Here’s a look at eight of the best golf films ever made, from the hilarious to the inspiring to the emotional.
8 Of The Best Golf Films
Golf is one of the most dramatic, emotionally testing sports there is and it has always made a good subject for fiction and film. Here are some of the best golfing films ever made.
Danny Noonan is an impoverished caddy at stuffy Bushwood Country Club, but he has dreams to achieve more in life and firstly to get into college.
In his quest to make a life for himself, he meets a cast of incredible characters who have become embedded in the in the golfing psyche.
Ty Webb: Played by Chevy Chase, he’s the super-wealthy son of one of Bushwood’s founders.
He’s a superb golfer but only measures himself against other players by height.
He hunts dolphin and knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line in the opposite direction.
Judge Smails: Another Bushwood founder and the epitome of American country club elitism.
Briefly owns a sloop, plays golf with Dr Beeper, uncle of Spalding and… this is important… He NEVER slices.
Al Czervik – Played by Rodney Dangerfield, he’s a real estate developer who has an eye on buying Bushwood.
He has a simply enormous golf bag and a putter given to him by Einstein.
Carl Spackler – Bill Murray plays the assistant greenkeeper at Bushwood.
He’s developed his own type of grass, has a pathological hatred for gophers and lives in a shed.
Adam Sandler at his very best. He is thwarted ice hockey player Happy Gilmore who discovers he has the ability to hit a golf ball 400 yards.
In an effort to win back his grandma’s house he, reluctantly, embarks on a career as a pro golfer.
On his way to achieving his goal he has to overcome, Jaws, Shooter McGavin, Bob Barker and an alligator.
Seve the Movie
A thrilling and emotional re-telling of the life of Spanish golfing legend Seve Ballesteros.
It’s a great mix of dramatic recreations and archive footage and it does the great man justice.
Kevin Kostner plays Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, a former prodigy who ends up running a driving range.
McAvoy decides to try and regain his golfing confidence by seeking help from Rene Russo (at least the clinical psychologist she plays in the film) and attempting to qualify for the U.S. Open.
He does pretty well until the last hole where, tied for the lead, he keeps shelling balls into the water and makes a 12.
Sorry – spoiler alert above….
The Greatest Game Ever Played
Adapted from the excellent book by Mark Frost, the film describes the events leading up to and during Francis Ouimet’s incredible 1913 U.S. Open victory.
Ouimet came through a playoff against Harry Vardon and Ted Ray to take the title, albeit in slightly less dramatic circumstances than portrayed in this version.
Based on Kevin Cook’s book of the same name, this film tells the tragic story of Young Tom Morris and his legendary father Old Tom.
Most golfers know the story and it translates well on to the screen.
Hilarious “mockumentary” by ClubProGuy where over a full half hour, he and others describe an incredible run on the Mexican mini tour back in 1998 when he made eight, yes eight straight pars!
If you haven’t seen it, watch it, it’s very, very funny.
Follow the Sun
Going back in time a bit for this one but it’s something of a gem that’s worth discovering.
Released in 1951, it’s a fictionalisation of the life of Ben Hogan, telling the story of his horrific car crash in 1949 and heroic efforts to bounce back to win the 1950 U.S. Open.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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