The Full Swing documentary from Netflix comes to a conclusion with episode eight. The year’s most important and compelling figure is the focus of the season finale, even though he signed on late to participate in the show.

Rory McIlroy was a late sign-on to the show but he is a fitting end to the season for this highly anticipated show. For more in-depth discussion, Andy Johnson, Joseph LaMagna, and Brendan Porath are recapping and reviewing each episode in podcast form, sharing insights on what they learned about the tours and their stars, what they found amusing, what worked, and what flopped. You can subscribe to the “Full Swing Thoughts” podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all other major podcast platforms.

Episode 8 Synopsis:

The season one finale of Full Swing features a late but critical addition to the show, Rory McIlroy. When the docuseries was first announced, McIlroy was a notable omission from the strong list of players agreeing to participate. But as the season went along, and so much footage of him was captured at significant events where he kept playing well, the McIlroy storyline started to fill out. Then he agreed to be in the show at the Tour Championship, the final event of the regular season.

While it was a late add, there’s certainly enough to produce a strong episode on Rory, the “main character” in golf last year. Rory gives his voice to the battle between the PGA Tour and LIV, and what motivated him last year to take on such a leadership role. There are some behind-the-scenes moments, like in player dining at the Tour Championship talking to the PGA Tour’s Andy Pazder about some of the players being upset or blindsided by the changes announced following the Delaware meeting. He’s also seen laughing at a story about Patrick Reed going to play an Asian Tour event for points and still dropping in the OWGR.

Tiger is an animating character in this profile, as Rory narrates the influence he’s had on him since childhood and into the last year when they really bonded together to help “save” the PGA Tour. It’s a good framing of Rory, with Sean Foley narrating his rise from junior golf into the No. 1 player in the world. Footage of his heartbreaking loss at the Open is followed by his comeback win in Atlanta, all within the context of his leadership in the fight against LIV. Where the episode may fall short is the skimpy Cam Smith coverage during a stretch when he bested Rory at  St. Andrews and then wrestled with the LIV questions while contending for the FedExCup. Overall, it’s a fine season finale and we’d watch another episode tackling McIlroy in season two.

Favorite Quote(s):

“Fuck you, Phil!” Rory says this for the cameras during an amusing scene as the players get massages in the East Lake Clubhouse. He wonders if the quote will make it in the show when another player in the room, we think Scottie Scheffler, says “Oh I guarantee” that will make it.

“I think once you take that weight of expectations off your shoulders, you can start to play freely.” This was from Rory in reference to a disastrous start in Atlanta that immediately put him nine shots behind Scheffler in Atlanta. He then charged back over the next four days. The quote is revealing about Rory and his continued pursuit of a fifth major.

Favorite Moment:

“We’ve all just gotten a little soft.” That’s what Rory tells Pazder about a conversation with Patrick Cantlay, who seemed bothered or blindsided by the Tour changes announcing more “mandatory” events for the top players. You can see Rory struggling trying to corral his colleagues while also coming to conclusions that they need to suck it up and get out there more together to improve the product.

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