Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, CVS  | ‘Full Swing’ Ep. 1 recap

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.


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


If the point of “Full Swing,” Netflix’s new docuseries, is to take us places we’d never go with people we want to know, the first scene makes a lot of sense.

We begin Episode 1, entitled “Frenemies,” in the backseat of a car piloted by Justin Thomas, while Jordan Spieth rides shotgun. Before long we join them on a private jet, cracking cans of beer and flipping cards, $1,000 a pop. The pros — they’re not quite like us.

First, an important note: I was interviewed for the show and if you tune in (hopefully you already have!) you’ll hear me dotted in throughout, so I’m not pretending to be an impartial party. But the team is breaking down these episodes, one by one, and I’m eager to start us off.

The episode — which debuted immediately after the Super Bowl — features two of the show’s biggest stars and establishes that Netflix got serious access in 2022. But if it begins by showcasing the big-money perks of life on Tour, it finishes by highlighting the things that money can’t buy, like major championships. (Okay, those come with a lot of money, too.)

What golf fans might have learned

Justin Thomas needs some help at CVS.

This may have been my favorite scene from Episode 1: Thomas, who’s in the midst of contending at the PGA Championship, stops by a CVS to get some allergy medicine. The only problem? He can’t find the right aisle. And once he finally tracks down the meds, he can’t get the self checkout to cooperate.

The scene gave Netflix credibility; the show isn’t just here to make its stars look like superheroes. It made Thomas relatable, too — he’s probably a little self-conscious in front of the cameras, and everybody knows the feeling of doing battle with those card readers. And as he finally exits the store he runs into a shocked fan, who serves as an avatar for the audience as he wishes Thomas good luck on his way out.

What non-golf fans might have learned

What a “par” is.

I’m seriously, actually. In sitting for show interviews some of the toughest questions I faced were things that I take for granted as someone who has spent a lot of time around golf: What’s a par? What’s a birdie? What’s a “cut”? CBS host Amanda Renner took us through some of the basics in the first episode. If you’re a big golf fan, you might have found those bits tedious. But they served as a reminder that Full Swing is chasing new fans. Hopefully it finds ’em.

3 random thoughts

1. The pilot is at its best when scenes play out for a moment, showing its stars’ humanity. That’s as true when following Thomas into CVS as it is when he breaks down post-round, grasping the reality of his PGA Championship win.

2. Spieth is a terrific actor. We go with him to a commercial shoot and watch how well he takes direction — and how well he interacts with the crew, too. We got more access to Thomas than we did to Spieth, but we got a good sense of the jovial way he interacts with just about everyone, when he’s in his comfort zone.

3. If you want to bring out some emotion from your viewers, bring in Hozier. His rendition of “Swan Upon Leda” that plays as Thomas processes his victory means you might not even make it through the first episode of the show without shedding a tear yourself.

1 thing you might have missed

Full Swing’s format tends to focus on one or two players, but Episode 1 gives a sneak preview of the pros that will comprise the rest of the season, too. That’s the balance the show tries to strike: zooming in while maintaining proper perspective. But if you pay attention, you get to meet the gang!

Best quote

“I wish it would go slower, so you could enjoy it more, you know what I mean?”

So much has gone into Thomas winning — so much — that when the moment comes, he tries to hang onto every single moment. He’s exhausted. He’s emotional. You can feel the hours and the effort that have led him to that place, too. But the climax of winning a playoff in front of thousands of fans was quickly followed by a dark exit from an empty parking lot. We’re left to wonder how it feels for the reality of a major championship to sink in.

Final takeaway

There’s some great stuff in Episode 1, and the show only gets better from here. (I’ll be writing more about it soon, too.) Enjoy!

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine/ The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and he’s the author of 18 in America, which details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living from his car and playing a round of golf in every state.