By Jon Grossman
October 24, 2021
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Golf’s biggest personalities are about to take center stage.
While not yet confirmed, it is believed that the PGA Tour and Netflix are partnering to give an exclusive, inside look at the PGA Tour and its players. Several big name professionals are expected to be on the cast of the show, including Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, and Cameron Champ. Justin Thomas and Bryson Dechambeau are reportedly top targets for the cast as well.
The recent speculation is only a small aspect of the PGA’s latest marketing push, alongside their recent efforts to grow player brands and engagement by instituting a $40 million bonus pool for players. Coined the “Player Impact Program,” players will now be eligible to receive a chunk of the bonus pool based on criteria such as Google Search popularity, Nielsen Brand Exposure rating, and MVP Index Rating.
With the addition of the docuseries, the PGA is clearly trying to capitalize on golf’s recent surge in popularity since the beginning of the pandemic.
Over 24.8 million people played golf in the US in 2020—the largest net increase of new golfers in 17 years, according to the National Golf Foundation. The PGA is hoping increased interest in playing the sport will translate into viewership for the new series.
The show will be modeled off Formula One’s “Drive to Survive” series, which accumulated over 50 million subscribers, as well as the Netflix series “Explained.” Both Vox Media and Rickie Fowler’s Main Event Productions will be involved in the creation of the show. Filming is expected to begin at some point during the 2021-2022 season, which is currently underway; however, both the PGA Tour and Netflix have declined to comment whether or not this is the case.
Some have expressed concerns with how authentic the show will actually be. Viewers value behind the scenes footage, but how much the PGA Tour will actually allow remains to be seen.
“Drive to Survive” relies heavily on its authenticity, so it will certainly be interesting to see how the content selection plays out over the production of the show.