‘Full Swing’ favorite Joel Dahmen turned things around long before strong Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Joel Dahmen would like all of those who’ve gone out of their way to show him support and assure him, “You got this, Joel,’’ that he’s doing just fine, thank you.

Dahman didn’t win the Players Championship on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass.

But he did have a pretty darn good week after shooting an opening-round 74 to close 67-67-68 and finish at 12-under par, tied for 11th, eight shots behind winner Scottie Scheffler.

A year ago, that result might have felt like a victory for Dahmen — minus the gaudy trophy and first-place check.

After Dahmen’s round and the Players were finished, his caddie and best friend, Geno Bonnalie, wondered aloud what the power of a successful week like this might do for his player.

“This was the first time in a long time I’ve seen him have fun on the golf course, and this is the first time I’ve seen Joel Dahmen back to hitting a golf ball at a tournament like this,’’ Bonnalie told The Post. “It was fun to watch. Man, it was like a video game out there. Maybe this is the week that really puts him over the edge to the other side.’’

If you’ve watched the Netflix series, “Full Swing,’’ which featured Dahmen in Episode 3 of the current season, you feel like you’ve gotten to know him — and you might be surprised he was even in the elite field this week at all.

A year after attaining more fame than he ever imagined from being featured on the first season of the series, depicted as a personable up-and-comer, Dahmen’s 2023 story unexpectedly morphed into a sobering, if sad, one.

At least according to the Netflix narrative.

Dahmen struggled for the better part of last season, most notably during a June-July stretch when he missed five cuts in a row and had an emotional come-to-Jesus moment with Bonnalie.

Dahman is an endearing character. He’s self-deprecating, he’s relatable and he’s real.

“Somebody’s got to be the 70th-best golfer in the world; it might as well be me,’’ Dahmen said in the first season of “Full Swing’’.

He’s now the 202nd-ranked golfer in the world, yet he appreciates that he probably has more fans than anyone in the sport ranked so low.

His mother, Jolyn, died from cancer when Dahmen was in college. Dahmen later survived testicular cancer. He’s never been the most talented or flashiest player in the game, and is aware of his status in the game.

All of these things have made him appreciative of everything he has, though his depiction in this season’s “Full Swing’’ might make you think he was on his way off the deep end.

“I don’t think I was ever in that bad of a spot,’’ Dahmen said. “It’s TV, right? There were a rough few weeks, but it wasn’t as rough as it was made out to be. But I’m in a much better head space. The [public] response has been great. Everyone was rooting for me after Season 1 and now … I’m like, ‘Hey guys, I’ve actually been fine since August. That was a long time ago.’

Joel Dahmen had a public crisis of confidence on the Netflix series “Full Swing” before finishing tied for 11th at The Players Championship. David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

“Season 2 came out like two weeks ago, so people think [the struggle] is right now and they’re like, ‘Joel, you got this,’ and I’m like, ‘No, I’ve been fine for a long time.’ I know my golf hasn’t been that great this year, but it’s like … I’m back to being who I am and enjoying playing golf on the PGA Tour.’’

The tipping point for Dahmen, which was featured prominently on the show, was Bonnalie, his best friend since grade school, delivering some harsh truths to him.

Bonnalie pushed Dahmen to seek a mental coach of sorts to help drag him out of the self-doubt doldrums and negativity.

Dahmen resisted … until the two had a poignant conversation that led to tears from both of them on a plane ride from the Rocket Mortgage to John Deere in July.

Joel Dahmen bounced back from an opening-round 74 to vault up the leaderboard and finish 12-under par. Getty Images

“We were coming off a charity outing, there were beverages consumed, but that’s sometimes when you have the realest conversations,’’ Dahmen recalled of the flight. “We were coming off Detroit and we both didn’t want to go to the next event, John Deere, and he was like, ‘Look, if you don’t figure this thing out … ’

“From that day on, I knew that I had to go back to being Joel and enjoying golf. I knew I needed to stop being a butthead to Geno and to myself.’’

Dahmen acknowledged the strength it took from Bonnalie to be so forceful with him.

“That’s a really hard spot, because I’m still his boss, so how much ass can you kick before I push back as a boss,’’ Dahmen said. “It’s a delicate line for him.’’

Joel Dahmen started to make his turnaround after a tearful conversation with his caddie and best friend Geno Bonnalie. Getty Images

Bonnalie called it “really difficult, because we’re not only best friends, but he’s my boss,’’ adding, “It was a conversation we would have had whether we were there by ourselves or there were cameras there. It was very emotional.’’

Dahmen, in August, sought the help of Chris Bertram, who’s more of a performance coach than a psychologist. Bertram, whom PGA Tour pro Nick Taylor recommended, works with the Canadian national snowboarding team.

“He gets snowboarders to do wild and crazy things and commit to doing back flips off 30-foot jumps, so he can probably figure out how to help a guy hit a 7-iron when there’s green grass ahead of him,’’ Dahmen said.

Dahmen gets borderline emotional when he talks about what Bonnalie has meant to him.

“I don’t know if you can really characterize it,’’ Dahmen said. “He’s one of the most special people in my life. He officiated our wedding. He’s been a big brother to me (Bonnalie is four years older). He cares about me as a human more than any golf shot I’ll hit.’’

Dahmen, too, is moved by the support he’s gotten from the golfing public.

“Everyone is rooting me on and encouraging me out there, saying, ‘Joel, you got this … Joel, we believe in you,’ ’’ he said. “And I’m like, ‘If this random Joe Schmo is believing in me, I might as well believe in myself, too.’ ’’

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