Golf Movies

The best golf movies of all time include Happy Gilmore, Tin Cup, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Caddyshack, The Greatest Game Ever Played and Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius.

The Legend of Bagger VanceĀ 

The Legend of Bagger Vance is a movie that’s not just about golf; it’s about life.

Based on the novel of the same name written by Steven Pressfield, The Legend of Bagger Vance was directed by Robert Redford and stars Matt Damon, Will Smith and Charlize Theron.

The story

Rannulph Junuh, played by Matt Damon, is the all American golfing hero who has it all, including wealthy girlfriend, Adele, played by Charlize Theron.

Junuh goes off to fight in World War One, survives but it destroys him.

He returns to Savannah, becomes a bum, a drunk.

The great depression results in the suicide of Adele’s father and she figures out a way to pay off debts to keep her father’s golf course.

She stages a golf match between the greatest golfers of the time; Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen and Rannulph Junuh.

Junuh refuses to play telling everyone he’s ‘lost his swing’ but after some female persuasion from Adele he goes to hit some golf balls.

He’s hitting balls in the dark all over the place when a mysterious stranger called Bagger Vance walks towards him from the darkness offering to caddy for him and help him regain his ‘authentic swing’ to play in the golf match.

Now, here’s where it gets philosophical and even religious.

Bagger Vance is based on the Hindu god called Bhagavan.

See the resemblance in the names ?

And Rannulph Junuh is not a golfer; he’s based upon a warrior called Arjuna who is helped by Bhagavan as he faces the moral dilemma of going to war.

The story is told through the eyes and voice of a 12 year old boy who tells us the story of the greatest golf match ever and how Rannulph finds his authentic swing and closes with the film’s message.

Seems like yesterday I used to see old guys like me and wonder why they still bothered with this crazy game.

But it doesn’t matter.

As Bagger once said, “It’s a game that can’t be won, only played.”

And so I play.

I play on.

I play for the moments yet to come, looking for my place in the field.

Would golfers like this film ?

Good golfers will love this film; whilst some of the golf swings don’t look so great, once you get over that the golf match is great and the finale is worth it.

Golf is a thinking man’s game and the more you learn about Bagger Vance and read the novel you will get really deep into the philosophical side of the game and life. 

Happy Gilmore

The Story

There’s numerous examples of professional golfers who peak by winning a golf major and they never reach that peak or win again.

Well this is Adam Sandler’s greatest movie; it all went downhill, pardon the pun, after this.

Happy Gilmore is a hopeless hockey player who lives with his grandmother.

Her house gets repossessed and he needs to raise $270,000 to get the home back.

After an altercation with the removal men, we discover Happy can hit a golf ball 400 yards and so begins his journey into playing golf to earn the money to pay for his grandmother’s house.

Let the madness begin as Happy gets coached by Carl Weathers and gate crashes the tour and meets his arch enemy Shooter McGavin.

Will golfers like this movie ?

This is a movie for all the family or a lad’s beer night.

There’s nothing serious about it, just pure fun.

Even today, golfers still attempt the Happy Gilmore shot and when my son went to golf lessons as a kid the coach ends the session with a Happy Gilmore.

Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius

The story

Being a Scot I never knew much about Bobby Jones other than by name.

After watching The Legend of Bagger Vance I dived into the life of Bobby Jones.

That’s when I realised the impact Jones had on the game of golf.

And that’s what this biographical drama attempts to tell; his rise from obscurity to becoming a legend and holding the Grand Slam; all 4 majors at the same time.

What’s even more amazing about Jones was that he remained an amateur whilst studying to become a lawyer.

Jones retired from tournament golf after winning the Grand Slam realising there’s more to life than golf.

However, Jones’s legacy was to create the Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters; one of golf’s 4 majors.

Bobby Jones is played by Jim Caviezel; who fittingly played Jesus Christ in The Passion of the Christ.

Will golfers like this movie ?

It’s 10 years since I’ve watched the film and I’ve never felt inclined, until writing this, to watch it again.

The movie is a tribute to golfing legend Bobby Jones and one every weekend golfer should cross off their bucket list.

Caddyshack

The story

Caddyshack is a zany comedy directed by Harold Ramis and stars Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray.

And it is Bill Murray who made this movie a cult classic and a box office hit.

Set in a golf country club, Danny caddies for Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) but he’s really trying to win the caddy golf tournament and golf scholarship.

I won’t spoil it for you but during the main golf match, the green keeper, played by Bill Murray, is hell bent on destroying the gophers who are damaging the golf.

Will golfers like this movie ?

Another boy’s night in movie, full of laughs; just whatever you do, don’t watch Caddyshack II; it’s awful.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

The story

This 2005 movie stars Shia LaBeouf who plays the role of Francis Ouimet; a true story about the first amateur golfer to win the US Open by beating against Harry Vardon.

This is a father versus son conflict story; your dad wanting you to quit your dreams and get a real job.

And it’s also a caddy turned golfer story.

Upon reflection, what a coup to see a teenage Shia LaBeouf play a top golfer.

The way the film is shot his golf swing is believable.

Will golfers like this movie ?

Worth watch if you like a little drama and good finale to winning your first major.

Tin Cup

The story

Tin Cup is last on my list because I honestly don’t remember the plot.

I recall Kevin Costner dunking it in a water hazard.

I mean who shots 83 in the first round of the US Open and is still in contention in the last 9 holes of the last day.

I honestly prefer Costner in Field of Dreams.

Will golfers like this movie ?

It’s not for me; but I guess the morale of the story is don’t quit even when you’re gonna run up a 12 on your scorecard.

Conclusion

There’s a few films I’d still like to see such as Golf In the Kingdom and I’ll probably rewatch Tommy’s Honour; all about the old and young Tom Morris.