This isn’t the wildest time of the year for big golf news, but Netflix and the PGA Tour dropped a blockbuster announcement recently.

Netflix, which seems to control almost everything that happens on that big screen in your (and my) den, has teamed with a production company to develop a golf documentary that will follow pro players through the 2022 season. The series will mirror the fabulously successful “Formula 1: Drive To Survive,” which has documented the lives of drivers and their teammates in the worldwide open-wheel auto racing series.

This is major news because if properly handled, such a series can have a big impact on the sport. Formula 1 is the most popular form of motorsports around the globe, with the notable exception of the United States. In the U.S. most fans tend to follow NASCAR, IndyCar, and drag racing. The Netflix series, which has given viewers a penetratingly insightful look into the backrooms and backdoor deals of F1, has expanded the sport’s popularity in the U.S. by leaps and bounds (or maybe by laps and laps). Among other things, the spike in interest has increased the likelihood of more F1 races being held in the U.S.

Most of the leading professional golfers have agreed to participate in the new series (although, when push comes to shove, one can guess some of them will be growling at the cameras). Most remarkably, the Masters has signed on. That’s right, Augusta National, which is so protected that it might be considered for NATO membership, has agreed to let roving cameras loose on its landscape.

If things go as planned, viewers are likely to learn some things about golf – and about golfers – that only insiders previously could appreciate. A sport that generally has existed in a protective dome of sorts will be opened up for all – well, all with a Netflix subscription, the price of which is increasing – to see.

Eventually, with continuing success and accelerating viewership, this concept will spread to virtually everything. For example: Inside Curling: The Madcap Secret Lives of Curlers. Umpires: What’s Really Under That Dark Clothing. After The Game: What Cleanup Crews Find in the Grandstands.

And, someday, they’ll eventually get around to sportswriters. 

I’m going to be the first volunteer when that series begins. They can scan my notepad. Nose around inside my laptop bag (but not my laptop). Follow me around as I try to get interviews with people who don’t want to be interviewed. Leave media centers with me four hours after the event ends. Sit through hours of rain with me before an event finally is postponed.

And, most importantly, they get to eat media center food!

Mine might be a short series.

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Mike Hembree

Mike Hembree is a veteran journalist who has covered a variety of sports for numerous publications and websites, including USA Today, Fox Sports, TV Guide and The Greenville (S.C.) News. He has written 14 books and has won numerous writing awards at the national, regional and state levels. He is a seven-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.