Who is Joel Dahmen? The star of Netflix’s ‘Full Swing’ episode 4
The fourth installment of the Netflix docuseries is out and is one of the season’s best episodes.
Netflix’s ‘Full Swing’ docuseries is a hit. And it is mainly because it allows people to see another side of golf that many are not privy to. Although the series’ last three episodes focus on PGA and Master’s winners, this latest installment is somewhat different.
This time the giant steaming service shared the limelight with a guy who’s only won one PGA tour, Joel Dahmen. His golfing career is less impressive if compared to the other professional golf players. But Joel is just a very liked guy around the golf scene. On the tour circle, Joel is just your average guy who is really good.
Who is Joel Dahmen? And why did Netflix dedicate one episode to him?
Joel, as mentioned by his fellow professional golfers, is the guy that everyone likes, he is not your average golfer. Dahmen grew up in Washington, where he won two state titles and a scholarship to the University of Washington.
Unfortunately, Joel’s mom got struck with cancer, she would lose her life to it, an event that altered his life. He began drinking and lashing out; after one year at WU the young star flunked out of school after partying too much. He turned his sight to the PGA CANADA tour, where he turned Pro. As luck would have it, Joel was diagnosed with testicular cancer when things seemed to be going okay.
“I think myself having cancer probably changed my life for the better. To not take life for granted, try your best and do all the right things. Maybe a blessing in disguise.” Said Joel after beating the disease.
Perhaps no one believed in Joel more than his caddie and childhood friend Geno Bonnalie. His buddy Geno lived down the nearby boarding town. Bonnalie is a couple of years older than Joel. The Washington native tells the story of how Geno would come and pick him up when they were young to go play some golf. When they both graduated from school, Dahmen went to WU while Geno became a golf scout.
When Bonnalie saw how good his friend was, he wrote a letter asking him to let him be his caddie. A letter that Joel reads often and can’t stop from crying. He recounts the story of how the first two years of pro status, he could only pay his buddy $87 bucks. Luck would come, and Joel was able to get a tour win and $450,000, a lifeline for him and his buddy. Now they joke about how if Joel can get a couple of wins, he can make a million dollars in three days.
For this pro golfer, there is no way he will be top 10, a thing that his buddy Geno tells him to stop saying. But for Joel, someone has to be the 70th-ranked player in the world, and it might as well be him. He says this as he opens a beer and takes a swig.