Inside Brooks Koepka’s existential crisis | ‘Full Swing’ Ep. 2 recap

Brooks Koepka takes center stage in Episode 2 of "Full Swing."

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The long-anticipated Netflix series “Full Swing” hit streaming devices on Feb. 15 with eight episodes featuring a dozen stars who brought us inside their homes and lives on tour in 2022. So, what did you miss? And what do you need to know? Here, we’ll break down every episode.

Read all of our episode recaps here: Ep. 1 | Ep. 2 | Ep. 3 | Ep. 4 | Ep. 5 | Ep. 6 | Ep. 7 | Ep. 8

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When Brooks Koepka was in his ass-kicking, major-winning prime, the media would chide him for his aloofness. Perception was, he was too stoic, jocky, ungiving. Well, maybe Koepka had been saving himself for Episode 2 of “Full Swing,” because in “Win or Go Home” he slices open his psyche, drops it on the operating table and dissects it for all the world to see. Scottie Scheffler also stars in the show — and his aw-shucks manner and uncanny ability to make the game look easy provide a nice dichotomy to Koepka’s torturedness — but this is Koepka’s moment. The unpacking of his battered ego makes for must-watch TV.

The episode opens at the 2022 WM Phoenix Open — think post-Brooksie-vs.-Bryson but pre-LIV — with Koepka, the defending champion, emerging from the tunnel on the raucous 16th hole. It’s Sunday and he’s deep in the hunt, in search of his first win in a year. Koepka not only can taste the victory but he also needs it, just as other mortals crave friendship or sunshine or oxygen. “Winning, it’s an addiction, man,” Koepka says. Alas, it’s not to be. He misses the green and makes a sloppy bogey, setting up Scheffler for the W and what turns out to be a majestic four-wins-in-eight-weeks run. We don’t see Koepka’s next five starts, but they went like this: MC-T16-MC-T12-T5 — not dreadful results but not exactly four-major-titles-in-three-years, either.

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When we next see Koepka in competition, he’s searching for his game on the emerald fairways of Augusta. After a first-round 75, we’re with him back at his rental house, where he confesses to wife Jena and a friend, “I’m going to be honest with you, I can’t compete with these guys week in and week out.” He certainly couldn’t that week. Another 75 on Friday sends him packing, back to his Jupiter Island manse. Things get only darker still for Koepka over the remainder of the episode as he dishes on his loss of confidence to Jena, his mother, the show’s producers, seemingly anyone who will listen. Of his funk, Koepka says, “I have to figure out how to get the f— out of this thing before it’s too late.”

Not covered in the episode is another big life event that was unfolding in Koepka’s world during this period: his courtship with LIV Golf, with whom Koepka — we now know — signed in June. The only hint that LIV has been on his mind comes in the episode’s final scene when a producer asks Koepka if he has given LIV any thought. Koepka’s non-verbal response — raised eyebrows, sinister laughter — is a delicious piece of foreshadowing. It’s clear he will be taking his talents — and his existential crisis — to a new frontier.    

3 random thoughts

1. Did Koepka really not remember who won the 2022 Masters? Here’s what he said when asked on-camera whether he watched the final round: “This is really bad. I don’t even know who won this year… [long awkward pause]… Scottie Scheffler, right?! Yeah, Scottie, yeah, yeah, yeah. It took me a minute. Shit, that was f—ing bad.” The moment felt a little forced or fabricated, but then again Brooks gonna Brooks. Maybe he really didn’t recall.

2. Who knew Koepka was such a romantic? One of the fun nuggets that emerges in Ep. 2 is the explanation for the “33” printed on his Srixons. Jena loves the number 3, and the couple also got engaged on March 3.

3. Scheffler is a delight. Classic boy next door. (One of his most endearing moments is when mics catch him between the ropes at Augusta complaining about his wife Meredith’s habit of leaving popcorn crumbs in their hotel beds.) It’s staggering that Scheffler can be so easygoing and unassuming off the course and such a killer on it.  

What golf fans might have learned

How much winning actually means to Koepka. Yes, we knew it was important, but he absolutely obsesses over it. “Jena will be talking to me and I’m thinking about my damn golf swing,” he says. By the end of the episode you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. An emperor with no clothes. This BK line really got me: “I go back to the first major I ever won — I’d pay back every dollar I’ve ever made just to have that feeling again for another hour.”

What non-golf fans might have learned

That Koepka is married to a former Miss Georgia Teen USA and star of the classic 2012 film “Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader.” That would be Jena Sims, who plays a big role in this episode. One moment she’s parading poolside in Jupiter or buying her hubbie donuts (“my fat ass don’t need them,” Brooks says), the next she’s dishing life lessons (“I’m a firm believer of going after what you want, and Brooks is the same way”) or revealing how the two met (“I slid into Brooks’ DMs”). It’s a fun peek behind the curtain at one of golf’s power couples.

Jena Sims

1 thing you might have missed

Koepka’s farmers tan. Stewart Cink’s dome officially has some competition for the title of Golf’s Worst Tan Line. In the middle of the episode, as Koepka and Jena are chilling by their pool, we get a peek at Koepka’s bronze arms and, well, pale everything else. For pro golfers, call it a cost of doing business.

Best quote

“Holy f—ing shit.” — Koepka, at the Masters, after he airmails the 12th green. It’s jarring to hear such colorful language at prim and proper Augusta National. But totally relatable, too

Final takeaway

I miss Brooks on the PGA Tour. However you feel about the guy, Ep. 2 was a reminder that his edge makes golf more interesting. Same goes for Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau and at least a couple of the other LIV’ers. It’s more fun when they’re all under the same tent. April can’t get here soon enough.

Alan Bastable

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s executive editor, Bastable is responsible for the editorial direction and voice of one of the game’s most respected and highly trafficked news and service sites. He wears many hats — editing, writing, ideating, developing, daydreaming of one day breaking 80 — and feels privileged to work with such an insanely talented and hardworking group of writers, editors and producers. Before grabbing the reins at GOLF.com, he was the features editor at GOLF Magazine. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the Columbia School of Journalism, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and foursome of kids.