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16 Finest Golf Motion pictures To Encourage You On The Course

16 Finest Golf Motion pictures To Encourage You On The Course


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Historically, cinema has been documented as a powerful tool to convey messages across social strata. Combine the inherent appeal of movies with sport, and you’ll find yourself with a heady concoction ready to provide impact and regale audiences. If you’re after some inspiration for the next time you’re on the greens, check out these 16 golf movies, which are living proof that the magic of films can inspire your best swing yet.

Sport is an aspirational endeavour. Across disciplines, numerous biographies have unfolded on the big screen, allowing millions across the globe to soak in compelling scripts. Movies are how aspiring sportsmen and women can put themselves in the shoes of those personalities, allowing them to taste victory even as they chase it themselves.

All journeys do not always have a happy ending, but every episode comes with a life lesson; more importantly, it meets the objective of instilling the desire to dream big.

Over time, golf as a sport has inspired many a cinematic adventure, providing inspiration even to the uninitiated. Whether they have merely paused to take note, or walked out of the theater better informed and inspired, we know one thing is for sure: impact has been made.

To celebrate that, we’ve compiled 16 of the best golf movies to inspire you the next time you find yourself on the green.

16 of the best golf movies to watch before your next tee off

Happy Gilmore (1996)

In this quirky comedy, Adam Sandler‘s character ‘Happy Gilmore’, a failed ice hockey player, discovers his talent for golf while attempting to save his grandmother Gilmore’s (Frances Bay) house. Because of his strong slapshot-style swing and love of causing mayhem on the course, Happy becomes an instant favourite among the crowd. Derick “Chubbs” Peterson (Carl Weathers), a former professional golfer, mentors him along the way. Happy, much to the dismay of mannered golf experts, turns into an unlikely golf hero with his strong driving abilities and foul-mouthed demeanour. A hilarious comedy, this movie highlights the lighter side of golf and is certain to prove entertaining for both casual viewers and golf enthusiasts alike.

The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

best golf movie golf movies films
(Image: The Greatest Game Ever Played/Disney)

This 2005 American biographical golf movie is based on a true story. Blue-collar Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf), wo works as a caddy at the elite Brookline Country Club, battles class prejudice while learning golf, a game reserved only for the aristocracy. Despite the disapproval of his father, Arthur (Elias Koteas), he practices his swing in spare time, earning a few admirers who would go on to help him compete in the 1913 U.S. Open. In a contest against British sensation Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane), the underdog discovers a connection with his childhood hero.

The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)

best golf movie golf movies films
(Image: Legend of Bagger Vance/Dreamworks)

In the midst of the Great Depression, Adele Invergordon, a socialite from Georgia (played by Charlize Theron), organises a high-stakes competition at her struggling family golf course featuring the best players of the time. Once-promising local golfer Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon), whose career and life were derailed by World War I, is called to play. His game is weak — until the eccentric Bagger Vance (Will Smith) offers to help rehabilitate his golf game, returning him to the great golfer he once was.

Tin Cup (1996)

best golf movie golf movies films
(Image: Tin Cup/Warner Bros.)

This 1996 classic features Kevin Costner as the rebellious Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, who forfeits his lucrative professional golf career. The movie centres McAvoy’s time as a golf instructor, where he develops feelings for his newest student, psychiatrist Dr Molly Griswold (Rene Russo). There’s just one problem: she also happens to be the girlfriend of David Simms (Don Johnson), a PGA Tour competitor and McAvoy’s opponent. After being humiliated by Simms at a celebrity golf tournament, McAvoy resolves to make a run for the PGA Tour and Molly’s heart.

Caddyshack (1980)

best golf movie golf movies films
(Image: Caddyshack/Warner Bros.)

Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe), a troubled youngster, works as a caddy at the exclusive Bushwood Country Club to pay for his college education. Attempting to secure votes for a college scholarship designated for caddies, Noonan offers to caddy for Elihu Smails (Ted Knight), a well-known and powerful club member. Ty Webb (Chevy Chase), a wealthy golf expert, gives Danny new-age counsel as he tries to prepare for the stressful Caddy Day golf event.

The Caddy (1953)

best golf movie golf movies films
(Image: The Caddy/Classic Turner Movies)

This American semi-musical comedy-golf film starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Donna Reed is a must-watch for lovers of the classics. Jerry Lewis stars as Harvey Miller, whose father had once been a famous golf professional; however, Miller is afraid of crowds. At the behest of his fiance Lisa (Barbara Bates), he takes on a student, Joe Anthony (Dean Martin), and coaches him. After a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, the duo eventually find themselves pivoting from golf to entertainment.

A Gentleman’s Game (2002)

In this coming-of-age golf movie, Timmy Price (Mason Gamble), a young golf prodigy, is sent off by his father to caddy at an exclusive country club with the hopes of honing his golf skills. At the club, the young man is taught by Foster Pearsea (played by Gary Sinise), a golf teacher with a past. In his time with Pearsea, Timmy comes to learn the hard values that come with privilege.

Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius (2004)

best golf movie golf movies films
(Image: Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius/Columbia Pictures)

Golf aficionados will recognise this movie as a biography featuring one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport: Bobby Jones. Jones (Jim Caviezel), a talented golfer, enjoys a meteoric rise from amateur to globally-recognised professional. He wins an incredible number of events, earning a reputation for his strong personality. However, he finds difficulty balancing his profession with the rest of his life. Upon consulting his devoted wife, Mary, (Claire Forlani), he must grapple with the difficult decision of staying in the game or retiring.

Tommy’s Honour (2016)

best golf movie golf movies films
(Image: Tommy’s Honour/Gutta Percha Productions)

Widely regarded as of the best golf films ever made, this historical drama depicts the lives and careers of pioneering Scottish golfing champions Old Tom Morris (Peter Mullan) and his son Young Tom Morris (Jack Lowden). The film, which also centres their complex relationship, is set in the nineteenth century, and explores their efforts to make golf accessible to all.

Follow the Sun (1951)

(Image: Follow The Sun/20th Century Movies)

This biographical movie is based on the life of golf legend Ben Hogan (portrayed by Glenn Ford). Hogan works as a caddy maintain a connection to the game he adores. He is encouraged to follow his lifelong dream of being a professional golfer by his supportive wife, Valerie. Through diligence and dedication, he rises to the pinnacle of professional golf, only to be near-fatally injured in an auto crash. However, he eventually makes full recovery and resumes his illustrious career.

Pat and Mike (1952)

(Image: Pat And Mike/Classic Turner Movies)

Collegiate athletics professor Pat Pemberton (Katharine Hepburn) competes in a number of golf matches against professional female golfers. Collier Weld (William Ching), her sincere but arrogant fiancé, shows up at the games and distracts her. However, sports manager Mike Conovan (Spencer Tracy) recognises her talent and offers to coach her. Mike eventually realises that Pat stops trying to win when Collier is around, and this realisation fuels his determination to keep them apart – even more so when he begins to develop feelings for her.

From the Rough (2013)

In this inspiring true story, Taraji P. Henson plays Tennessee State University women’s swim coach Catana Starks, who goes on to become the first African American woman to coach a men’s collegiate golf team. Tasked with overseeing the development of the university’s newly-formed golf team, she puts together an internationally diverse squad, all the while facing struggles including disrespect and inadequate funds. Despite rising tensions and the dismissive attitudes of others in the game, Starks’ team of misfits manage to work their way forward to great success.

Seven Days in Utopia (2011)

(Image: 7 Days in Utopia/IMDb)

Based on the book Golf’s Sacred Journey: 7 Days at the Links of Utopia, this movie follows a young golfer Luke Chisholm (Lucas Black), who loses his temper during a competition and crashes his car into retired pro Johnny Crawford’s (Robert Duvall) property. While his car is being repaired, he finds himself stranded in Utopia, where Crawford offers to mentor and assist him in getting back into the game.

Seve: The Movie (2014)

(Image: Seve: The Movie/IMDb)

This moving sports biography tells the story of Hall of Fame golfer Severiano Ballesteros, from his humble upbringing in Spain and his elder brothers’ golfing triumphs to his own rise to prominence in the late 1970s. Despite the efforts of others to stop him at every step in his pursuit of the sport he loved, Seve battled hardships to become the most remarkable and captivating golfer to have played the game.

The Phantom of the Open (2021)

(Image: Phantom of the Open/IMDb)

Inspired by the biographical work of Farnaby and Scott Murray, The Phantom of the Open: Maurice Flitcroft, The World’s Worst Golfer, this endearing true story is one for the ages. The film centres Maurice Flitcroft (played by Mark Rylance), who joined the 1976 Open despite having never played a round of golf. This inspirational and poignant comedic drama highlights how a simple and average man can find success, and provides an encouraging message to viewers; to reach for the stars, no matter what life throws at them.

Swing Away (2016)

See Also

After a meltdown that leads to her suspension, professional golfer Zoe Papadopoulos (Shannon Elizabeth) heads to her grandparents’ Greek hamlet to escape the brutal spotlight of the world of international sports. While at her grandparents’ village, she meets and mentors a 10-year-old girl who aspires to be the next big thing in golf. Along the way, Zoe rediscovers her Greek background, her love of the game, and the undiscovered strength that lives within her.

(Main and featured image: Seve: The Movie/IMDb)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Which is the funniest golf movie?

One of the funniest golf movies of all time is Caddyshack, an1980 American sports comedy starring all-time comic superstars Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight, as well as Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. Its iconic characters and timeless slapstick humor has earned the movie a cult following.

– Which is the oldest golf movie?

The earliest known golf movie is Golf, an American silent comedy from 1922 starring Oliver Hardy and Larry Semon.

– Which is the newest golf film?

The Phantom of the Open was released in July 2021, making it the most recent golf movie to be made. It tells the incredible tale of an ordinary man, Maurice Flitcroft (played by Mark Rylance), who entered the 1976 Open despite having never played a round of golf.

– Name the movie on the man who plays golf?

Over the years, golf has served as an inspiration for a number of notable films. Some of the famous movies that talk about men who play golf include Seven Days in Utopia, From the Rough, A Gentleman’s Game, The Caddy, Tommy’s Honor, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, and more.

Source: Prestige Online

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