The world of golf received some incredibly exciting news recently, with Netflix confirming a stacked PGA Tour lineup for its upcoming docuseries, which is set to detail the highs and lows of the PGA Tour, giving golf fans a glimpse into real life. of those at the elite level.
Based on the wildly successful Formula 1 hit Drive To Survive, the docuseries will, for the very first time, give access inside the ropes and behind the scenes of the PGA Tour, with the series capturing aspects such as the training intensity, journeys, victory and defeat through the lens of a diverse group of players and their support teams.
With a number of players already on board with the idea, as well as filming having apparently begun at the Hero World Challenge in December, the PGA Tour and the governing bodies that run the major men’s championships – Augusta National Golf Club, the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A will provide entry to the sport’s biggest events, including the four major tournaments, the Players Championship and the season-ending FedEx Cup.
Which players will star in the Netflix PGA Tour docu-series?
Check out the list of players who have signed on to the docuseries below.
- Abraham Ancer
- Daniel Berger
- Champion Cameron
- Joel Dahmen
- Tony Finau
- Matthew Fitzpatrick
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Ricky Fowler
- Sergio Garcia
- Harry Higg
- Max Homa
- Victor Hovland
- Dustin Johnson
- Brooks Koepka
- Collin Morikawa
- Kevin Na
- Mito Pereira
- Ian Poulter
- Xander Schauele
- Jordan Spieth
- Justin Thomas
- Bubba Watson
- Additionally, world number one ranked amateur golfer Keita Nakajima will also participate as he plays in the first major championships of his career.
How did the Netflix PGA Tour docuseries develop?
A PGA Tour spokesperson revealed that for several years the organization had been interested in producing an “all-access” documentary, but had “not found the right combination of production partners, actors and distribution partner, so far”.
In 2019, the talk really intensified over possible docuseries, with the first pro to raise their hand and volunteer as a contestant being none other than Rickie Fowler. After Fowler volunteered, a small group of pros quickly followed the American in agreement. These included Justin Thomas, Tony Finau and Cameron Champ.
Consequently, Tour studios and Vox Media began shopping for the project in 2019. It wasn’t until the summer of 2021 that Netflix officially greenlighted the production. Since then, producers have been eagerly courting the show’s subjects and plotting how best to present untold stories of professional golf.
Will Tiger Woods be in the new Netflix PGA Tour docu-series?
The short answer is no, currently the 15-time major champion is not participating in the docuseries. Woods made his return to golf in late 2021, playing in the PNC Championship with his son Charlie. However, the American has regularly extinguished any possibility of a return to competitive golf, with close friend and former PGA Tour player John Cook stating “I don’t see (returning) happening in the next 12 months.”
Biggest names missing from Netflix PGA Tour docuseries?
- Jon Rahm
- Rory McIlroy
- Bryson De Chambeau
- Phil Mickelson
- Tiger Woods
Five notable players are currently not participating in the docuseries, with DeChambeau revealing that no deal has been reached that has worked “very well” for him nor does he want to “take the light away” from players who are “already pretty”. far behind him.
He went on to say “I think it could potentially grow the game of golf in that regard. Number one, there was no deal that was made that was great for me. I love Netflix. I watch it. I’m having a good moment with. But just for me it wasn’t good right now. I feel like people see me on Youtube, Instagram, and they have a damn good insight into my life.
“Bringing more people in and going even further which is almost impossible because what I’m giving is just too overwhelming for me. I didn’t really want more than that because I have to have a life outside of that. -this.
“There are a lot of great people there. If I were to go, yes it would be cool to see, but I feel like there are a lot more interesting stories. You have Harry Higgs, you have many I don’t want to take away from them the potential to develop in their own way, where they are already far enough behind, they have the potential to develop much more than I do in this regard. “
While Rahm, McIlroy, Mickelson and Woods have yet to comment, it’s worth noting that the pros can dictate how much access the cameras have to their personal lives, and those not currently engaged could still appear in the series.
What effect has Drive To Survive had on Formula 1?
For those wondering what impact the docuseries will have on the PGA Tour, it’s probably best to look at the impact Drive to Survive has had on Formula 1. Simply put, the docuseries has made a big, big difference to sports in the United States. , with Grand Prix rights holder ESPN saying the sport’s viewership has grown from around 547,000 in 2018 to almost a million in 2021.
On race day, over 400,000 people showed up for the 2021 United States Grand Prix, while promoters of the Mexican Grand Prix noted a significant increase in female attendance at their event, which they also reported. attributed to the Netflix series. In 2022, a second race will take place in the United States for the first time since 1984.
However, there were a few negatives. Current Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has ruled himself out of future seasons and will not appear on the show anytime soon, saying “I understand this has to be done to increase popularity in America. my side as a driver, I don’t like being part of it.
“They faked a few rivalries that don’t really exist so I decided not to be a part of that and didn’t give any more interviews after that because there’s nothing left for you to show I’m not really a drama person, I just want facts and real things to happen.”
When will the PGA Tour Netflix Docuseries air?
Filming has apparently already begun for the docuseries, starting with the Hero World Challenge in early December and, although Netflix and the Tour declined to comment on an official release date, filming will continue until the end of the playoffs. of the FedEx Cup, with the Tour Championship ending at the end of August.
It is believed that, following the model of Drive to Survive, the first episodes of the series will likely release in early 2023.