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Full Swing Season 2 Fails Compared To First Season



In my last blog, I wrote about the first two episodes of Full Swing Season 2 – and I should have noted Spoiler Alert before it if you haven’t seen any of this year’s series – and how I thought collectively it dealt with too much of the politics of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf instead of the players. I was disappointed about that but felt that the remaining episodes would be more about the players.

Spoiler Alert, there are more player stories, but overall the entire series failed in comparison to the first season.

I decided to binge on the remaining six episodes while also watching the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and what was completely overlooked was Jon Rahm (Callaway Chrome Soft X) and his Masters win. It was historical because his late idol, Seve Ballesteros, won the event twice. It was also emotional because Rahm said he felt Ballesteros was watching over him. From the start of 2023, the fiery Spaniard stood as the best player in the world and carried that momentum through to the Masters.

I can only assume it was deliberate because Rahm jumped to LIV Golf this year after previously criticizing it. Hopefully the whole story will be told in Season 3, with Netflix confirming Full Swing has been optioned for another year.

The Masters is the biggest event of the year on the PGA Tour, but Netflix’s producers chose the story to be about the battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

The third episode in Season 2 is really provocative. It’s called Mind Games and features Joel Dahmen (Titleist Pro V1x) and Wyndham Clark (Titleist Pro V1x). Dahmen became an overnight sensation after taking off his shirt following a par on the famed 16th hole at the 2002 Waste Management Phoenix Open. He was censured by the PGA Golf for his irreverent act, but the gallery loved it, and that was explored in the first season of Full Swing. He became an overnight sensation, the People’s Champion, from a player barely on anybody’s radar. But fame had a price as he dealt with missing many cuts and adjusting to becoming a first-time father. He turns to drinking and both his wife and caddie are trying to help him. His caddie pleads with him to seek help from a sports psychologist. Dahmen reveals he sought help from a grief counsellor following the death of his mother from pancreatic cancer when he was in high school. It gave him perspective, but becoming a fan favorite years later changed his life. Following a heart-to-heart with his caddie on a flight from a tournament, Dahmen finally gives in to seeing someone.

This is the kind of personality feature that I think Netflix has succeeded with in Full Swing. The behind-the-scenes interviews tug at the heart. Here’s hoping Dahmen wins a tournament and finds redemption.

His story is contrasted with Clark’s. He lost his mother to cancer while in college 10 years before. The grief he held inside contributed over the years to poor play, which led to excessive drinking to numb the emotional pain. He starts seeing a sports psychologist in 2022, someone with no background working with golfers but whose specialty is anger management. It led to a positive transformation for Clark in 2023, which resulted in him winning two tournaments, including the U.S. Open. He talks about how his mother’s mantra was Play Big, which he has tattooed, and how on her deathbed she said to him, “You are very special and you are going to do some great things in golf.” Some of that came out with his wins, but the relationship with his sports psychologist is explored and developed fully. Once again, kudos to Netflix.

Episode four is called Prove It and features Tom Kim (Titleist Pro V1x), who rose to global superstardom on the PGA Tour in his 20s. The episode profiles how the South Korean native gave himself the nickname Thomas because he fell in love with Thomas The Take Engine after his parents gave him the toy as a youngster. Kim is fun-loving, and it’s amusing watching him try to find way around Augusta National in his first time in the Masters. There’s also his infamous shot in the PGA Champiosnship, trying to hit his ball buried in the mud. If you’ve never seen it, I suggest checking it out on YouTube. But the serious side of Kim is shown after he suffers a badly-damaged ankle in a fluke misstep prior to the second round of The Open. He fought through the discomfort rather than bowing out of the tournament and certified his seriousness – if there was ever any doubt – and toughness and ties for second place.

Episode Five is called In The Shadow and portrays Matt Fitzpatrick (Titleist Pro V1x) and his younger brother, Alex (Titleist Pro V1x), who is living in his shadow. He calls it a “gift and a curse.” He talks about the constant comparisons to his brother, the 2022 U.S Open winner.

“When you are constantly in the shadow all your life it’s difficult,” he says. But Alex betters his brother in The Open.

“It was a good week, a very good, week,” he says. “I’m making my own path.”

Episodes six through eight deal with the Ryder Cup and the controversial decision by U.S. Captain Zach Johnson (Titleist Pro V1x) to select Justin Thomas (Titleist Pro V1x), who has had a terrible season and failed to qualify for the Tour Championship for the first time in his career. Johnson goes with his “buddy” based on past Ryder Cup success instead of Keegan Bradley (Srixon Z-Star), who had a better season.

The last two episodes are All Roads Lead To Rome, where the Ryder Cup is played and where the U.S. is trying to win for the first time in 30 years on European soil. There was plenty of drama, on and off the course, in particular American Patrick Cantlay (Titleist Pro V1x) playing without a hat on the third day and receiving cat calls from the crowd when a story broke that he did so because he wanted money to play in the tournament. He said afterward in a media conference he did it because the hat didn’t fit, just as it didn’t in the tournament two years before. There’s also the controversy of his caddie, Joe LaCava, celebrating the final birdie and walking in the line of European player Rory McIlroy (TaylorMade TP5x) before his shot. European teammate Shane Lowry (Srixon Z-Star XV) takes exception to what LaCava did and it leads to the two shouting at each other. Later that night there is footage of McIlroy embroiled in a heated exchange with another U.S. caddie.

McIlroy has been a constant in both seasons of Full Swing because of his staunch support of the PGA Tour and his struggles in tournaments.

I hope Season 3 slowly drifts away from the battle between the two rival leagues, though the Rahm story might preclude that and the possibility there will be an official merger.

And I’m sure the flak Johnson took for his pick of Thomas and how he was heckled playing in the Phoenix Open earlier this year may also be an episode.


Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

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