The history of golf at the cinema is checkered at best, for every Caddyshack there’s a Caddyshack 2. However, we have cobbled together the game’s best movies in the following list. In no particular order:
Starring Adam Sandler as a failed hockey player turned professional golfer, Happy Gilmore is a comedy movie that will appeal to anyone. When his grandmother’s house is due to be auctioned off, Sandler discovers he can outdrive any golfer and uses his newfound skills to try and save his grandma’s house. Worth watching for no other reason than to see Bob Barker fight Sandler.
Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius
As its name suggests, this movie is a biographical movie about the greatest amateur player in golf’s history, Bobby Jones. Jones remains the only golfer of any era to win a Grand Slam, which at the time he was playing was the US Open, US Amateur, Open Championship, and British Amateur. The movie stars Jim Caviezel as Jones.
A golf movie and a romantic comedy? Ya, this movie really is both. Starring Kevin Cosner and Rene Russo, Tin Cup tells of golf slacker Roy’s attempt to woo Dr. Molly Griswald, the girlfriend of his rival and professional golfer David. The movie culminates with Roy trying to compete in the U.S. Open against David.
The Greatest Game Ever Played
This movie focuses on the remarkable life of American golfer Francis Ouimet. The events of 1913 come into focus, when Ouimet competed and ultimately won the U.S. Open, becoming the first amateur to win the event. The victory over the world’s best professionals by an unknown working class immigrant and his 10 year old caddie has rightly become the stuff of legend.
A Gentleman’s Game
Considered by some as the worst golf movie ever made (they’re wrong, it’s still Caddyshack 2), this direct to video movie is worth a watch for the so bad it’s good factor. What happens is a coming-of-age story putting the elite against the everyman as a caddie rises to challenge the powerful country club elite. It’s predictable, it’s melodramatic, it was 2002.
The Legend of Bagger Vance
This movie stars Matt Damon and Will Smith, with Damon playing a local hero trying to compete against Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen in an exhibition game. Smith plays Bagger Vance, an enigma who comes to caddy or Junuh. The movie seamlessly combines comedy and drama into a fun movie.
Tommy’s Honour reaches back into the beginnings of professional golf and looks at the complex lives and careers of father and son duo “Old” Tom Morris and “Young” Tom Morris. Both won multiple Open Championships, including several by the junior Morris while competing against his father. The film also looks at issues of class that continue to impact how golf is played and perceived.
Of course Caddyshack had to make the list, as the classic Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray powered comedy about a seemingly normal country club. There are too many plotlines to get into, but surely you’ve seen this movie right? If not, there’s no time like the present.