Formula One racing got a huge boost in interest in North America through the Netflix series ‘Drive to Survive’.
Netflix now is expanding to a documentary series on golf, with the PGA Tour and the organisers of the four major championships granting access for a behind-the-scenes look. Among those who have signed up (without pay) to participate are multiple major champions such as Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa. Also on the list are Max Homa and Joel Dahmen, who have revealed their personalities through various social media.
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For the players, it’s a chance to increase their exposure and grow their brands. Koepka was said to have spent an hour with the producers during the Hero World Challenge.
Rick Anderson, the chief media officer at the PGA Tour, said the Netflix series will allow golf to tap into a new and diverse audience and “give fans an authentic look into the real lives of our athletes, and what it’s like to win — and lose — during a season on the PGA Tour.”
Golf, however, will have competition in the Netflix sports documentary space.
Tennis also will have a series with Netflix in partnership with the ATP Tour, the WTA Tour and the four Grand Slam tournaments, starting with the Australian Open this week. That is sure to include the drama of Novak Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and was given an exemption to enter Australia, only to be deported when Australian authorities revoked his visa.
What makes the tennis series different from golf’s is that it will include men and women, who play their Grand Slam events at the same venues.
Missing from the list of PGA Tour players is Jon Rahm, the No. 1 player in the world, FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy. Also missing is Bryson DeChambeau, who said last week while promoting the Saudi International that it “wasn’t a deal that was struck that was very well for my side.”
DeChambeau said people already get a good look at his life through a YouTube channel and Instagram. He said the Netflix golf series would be “cool to see” and have interesting stories to be told about players not as well known, like Harry Higgs.
“I don’t want to take the light away from them for their potential to grow themselves in a manner that’s unique to them, where they’re already pretty far behind,” he said. “They have the opportunity to grow a lot more than I do in that regard.”