see if the producers are able to turn anything around after his recent reported move to LIV Golf.
Mito Pereira reacts on the 17th green during the final round of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 22, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)