What can another Netflix doc tell us about his PGA Tour series

Casper Roode and Rafa Nadal during a tense scene in the Netflix tennis doc, “Break Point.”

Netflix

On the heels of Netflix releasing the trailer for the PGA Tour documentary series last week, sports fans have been given a bunch of goodies, all at once. They were given a date to look forward to: February 15th. They were given a set of characters to think about (Rory McIlroy was a surprising addition). And if they spent any time scrolling around the Netflix interface, they were also given a taste of what “Full Swing” might actually look like.

Enter: breaking point.

Box to Box Films, the production company behind “Full Swing,” is producing a similar series about professional tennis called “Break Point.” The first five episodes dropped after only two days “Full Swing” trailerallowing golf enthusiasts’ imaginations to run free in how the offering of the two individual sports stacks up.

After soaking in the first part of “Break Point,” here are four things we can reasonably expect and get excited about for the release of “Full Swing” next month.

the details

Every major sports broadcast has progressed over the decades, but these days, there are only minor changes in how sports are presented. There are fixed cameras and broadcasters stuck in specific locations. There is only so much you can see. But “Break Point” shows that there are more cameras to use – like the camera for the sky over tennis courts – more space to walk around and tighter and finer details to pay attention to.


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I’m talking about an arc slicing a tennis ball from one corner to the other at the level of the net. The anguished faces of family members when defeat is imminent. The ball stops until it stops on a touchdown shot. Hell, even the slow ripple of the retractable roof is entertaining as it gets in the way of the sun.

“Breaking Point” captures a lot of it in slow motion, which only serves to increase respect for the athletes and awareness of everything that’s shown at full speed on our televisions. We’ll get a lot of slow motion in “full swing”. Player reactions, fan reactions, Scotty Scheffler’s vault shoot at 240 frames per second. The sexy shots, if you will, make the binge an enjoyable experience. This is shroud sports.

the background

For a long time, only players were allowed in the locker rooms on the PGA Tour. Maybe a journalist could talk to them after the tours were over, but for the most part the dressing rooms were sacred. Cans were not allowed in until recently. “Full Swing” will show how interesting (or not so!) locker rooms are.

One of the delicious “breaking point” scenes takes place in a private area outside the locker room at the French Open. Casper Ruud awaits his introduction in the final while Rafa Nadal lurks in the background like a boss figure in a video game. Nadal frantically runs around the room to keep warm. Ruud stays put, perhaps nervously, occasionally observing Nadal’s movements.

Casper Rudd, front left, before his match against Rafa Nadal, back right.

Netflix

When the PGA Tour released a video from Sunday of the Canadian Open of Tony Finau, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy moving around each other in the locker room, it was widely praised for the type of content and reach for golf fans who want to see more. “Full Swing” is bound to share a lot of that. Netflix shared a screenshot of Scheffler in his workout trailer during Tour Championship week. A quick clip from the trailer showed Ian Poulter shooting something into a wooden cupboard. We may find that what happens in these areas is more boring than we previously thought. We may also find that this is exactly where the nerves begin. The only calm before the tumultuous storm of discord.

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Don’t expect all-out gameplay

A necessary aspect of such shows is the time spent on character development. You may know everything there is to know about Scheffler, but viewers new to the scene know only about this guy who won the Masters. Box to Box should tell people Who is the on screen as if they had never seen them before. And with a limited number of rings, there’s only so much time they can spend in, say, the third match of the fourth set in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

“Break Point” focuses heavily on specific players in each episode, such as Nick Kyrgios in the first episode. They spent time at Kyrgios’ childhood home, wandering around his bedroom while his mother went through his broken racquets from past tantrums. In golf, this would be great fodder for understanding players who don’t share everything in press conferences. We’ll get an introduction to Matthew Fitzpatrick’s deep analytical habits. And while we enjoy the insanity with which Sahith Thigala was competing at the Phoenix Open, it would take a lot of time to explain his rise to that moment. The payoff for both of them is a better understanding of what goes on in their heads right before and after victory and failure, and how that affects their families, who have been filmed by the producers all along.

All of this means that there are limitless angles to pick up these sports from, and many of those angles only result in players taking shots or winning points and pumping fists. These shows are about the people first and then the action that defines them. Trust the producers to deliver the good stuff that matters to the things we already know.

Parents and children

The people behind the people play an important role in Break Point. We watch Kyrgios and his best mate break down what it was early in Kyrgios’ playing career as he grappled with mental health struggles and alcohol and drug abuse. We listen as Taylor asks Fritz where he’d be without his girlfriend, then chokes up and redeems his home championship win in front of his dad.

The PGA Tour version of that, so far, is mostly wives and girlfriends who run on the 18th green after the tournament is over. With “Full Swing”, we will better understand the core relationships that keep the world’s best golfers safe. And the people who keep them pay. Or the people they bump into again, mentally disabled after a terrible loss.

Netflix

We’ll find out if Alayna Finau is as cool as she looks on Instagram. We might have Brooks Koepka’s parents talking about raising their four-time winner son. May includes Joel Dahmen’s thoughts on impending fatherhood and a glimpse of his caddy, Gino Bonali, when he comes home on dad duty. It all adds depth to the people we watch play this silly sport so well. Sign us up all the way.

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