Which Golf Movie Is For You?

By Hans Kersting, Golf Professional

Last update: Friday, April 7th, 2017

Are you a fan of sports movies?  I would imagine that many of you have enjoyed a sports movie at one time, or another.  When I think of some of the best sports movies, they generally feature baseball and boxing.  From Bull Durham to Rocky Balboa, there have been some classic movies throughout the years.  But how about golf movies?  There are 5 that stand above the rest.  This begs the question, does your favorite golf movie say anything about the type of golfer that you are?

In no particular order, the 5 golf movies that come to mind are “Caddyshack,” “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” “Tin Cup,” “Happy Gilmore,” and “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

Every serious golfer has probably seen “Caddyshack” at some point in their life.  Bill Murray made killing gophers a sport, and Rodney Dangerfield created that eccentric member that makes all country club managers squirm in their chairs.

The movie is less about golf, and more about the hilarious characters created by some of the finest actors at the time.  If you are fan of this movie, I would imagine that you enjoy a friendly wager on the course, followed by cocktails and laughs with your group after the round.

“The Greatest Game Ever Played” tells the true story of a caddy named Francis Ouimet.  Ouimet famously won the 1913 U.S. Open in a playoff against golf’s greatest player at the time, Harry Vardon.  This is a great movie, and is geared to those golfers who are fascinated by the history and tradition of golf.

I remember when “Tin Cup” first came out in 1996.  At the time, I had always viewed Kevin Costner as a baseball movie actor.  However, after seeing this movie, I saw him as a guy who could portray both a baseball player and a golfer.

The movie is a fun story about a golfer who never quite reached his potential, and is convinced by those around him to give it one more try.

He and Cheech Marin create a player-caddy relationship that is hard not to root for.  Fans of this movie may be players who always felt they had a talent, but have underachieved in their success on the course.

Oddly enough, “Happy Gilmore” also came out in 1996.  This movie is nothing more than a funny depiction of an Adam Sandler character who goes from hockey player to golfer, and creates havoc along the way.

From his duel with Shooter McGavin, to his fight with Bob Barker, “Happy Gilmore” is a fun movie that is sure to make most of us laugh.  If you are a fan of this movie, it doesn’t say much about your golf game, but it does say that you enjoy movies that make you smile and laugh.

Finally, we’ve got “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”  Matt Damon and Will Smith star in this movie that deals more with the mystique of golf.

Will Smith is a mystical figure who helps coach Matt Damon through various visualization and mental techniques.  If you are a fan of this movie, you are likely one who has spent time focusing on your mental game and visualization techniques to improve your game.

Whichever of these movies you are a fan of, it says a lot about the game of golf that so many movies can be made to satisfy the characteristics of all golfers.  Just like no two shots are alike, no two golfers are alike.  If you haven’t seen each of these movies, try to find time to watch them.

They are all good in their own way.

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Which Golf Movie Is For You?

iStock image/Artwork by Erik Luna

Are you a fan of sports movies?  I would imagine that many of you have enjoyed a sports movie at one time, or another.  When I think of some of the best sports movies, they generally feature baseball and boxing.  From Bull Durham to Rocky Balboa, there have been some classic movies throughout the years.  But how about golf movies?  There are 5 that stand above the rest.  This begs the question, does your favorite golf movie say anything about the type of golfer that you are?

In no particular order, the 5 golf movies that come to mind are “Caddyshack,” “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” “Tin Cup,” “Happy Gilmore,” and “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

Every serious golfer has probably seen “Caddyshack” at some point in their life.  Bill Murray made killing gophers a sport, and Rodney Dangerfield created that eccentric member that makes all country club managers squirm in their chairs.

The movie is less about golf, and more about the hilarious characters created by some of the finest actors at the time.  If you are fan of this movie, I would imagine that you enjoy a friendly wager on the course, followed by cocktails and laughs with your group after the round.

“The Greatest Game Ever Played” tells the true story of a caddy named Francis Ouimet.  Ouimet famously won the 1913 U.S. Open in a playoff against golf’s greatest player at the time, Harry Vardon.  This is a great movie, and is geared to those golfers who are fascinated by the history and tradition of golf.

I remember when “Tin Cup” first came out in 1996.  At the time, I had always viewed Kevin Costner as a baseball movie actor.  However, after seeing this movie, I saw him as a guy who could portray both a baseball player and a golfer.

The movie is a fun story about a golfer who never quite reached his potential, and is convinced by those around him to give it one more try.

He and Cheech Marin create a player-caddy relationship that is hard not to root for.  Fans of this movie may be players who always felt they had a talent, but have underachieved in their success on the course.

Oddly enough, “Happy Gilmore” also came out in 1996.  This movie is nothing more than a funny depiction of an Adam Sandler character who goes from hockey player to golfer, and creates havoc along the way.

From his duel with Shooter McGavin, to his fight with Bob Barker, “Happy Gilmore” is a fun movie that is sure to make most of us laugh.  If you are a fan of this movie, it doesn’t say much about your golf game, but it does say that you enjoy movies that make you smile and laugh.

Finally, we’ve got “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”  Matt Damon and Will Smith star in this movie that deals more with the mystique of golf.

Will Smith is a mystical figure who helps coach Matt Damon through various visualization and mental techniques.  If you are a fan of this movie, you are likely one who has spent time focusing on your mental game and visualization techniques to improve your game.

Whichever of these movies you are a fan of, it says a lot about the game of golf that so many movies can be made to satisfy the characteristics of all golfers.  Just like no two shots are alike, no two golfers are alike.  If you haven’t seen each of these movies, try to find time to watch them.

They are all good in their own way.

About the author

Hans Kersting

Hans Kersting, Golf Professional