Netflix's 'Full Swing' is already having a huge impact on PGA Tour TV numbers

September 06, 2023

Keyur Khamar

After months of speculation, the Netflix bump is very real, according to the PGA Tour.

The streaming service released the first season of "Full Swing"—a docudrama that takes viewers behind the scenes of professional golfers' lives on and off the course—on Feb. 15. And data indicates the show had a direct and significant impact on TV ratings for PGA Tour golf this past season.

The tour released a slew of numbers depicting the show's effect. Here are some of the key metrics, first from Nielsen Media Research Analysis of the U.S. only:

• 63 percent of "Full Swing" viewers tuned in to PGA Tour coverage in the two months following the debut.

• 11 percent of "Full Swing" viewers had not tuned into PGA Tour coverage in the six months leading up to the debut, but tuned in after watching the show.

And according to Xcelerant Omnibus:

• 42 percent spend more time watching pro golf on TV after watching "Full Swing."

• 36 percent spend more time engaging with pro golf on social media after watching "Full Swing."

• 27 percent spend more time reading pro golf news/articles after watching "Full Swing."

We particularly like seeing that last figure, but the PGA Tour has to be thrilled with all of the above. And this is what it was hoping for when it entered into a partnership with Netflix after seeing the effects the company's Formula 1 racing show, "Drive to Survive," had on that sport.

"Full Swing" was available in 190 countries and 32 languages. It reached Netflix Top 10 worldwide, including No. 2 in the U.S. and U.K., and No. 1 in Ireland.

Overall, PGA Tour total audience delivery (TAD) was up across the board in 2023 with Golf Channel making the biggest gains (up 5 percent) in the metric. However, the gains were even bigger internationally with total linear viewership up 21 percent across 14 comparable markets, according to the tour.

The making of a second season of "Full Swing" from executive director Chad Mumm is well underway. We don't know the release date yet, but after seeing these numbers, we're pretty confident it will create even more new golf fans.