Tonight at 9:30 TSN will air a documentary on Mike Weir’s 2003 win at the Masters. G4G reached out to Kevin Foley, brother of swing instructor Sean Foley, who produced and directed the program. Foley, an award-winning director, has done plenty of sports productions, but as you’ll hear, the Weir documentary was very important to him. The documentary will air again on Saturday.
G4G: This came together very quickly.
Foley: We only had the green light three days before Riviera. It took a while to get going, but as soon as it did … I never wanted to alter the scope of the original story. Yes, this is a Canadian story, but I think this is a global story and you’ll hear from the guys in the narrative. There are about 20 majors (among those who are interviewed). A lot of the international players wanted to participate. Trevor Immelman said he wanted to think about his response. He wanted a day to think about it. How often does that happen?
G4G: You hadn’t done a lot of golf production before this, with the exception of the instruction DVD for your brother.
Foley: When I started Sportsnet a long time ago I was a producer on the Golf Report. That was 2002. I’ve been dying to tell a story like this – and do it in a certain way. Traditionally golf stories are told with flowery piano and syrupy tone – and I want to tell something a little bit more interesting. This really aspires to the 30 for 30 storytelling with a global list of names.
G4G: What did you make on interviewing Weir for the piece?
Foley: You’ve known Mike for a long time, but as an outside I didn’t know him well. I’d met him, but that was it. The Mike Weir I knew outside of the show and the one we interviewed are two different people. He’s very private and I think the 10 years since Augusta have offered proper reflection. He opened up and was very revealing and very engaging. Our interview was 90 minutes long and offered stories that I had never heard before.
I think Mike’s story is taken for granted. All the next generation of Canadian players say we took him for granted because he was in contention for 10 years – he was always there. People are dismissive of Mike’s current state because the beginning and Mike now are mirrors of one another. They discounted him in the beginning and look what happened. He’s not done. His belief system that was there regardless of what was happening with his game. And in golf that’s really all you need.
G4G: Was there anyone who you couldn’t get into the story?
Foley: We tried to get a lot of the CBS commentators – we worked hard to get Feherty and Nick Faldo, but we couldn’t make it work. Jack Nicklaus recorded a video, but we couldn’t get it in because the specs didn’t line up. I got a way to get Sean in there – I kind of grouped him in with the next generation of players. We’re all kind of part of the impact of what happened ten years ago.
G4G: What do you think people will take away from the documentary?
Foley: Mike’s story is about a blue collar kid from a blue collar town who was written off every step of the way. It is a story you’re wife will like – not just you. We know we’ve got you.