Full Swing Season 1 Episode 1 Recap: Frenemies

The PGA Tour...on Netflix! We recap the first episode of Full Swing as the behind-the-scenes story of the crazy 2022 golf season gets underway

Full Swing screenshot of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth on a private jet
Best friends, and rivals, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth feature in episode 1 of Full Swing
(Image credit: Netflix)

The highly anticipated Full Swing Netflix series that follows the PGA Tour and all four men's Majors is here, and here's a rundown of the very first episode - which may contain spoilers!

Full Swing comes to us from Vox Media and Box to Box studios, the people behind the hugely successful Drive to Survive series, now in its fifth season, that has taken the F1 world by storm and seen the sport's fanbase, particularly in the US, grow to new levels.

Drive to Survive tells the storylines from behind the scenes, with each episode focussing on specific races and specific drivers, teams and rivalries. Full Swing is exactly the same - each episode is mainly dedicated to a specific tournament and a player.

The honor of starring in the first ever Full Swing episode goes to Justin Thomas along with his long-time close friend, and best man at his wedding, Jordan Spieth.

The series starts out documenting the pair's intense-yet-friendly rivalry where Dan Rapaport accurately describes how JT was thought of in his early days on tour - simply as 'Jordan's friend'.

Well, Jordan's friend turned into a mighty fine golfer, with multiple stints atop the Official World Golf Ranking and 15 PGA Tour titles including two Majors.

"I know for a fact I can win the PGA Championship"

You get a really good look at the confidence and competitiveness of JT throughout episode one of Full Swing, with some epic quotes about just how ruthless you have to be at the top of the game. 

"I know for a fact I can win the PGA Championship," he says without a single doubt when asked.

"He's one of my best friends, we're always gonna pull for each other but at the same time, I hope that I beat him in every single tournament that we play in for the rest of our life," Thomas says of his relationship Spieth.

Thomas and Spieth's close friend Rickie Fowler also appears throughout the episode from an interview Netflix did with him, where he describes their friendship but also confirms the competitiveness between them all.

Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas laugh on a fairway

Rickie Fowler has his say on the friendship, and competitiveness, between the trio throughout the episode

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"You do get a sense of satisfaction when you see a friend succeed and play well," Fowler says. "But there's also kind of an underlying kick in the butt like I don't want to see him beat me. I want to go beat him."

The Netflix crews got very lucky in choosing which week to follow JT, as the episode is mainly based around the week of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills where he dramatically secured his second Wanamaker Trophy and second Major title.

LIV Golf Watch

It's also worth mentioning that there's really not much LIV Golf chat at this point. There's a bit on last year's champion Phil Mickelson not being there to defend his title and some press conference clips from the PGA Championship as well as a quite a bit in the mouth-watering intro but the first episode of Full Swing is largely LIV free.

Before though, Netflix come along on a quick 40-minute private jet trip with JT and Spieth to Southern Hills for a practice round, where the pair are seen playing a Hammer match and spending lots and lots of dollars. They even have a $100 bet on who can roll their ball nearest the pin on one of the greens.

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK

The main bulk of the episode then focusses on the action from Southern Hills at the men's second Major of the year, where JT gets off to a good start over the first two days despite suffering with allergies. There's a hilarious clip where he heads into a local CVS Pharmacy to buy some medicine. Titleist cap on backwards and in the store he goes before struggling with the self service machine in a way we can all relate to.

On his way out, he passes a fan who wishes him luck for the week - with the fan unaware that he had just passed and wished luck to the guy who would be winning the PGA Championship later that week.

Thomas fell away on Saturday at Southern Hills to leave himself seven strokes behind, coming out with a great quote: 

"This sport is freaking brutal. How quickly you can fall off and just not be who you were anymore"

Justin Thomas with a quote overlayed

(Image credit: Future)

His dad and coach Mike Thomas also comes out with a great quote: "I know he knows he mighta cost himself a serious chance at this tournament, but we can't do anything about what happened today. All we can do is what we're going to do tomorrow."

The episode shows a great look into the relationship of Thomas junior and senior. Dad and son, coach and pupil, it's a beautiful relationship and you get a real insight of how Thomas senior treats his son and pupil and why he treats him in that way, after revealing that he had a tough time from his dad.

It all results in a second PGA Championship following Mito Pereira's heartbreaking final-hole collapse and JT closing the gap to Jordan to what it is now, 3-2 in Majors to the Texan.

Justin Thomas poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2022 PGA Championship

Thomas won his second Major championship at Southern Hills

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pereira was also followed by Netflix that week and there's a hint that his wife is mic'd up in the crowd - the Mito episode is sure to be truly epic.

Full Swing Season 1 Episode 1: Frenemies

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5