Joel Dahmen’s fame outpaces his stats. The PGA tour pro has one win and 22 top-10 finishes—impressive feats to be sure—but it was his turn on Netflix’s “Full Swing” that made him a household name. Partly for his relatable, self-effacing nature, and also because he relayed a couple of now-famous moments from last year: taking his shirt off at the 16th hole of the WM Phoenix Open, and slamming a few seltzers between successful qualifying rounds at the U.S. Open.
More recently, Dahmen has teamed up with The Finnish Long Drink, a brand that introduced the wildly popular long drink to U.S. consumers. In Finland, long drinks are traditionally made with gin and sparkling citrus, and served on tap at bars all over the country. It was born in 1952, when the government needed to create a drink that was both delicious and quick to serve during the Summer Olympics in Helsinki. It has since become Finland’s top-selling drink.
Dahmen was the face of The Finnish Long Drink’s Pantsdrunk for Cancer campaign. Kalsarikännit (or “pantsdrunk”) is the Finnish tradition of drinking at home while lounging in your underwear. So, the campaign donated $10 for each social media post that depicted someone enjoying a long drink sans pants.
Dahmen was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2010, so it’s a cause that hits close to home. He and his wife Lona started the Dahmen Family Foundation to raise funds for charities benefiting children and families through golf. The campaign is over now, but people can still donate to the foundation.
I caught up with Dahmen while he was in Austin to participate in the Shortie’s Classic, an annual nine-hole golf tournament at the Butler Pitch & Putt, a course that’s about as far removed from a tour-ready track as you can get. Dahmen talked about his new partnership with The Finnish Long Drink and life after “Full Swing.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
How did you get involved with the Finnish Long Drink?
“After Full Swing, the Long Drink contacted me about partnering together. I was already familiar with the brand, and I’ve always liked it because it tastes great. And you know how people say Finland is the happiest country on earth? Well, I like to think I’m the happiest golfer on tour, so it just made sense.”
Tell me about the Dahmen Family Foundation and its connection to your recent Pantsdrunk campaign.
“It’s always nerve wracking to take your pants off, but being pantsdrunk for cancer is a good cause. Basically, people would take a pic with their pants off while drinking Long Drink, and [the brand] donated money for each post. That raised a lot of money for the foundation, and that goes to junior golf clinics and families struggling with cancer. So, to help out and donate a bunch of money was awesome.”
When you’re getting all Pantsdrunk, are there any rules about keeping your shirt on?
“If your pants are off, you should probably keep your shirt on. I suggest keeping one article of clothing on at all times. After my recent shirtless episode, I don’t think any more of my clothes will be coming off on the golf course. I learned my lesson.”
Which Long Drink expression is your favorite?
“I’m a big peach guy. They rolled that out this summer, and I was loving the peach. I hope they make that a full-time drink, but otherwise my go-to is probably the sugar-free.” [Peach was a limited-time flavor for the summer; it’s possible it will come back, but there’s no word yet on its return.]
You famously drank a bunch of other canned beverages during the 2022 U.S. Open qualifying round. Has Long Drink been your secret weapon in any tournaments since then?
“Not during a tournament, but I do like to have a few drinks on the golf course, especially during the hot summer heat of Arizona. It’s refreshing and I took a real liking to it.”
Can we expect to see you on the next season of “Full Swing”?
“Yes, the Joel and Geno shitshow will be back for season two. I’m not sure how much though; we have no editing rights, so I’m not sure yet, but we will be there somewhere, somehow.”
How have things changed for you since that season aired?
“I was a middle of the road PGA player, a journeyman. But having that show become so popular was something I wasn’t really prepared for. I didn’t know they’d give Geno and me our own episode. Life really changed after that. Now I get recognized more often, and I play in more featured groups, and it’s given me some new opportunities, like what I’m doing with Long Drink.
“Most golfers get famous for being good at golf and winning majors, but I got famous from being on Netflix. It’s an adjustment, but a really fun ride.”