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‘Full Swing’ Episode 1 Recap: Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are Frenemies

We recap the first episode of Full Swing, Netflix’s new golf show.

WM Phoenix Open - Final Round Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Full Swing is finally here — golf’s version of F1: Drive to Survive. How can these producers squeeze eight drama-filled episodes out of what many perceive to be a very slow sport? Let’s find out.

Episode 1: Frenemies

The first episode of Full Swing introduces us to two names that even those who aren’t fans of the sport may have heard at one point or another. Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, two top golfers who look frighteningly alike when they have caps on, are best friends. Spieth is the best man in Thomas’ upcoming wedding, and they discuss his speech — or rather, what not to say in his speech. They share a private plane, they grew up together as the top-ranked junior players of the world, they faced off in college, and now they’re both living their wildest dreams on the PGA TOUR.

But how good of friends can you truly be with someone who you compete with week in and week out, year after year? There’s an underlying tension there, as both Thomas and Spieth talk about rooting for each other while also wanting to be better than each other. Thomas had the “little brother” role for his first few years on the Tour and needs to make his own name.

The episode takes viewers through Thomas’ second major win — the 2022 PGA Championship. Thomas hasn’t won a major in five years and is feeling the pressure, and if you’ve forgotten how that PGA Championship ended, let’s just say it was plenty dramatic. We watch Spieth have a couple of bad rounds and struggle through the tournament. Spieth has actually won every major once — except for the PGA Championship, his white whale as he goes for a career Grand Slam.

These are two people who just exude a deep-seated need to be the best and to do what it takes to get there. This episode gives viewers a peek into how the golfers talk to themselves, how fast it can all break down when they lose their confidence after a few bad shots. Can you be best friends with someone who wants to beat you all the time, and vice versa? On the other hand, who else understands you as well as they do?

Check out Episode 1 of Full Swing on Netflix. All episodes out now. You can read our Episode 2 recap here.