Report: Netflix to produce PGA Tour docuseries with plenty of behind-the-scenes extras

·2 min read

Is it time for “Hard Knocks” to meet firm greens?

Fans who love the NFL-based HBO series are bound to fall for a new PGA Tour behind-the-scenes documentary series slated for a Netflix debut sometime after the 2021-22 season is completed, according to a report from Golf.com.

The new series, to be created in the mold of Netflix’s Formula 1 show “Drive to Survive,” will follow a number of the world’s top players away from the course. According to the report, numerous negotiations are still underway in finalizing the cast, but unlike Hard Knocks—which largely focuses on players struggling to make NFL rosters—a significant chunk of the top 20 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings will be represented in the new series.

Of course, this feeds perfectly into the Player Impact Program originally reported on by Golfweek, under which players are vying for a chunk of a $40 million pool based on a criteria the Tour put in place at the beginning of 2021.

The PIP program includes:

  • Their popularity in Google Search.

  • Their Nielsen Brand Exposure rating, which places a value on the exposure a player delivers to sponsors through the minutes they are featured on broadcasts.

  • Their Q Rating, which measures the familiarity and appeal of a player’s brand.

  • Their MVP Index rating, which calibrates the value of the engagement a player drives across social and digital channels.

  • Their Meltwater Mentions, or the frequency with which a player generates coverage across a range of media platforms.

The Tour is employing an algorithm to turn the values from each metric into Impact Scores for every player and a ranking of those scores before determining the bonus amount due. That’s why many players would be eager to jump aboard.

But why would the Tour be interested in partnering with Netflix on such a project? Likely due to the success of the F1 series, which helped produce a surge in the sport’s popularity. According to a study done earlier this year by Nielsen, the series was a major reason the circuit has seen a sudden influx of new viewers and fans.

In 2005, the reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” created similar buzz for MMA.

And most important for the PGA Tour, the new audience could be a young one. While much of golf’s traditional TV audience is older than 35, the recent surge in F1 fans largely came from those between the ages of 16 and 35, many of whom had watched the Netflix series.

According to the report, Rickie Fowler’s Main Event Productions has been part of the project since the early stages and will partner with Vox Media, as well as Box to Box Films, which produced “The Drive to Survive.”