Behind The Scenes

The wild story of how ‘Full Swing’ captured that incredible Ryder Cup captain’s picks scene

March 07, 2024

The second season of “Full Swing” is out, and there are plenty of takes about the Netflix golf docuseries. Our Shane Ryan reviewed all eight episodes and was also part of Golf Digest’s special episode of The Loop podcast that included five of the show’s biggest stars. But it would be hard to find someone who didn’t think the most drama-packed part of the season was the scene in which U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson calls the golfers he’s decided to put on the team.

There are two main reasons for this. One, the show does a great job of explaining how much the Ryder Cup means to golfers throughout the entire season, and builds the intrigue around who will get those coveted captain’s picks in Episode 6, which ends on a total cliffhanger. But because you can binge Netflix shows, you can jump right into Episode 7 to see what happens.

Which brings us to the second reason. Even though golf fans know what’s going to happen (Poor Keegan Bradley), it’s still an incredible scene. And that’s because of how it’s shot. There are cameras on Johnson, but also on those receiving the calls, giving viewers an amazing behind-the-scenes look at how this all went down. And it’s even more amazing when you hear the crazy story of how it was captured on film from one of the show's executive producers, Chad Mumm.

“The day that we shot Zach’s captain’s picks was the most stressful day of the entire history of the show,” Mumm told Golf Digest when we got to point the cameras at him for a video below.


This, of course, was because of all that build up. The season’s arc leads to the Ryder Cup and the selection process, so not having a proper payoff would be seen as a big letdown to viewers. Oh, and the fact that those involved were scattered all over the country.

“It was a wild amount of coordination,” Mumm said. “We had three different film crews in three different time zones. I’m out here in L.A. and it’s six in the morning as this is all going down. I felt like I was in a war room or something because we’re looking at texts from everybody and everything’s firing back and forth and we’re hopeful, and we’re trying to get it. And this whole thing happened in about a 25-minute period.”

“We had multiple episodes hinging on this happening,” Mumm added. “And our kind of mantra is if it’s not on camera, then it didn’t happen.”

Well, fortunately for golf fans, they got it all on camera. Well, almost all of it. Justin Thomas threw the crew a bit of a curveball. Here’s how Mumm tells the entire story of that stressful day:

Amazing stuff. Although, again, poor Keegan Bradley. That last-minute call from Chad himself had Bradley convinced he was going to be on the receiving end of a “YES” call. But perhaps, that made the heartbreaking scene even more powerful.

“It’s just a real, emotional moment that you can’t script," Mumm said, "and what is amazing about documentaries."

No arguments here.