If you happen to’ve been ready your entire life to get a behind-the-scenes take a look at the riveting world of golf, your wait is over. Netflix has introduced that they’ll be producing a PGA Tour docuseries within the fashion of the favored Method One: Drive to Survive actuality present that premiered in 2019.
Drive to Survive had an enormous impact on American F1 viewership, a exceptional feat in a sport that has just one American group and no American drivers. The drama, the narratives, the rivalries — the present gave a personalised attraction to a sport that was extraordinarily overseas, each figuratively and actually.
So it’s most likely protected to imagine that the PGA Tour is hoping that their new Netflix present could have the identical impact of drawing in outsiders to the game and driving up rankings. The present reportedly plans to characteristic golfers together with Brooks Koepka Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood and Bubba Watson, all of whom are family names in case you’re in a family that watches golf. Nevertheless it appears like there’s a hitch on this plan — golf isn’t, by nature, an thrilling sport.
This isn’t to say it’s a nasty or boring sport. It may be thrilling to look at, enjoyable to play, pleasurable to observe. However the level of this collection is, in keeping with the PGA’s Chief Media Officer Rick Anderson, “a chance to faucet into a totally new and various viewers.”
Nobody’s going to disclaim that the present golf viewers isn’t precisely various. However in contrast to F1, which has a common attraction in that it faucets into the human rush of adrenaline, golf is a reasonably tame and gradual sport. No contact, no pace, nothing that extra “mainstream” (soccer, basketball, and many others) sports activities followers can actually seize onto as one thing they’re already excited by.
Once more, I’m not saying that golf can’t be thrilling. However as we get to a degree the place Tiger Woods, who fully revamped curiosity within the sport within the late 90s and 2000s, is scaling again his Tour appearances, the PGA is conscious that it wants a brand new means to usher in the youthful technology whose information of golf largely rests upon their recollections of the Tiger dishonest scandal of their youth, as seen on tabloid covers at a Cease and Store close to you. The HBO Max two-part Tiger documentary did an incredible job of displaying how Tiger reworked the game, however it was additionally in a position to try this due to public curiosity in Woods’ off-the-course misdeeds.
For a present like this to succeed, notably with out the high-speed races and thrilling dangers and rivalries of Drive to Survive, it’s going to want to focus on some actually robust and attention-grabbing characters. Sending a dangerous putt down the inexperienced to make par doesn’t have the identical pure attraction as, say, racing at 200-plus mph, particularly for outdoor viewers unfamiliar with both the game or the skilled golf scene. There’s no golf equal to Romain Grosjean’s fiery crash.
It’s going to be a problem for the producers, notably if viewers and executives predict the same success and vitality to what Drive to Survive has seen to date. Apart from Tiger’s potential comeback, the very best factor for garnering new curiosity within the sport in the previous few years has been the Brooks Koepka-Bryson DeChambeau rivalry, however the latter hasn’t been talked about as being a part of the solid of the present. Noticeably (and unsurprisingly), neither have Woods or Phil Mickelson.
Because the present is being filmed all through this PGA Tour season, it seemingly gained’t see our screens till late this yr or early 2023. With out the pure pleasure that F1 brings, my most important concern with this present is that it’s going to be over-produced — though, aren’t all actuality exhibits? However I can virtually see the compelled drama, the edited plot traces, the seek for an viewers which may not be coming. On a extra optimistic word, the present negotiated entry to all 4 Majors, which will likely be a serious pull for present followers. We’re a great distance out from seeing the ultimate product, however I’ll have an interest to see in the event that they’re in a position to maintain followers on the fringe of their golf carts.