How PGA Tour Camaraderie 'Disappeared Overnight' As LIV Golf Rumors Ramped Up

Chad Mumm, producer for the new Full Swing PGA Tour Netflix series, opens up on how the dynamic changed in the locker room when LIV started to ramp up

Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau at a LIV Golf press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Full Swing on Netflix hits screens this month and the series followed the PGA Tour and its players during truly unprecedented times as the emergence of LIV Golf started to really shake things up.

This time last year was when the rumors started to ramp up and the story took hold of the sport, and Chad Mumm of Vox Media has revealed what it was like following the Tour as the Saudi-backed circuit really started to dominate proceedings in the golf world.

"Riviera last year at the Genesis that's when the LIV stuff started to really bubble over from speculation to like, 'Oh my God, this is all happening'," Mumm told Golf Monthly.

"I think it was Tuesday, Riviera, I was in the press room, we were sort of just waiting around to go out on the course with I think it was Collin Morikawa and all of a sudden these reports start coming out. Maybe Bryson's gonna go, DJ's gonna go and all of a sudden, there's like 'the people had signed' and there was some report that there was like 20 guys who had signed up and you could just feel the energy in the room completely change.

"And what's cool about Riviera, a lot of the PGA Tour media centers are in like trailers or tents or something like that. At Riviera it's in this classic 100-year-old building on top of the hill, a very golf environment in the clubhouse there and like these huge windows and just a very cinematic room to be in for the press. And you just could feel the energy shift and people are murmuring to each other, they're tweeting, they're talking, you know, just you're like, 'what's going on?' and then you know, the day later, the Alan Shipnuck quote from Phil came out, and it kind of blew it up and and we thought, 'Well, maybe that's over', you know, but a month or two later it starts to pick up steam again.

"That whole period between basically Riviera and Southern Hills, the PGA Championship, was just like transformation. And what's interesting about kind of getting deep with the PGA Tour and being in the locker room and hanging out with those guys, you really understand that it's a traveling circus kind of like high school feeling.

"Everyone who's made it to the PGA Tour, the best in the world at what they do, there's a sort of bond and kinship. Everyone's not like friends but you're looking around, you're all peers, right? 'We've all done this thing. We're all this good. We made it here'. There's sort of this camaraderie and that like vaporized when the LIV stuff happened and really in an unprecedented way, probably in the history of any sport.

"Like you had this sort of breakaway right in the middle of a season and it changed the dynamic as people started speculate who's gonna leave, who's gonna go. And it's not like it turned outright nasty, there were no like fist fights in the locker room but, you know, all of a sudden this camaraderie that everybody had just kind of disappeared overnight and and you started to see golfers who are not known for being like super outspoken other than talking about their round, starting to take really strong stances in either direction. So it was a fascinating time to have our cameras rolling for sure."

Full Swing follows the likes of Ian Poulter, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, all of whom joined LIV Golf last year, with the Netflix series also featuring footage from the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event at the Centurion Club near London.

Read more: I've watched every episode of Full Swing. Here's what I thought...

Full Swing premieres on Netflix on February 15

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