There is no doubt that 2022 was one of the most tumultuous years in the game’s history following the emergence of LIV Golf. Now, one man with a fly-on-the-wall vantage point through the year has revealed just how disruptive it was.
Chad Mumm is a producer on upcoming Netflix docuseries Full Swing, which goes behind the scenes of the historic and controversial year on the PGA Tour. In an interview with GQ (opens in new tab), Mumm has revealed the extent to which he feels the game has become fractured and admitted the issue is more complex than players simply joining LIV Golf for the money. He said: “The existential crisis for the game is real. Golfers spent all year whispering about which of their peers were taking the LIV money. It’s more personal than maybe you would think.”
Since LIV Golf was first rumoured, it has been one of the game’s biggest talking points. After speculation over which players may join the circuit, Phil Mickelson sparked a furious backlash following controversial comments about the PGA Tour and the Saudi Arabian regime that funds LIV Golf.
Things didn’t settle down once LIV Golf launched as some of the world’s best players defected from the PGA Tour to the big-money start-up. The fallout saw the DP World Tour and PGA Tour strengthen their strategic alliance amid the LIV Golf threat. Also, the PGA Tour made unprecedented changes, including increased purses in some of its tournaments, as it looked to stem the flow of top players joining the Greg Norman-fronted organisation.
Mumm’s comments echo the sentiments of one of the players featured in the series, LIV Golf player Ian Poulter. During the trailer, which was released last week, Poulter says: “You picked a hell of a year to start following the PGA Tour.”
Thanks to the drama surrounding events in 2022, that’s something Mumm's fellow Full Swing producer, Paul Martin, would agree with. He said: “Listen, if I was being cynical, I would say it was a dream for the series because it gave real stakes and real dilemma to some of these characters. It’s been kind of story dynamite for us.”
As well as the upheaval from the emergence of LIV Golf, the series also follows players who have remained loyal to the PGA Tour, including Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick. On what viewers can expect from the series, Mumm said: “There is a level of pressure that these guys put on themselves, and in the biggest moments it is crushing as a viewer to even experience it, and live through it, and imagine yourself in that person’s shoes.”
The series will be available on Netflix from 15 February.
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
6 Shots Women Find Tough... And How To Play Them
PGA pro Katie Dawkins runs through six treacherous shots and how to play them
By Katie Dawkins • Published
30 Things You Didn't Know About Scottie Scheffler
Get to know the former World No.1 and 2022 Masters champion better...
By Sam Tremlett • Published