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Did Full Swing Flop? (No.)

Our crew has wrapped up their viewing of the first season of "Full Swing" and we are going to grade each episode from top-to-bottom. This should be obvious, but this post will involve some spoilers! But ya know what, the show is based off real life events that happened months ago, so if these are spoilers that's on you.

Episode 1: JT and Jordan's Bromance

If my best friend and I could pick an ideal life, this would be it. This episode was emblematic of the whole show and set a great tone for how the storytelling would play out for 8 episodes. We received a brief background on JT's life in golf, we got a brief look back at the absurdity of his comeback at the PGA, and we got a brief explanation of basic golf rules. The first episode, along with most of the show, played perfectly for the casual golf fan. Nothing was overcomplicated, and the simple explanations were kept to a minimum.

E1 Grade: B+

Episode 2: The Dichotomy of Brooks and Scottie

This was the marquee episode of season 1. Once again targeting the common fan, this episode plays all the hits. The Masters, the WMPO, Brooks, and Scottie as #1. This episode went deeper as well, however. For the hardcore golf fan, Brooks Koepka has presented a dilemma for years. When Brooks had it rolling, the golf world was ready to crown him as the next coming of Tiger. He had the mindset, the intimidation, and the steely confidence. But then, he would claim he hated golf in every interview he sat down for. The debates on podcasts would ensue, does Brooks hate golf? Or is he a liar? Our own podcast was not immune to these debates, and I typically landed on the side of liar. Episode 2 confirmed this for me.

The juxtaposition of Brooks' extravagant Florida mansion lined with floor to ceiling windows with Scottie's comfortable Dallas home filled with the Bible is beautiful. Brooks is entirely unhappy sitting by his pool with Jena Sims (something I cannot imagine). Brooks does not seem to be a pro golfer in a rut; he seems to be a man battling an identity crisis. In the middle of Brooks' major championship run, it would have been unimaginable to hear him admit "I cannot compete" with the world's best. This episode is a must watch, and it explains Brooks' LIV defection on a level we have not seen.

E2 Grade: A+

Episode 3: Ian Poulter Got an Episode?

Following up the emotional analysis of Brooks and Scottie with a dive into Ian Poulter's search for a stable (read as gaudy) income at the end of his golf career pained me physically. I can understand where Ian is coming from, and if I was in lucky enough to be in his position, I am confident I would have made the same choice. His game is fading and he had the chance to protect his family. What I could not defend, was Mr. Poulter telling us that money is relative, as he stood in a closet large enough to house 2 people, and was filled with enough clothes to cover a small town. The episode provides an interesting perspective on one of the many reasons people fled to LIV, but Mr. Poulter did not sway me.

E3 Grade: C+

Episode 4: Joel Dahmen, a King

Cancer, death, and self-doubt are unfortunate aspects of life, and their portrayal in Joel Dahmen's episode are beautifully done. Dahmen's personal fights with these issues certainly won him several fans, and this was the first episode I felt could grab the general public. Among my non-golf loving friends, this is the episode that got the most powerful response. With no knowledge of the game, any human could connect with the journey from small-town America to the highest level of the American Dream, with your best friend by your side. This episode also receives a must-watch stamp, and you will likely call your mother after your viewing.

(Aside: This was the 4th episode in-a-row that Netflix took the time to explain how cuts work. Please cut the average fan some slack, Netflix)

E4 Grade: A

Episode 5: Matty Fitz and DJ, a Tale of 2 Cities

As a diehard DJ supporter looking for guidance as he has joined the evil empire, I was especially excited for this episode, and it did not disappoint. DJ was unapologetically DJ in this episode.

Why did I join LIV?

The paid me more to do less work.

Scene. No veiled philosophy about creating change on the Tour, or seeking a new opportunity in life. He saw more money, he and his wife wanted it, and they took it. Chef's kiss.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, for the golf nerd, presents a similarly inspirational version of himself. He is the true definition of a grinder in this sport. The note keeping system he has employed is hard to comprehend and will most likely make your local range rat unbearable for a few weeks.

E5 Grade: A-

Episode 6: Tony Finau, Family Man

There should never be another negative word spoken about Tony Finau. He appears to be the most grounded, humble, and genuine man playing on the PGA Tour, and he also has incredible levels of skill. I will put my hand up and admit that I have enjoyed dunking on Tony in the past. It's funny what can I say. But no longer, I am a born-again Tony fan after this.

In the midst of the season that ruined golf, it was especially refreshing to hear Tony say that he was prioritizing his family over golf and not use it as an excuse to join the Saudis. His idea of being a good father is not setting up his grandkids' grandkids with trust funds, his idea is that he will be at all his son's tournaments. Aspirational.

E6 Grade: A-

Episode 7: Did Mito Need an Hour?

Mito's departure to LIV last week made this episode comical to me. Most of the storyline is built around his grind from the Korn Ferry Tour and he is adamant that he will work to compete with the big boys, and beat them, when he gets another chance. But I guess money talks. In Mito's defense, it was incredibly rude of Netflix to put his swing on 18 at Southern Hills in the show twice. What an ugly moment.

Sahith and his family are so pure and they deserve happiness and long-lasting success. What an absolute delight it was to learn about them. I wish this episode had done a deeper dive on KFT life; it felt like a missed chance with two rookie success stories.

Episode 8: The News Episode

This episode was awful and I had zero fun watching it. 36 putts.

E8 Grade: N/A

Overall, the show was an easy and fun watch, and we will provide our broad wax philosophical takes on what the show means for golf on this week's podcast episode!

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