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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Another Round: Netflix Is Back With More LIV Golf–PGA Tour Drama

  • Season 2 of ‘Full Swing,’ the Netflix series documenting pro golf, comes out Wednesday.
  • LIV Golf’s feud with the PGA Tour is front and center for the show.

As uncertainty continues to cloud the PGA Tour’s future alongside rival LIV Golf, the second season of Netflix’s Full Swing docuseries is set to be released Wednesday, shedding new light on the tense relationships at the top of professional golf.

Season 2 wastes no time diving into the drama, documenting Rory McIlroy’s leadership in the PGA Tour’s fight against LIV and the league’s growing threat. Season 1 followed five golfers that would make the jump to LIV in 2022, but Dustin Johnson was the only one to return in full capacity. “We’ve established this precedent in Season 1 that we have this cast of characters, and it’s not necessarily all going to be from the PGA Tour,” executive producer Chad Mumm tells Front Office Sports. “So there really wasn’t a lot of debate about whether or not we would continue with a player like Dustin.”

Mumm wanted Brooks Koepka back, too, and although Koepka’s wife and swing coach appeased Netflix with on-camera sit-downs, the now five-time major champion did not. “We tried really hard to get Brooks to come and sit down for an interview for Season 2, and he was too busy winning a major,” Mumm says of the 2023 PGA Championship victor. “It would have been great to hear it in his own words.”

Behind the Scenes

Some of Mumm’s favorite interactions came between PGA Tour and LIV players at the Masters, which was the first gathering of golf’s feuding stars in eight months. And the exclusive golf club welcomed Netflix with open arms. “We get amazing access at the Masters,” says Mumm. “Augusta National has been incredible to us and to our crews. … We are able to get stuff that no one’s ever seen before. There’s a whole tour of the clubhouse with Tom Kim in his episode—those are spaces that haven’t really ever been filmed before.”

I’ll Drink to That

Among the Season 1 stars returning for an encore is Joel Dahmen, the 36-year-old PGA Tour journeyman with just one win in 2021, who initially thrilled Full Swing viewers with his against-the-grain antics, including downing a couple of adult beverages while trying to qualify for the U.S. Open.

“A lot of great opportunities came from it,” Dahmen says of the Netflix fame. “So I couldn’t really say no to Season 2.” Those new opportunities included a deal with sunglasses brand Knockaround as well as multiple alcohol-related paydays. Bushmills Irish Whiskey created an Arnold Palmer–like cocktail for Dahmen: Joel’s Juicy Lie. And The Finnish Long Drink brought Dahmen on as an ambassador.

Dahmen’s agent, Derek Bohlen of Range Sports, tells FOS that the golfer has been able to charge two to three times more for brand deals and paid time commitments than he did before Full Swing came out last year. “I think you could probably put 99% on Netflix,” Dahmen says of the increased interest.

Casting Call

Early in Full Swing production, Bohlen says he reached out to Mumm to pitch Dahmen. That cold call worked, but others had to wait their turn. “I really wanted to be on Season 1, and it didn’t work out,” says Keegan Bradley, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour and Full Swing newcomer. “And then I was, again, really lobbying to be on Season 2, and luckily I was chosen.”

“I would have meetings with [Mumm and Netflix] and tell them how much I would relish the opportunity,” Bradley adds. “And if I did get a chance, I would be a complete open book.” For others, that persistent attitude wasn’t needed. “They reached out to me first,” explains Kim, who won twice as a 20-year-old in 2022. “Obviously everyone wants to be on that show, and I was unfortunate enough that I got the invite.” 

Kim, who’s already made more than $11 million on the Tour, says he’s just excited to see himself on the series: “To be honest, before the filming process began, I was excited for my episode to come out. I was looking forward to seeing it already, even though we hadn’t shot one minute of it.”

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