Golf is a sport that you can pick up at a young age and play for the rest of your life. This is one of the reasons it has become so popular today. When you mix the sport with some Hollywood icons, you get some legendary movies. Here are my top five golf films of all time.
5. “The Legend of Bagger Vance” (2000)
Starting off the list is a film about why an old man who has heart problems continues to play the game of golf. Hardy Greaves (Jack Lemmon) tells the story of Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon). Junuh served in World War I, but disappeared from his home in Georgia after.
When his hometown club hosts a $10,000 four-round tournament with golf greats Bobby Jones (Joel Gretsch) and Walter Hagen (Bruce McGill), a mysterious Bagger Vance (Will Smith) finds Junuh to convince him to play and let him be his caddie. With the help of Vance and a younger Greaves (J. Michael Moncrief), Junuh finds his swing and his former love interest Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron) in this sports comedy-drama film that is based on a 1995 novel by Steven Pressfield.
“The Legend of Bagger Vance” can be streamed on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
4. “The Greatest Game Ever Played” (2005)
If you love an underdog story, this is the movie for you. It is a biographical film about 20-year-old Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) and his journey growing up in a working class family that did not support his passion for golf. Ouimet starts off as a caddie at the local country club, and some members soon notice his talent. After winning a local junior championship, Ouimet plays in the U.S. Amatuer and just misses qualifying for the U.S. Open at his home course.
Ouimet goes to work at a local store, but a chance meeting years later allows him to get his shot to compete against his childhood heroes, including defending champion Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane) among others at the 1913 U.S. Open. He quickly becomes an American icon in a matter of days and lives out dreams he would have never imagined possible.
“The Greatest Game Ever Played” is available to watch on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
3. “Tin Cup” (1996)
This classic is a romantic sports comedy about Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy (Kevin Costner), a former golf star turned driving range owner who drinks all day. He meets Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo) who changes his life around. Griswold’s boyfriend, David Simms (Don Johnson), played golf with Roy in college, and they agree to have Roy give Molly golf lessons, as long as Molly helps Roy rebuild his self-confidence.
Roy then gets back in the amateur tournaments and has a long journey to find success. Molly starts to see Simms’ arrogant side, and slowly begins falling for Roy. As a team, they work together to advance each other’s careers: Roy in golf and Molly in psychology. This leads Roy to the U.S. Open and Molly to having more clients then she could have ever imagined.
“Tin Cup” is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.
2. “Happy Gilmore” (1996)
With his grandmother about to lose his childhood home to the IRS, Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) decides to pick up golf after his attempt to become a pro hockey star fails. Since Gilmore has an unorthodox walk-up swing that hits golf balls 400 yards away, former golf star Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers) convinces him to compete.
After arriving on tour with his unique talent, Gilmore becomes rivals with Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald), who is not fond of his golf etiquette. McGavin hires a heckler to get on Gilmore’s nerves, which eventually leads to him fighting celebrity Bob Barker in a pro-am, leading to Gilmore being suspended from the tour.
Gilmore then meets Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen), who works for the tour. Venit helps him with his temper, while Chubbs helps him with his short game. This new attitude and practice regime brings Gilmore to the Tour Championship and one step closer to saving his grandmother from eviction.
“Happy Gilmore” is available to stream on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
1. “Caddyshack” (1980)
This classic uses comedy to show all the different areas of a country club. Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) works as a caddie and is trying to play nice to the club’s cofounder, Judge Elihu Smails (Ted Knight), in order to win a caddie scholarship so that he can go to college. His golf skills impress standout golfer Ty Webb (Chevy Chase), who suggests that he should compete. However, this is just one storyline in the film.
Another includes Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield), who comes to the country club and acts obnoxiously, much to Smails’ displeasure. All of this leads to an $80,000 game of golf to end the movie between the two and their choice of playing partner.
While this is all going on, groundskeeper Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) is attempting to get rid of the golf course’s nemesis, a gopher. If you love golf or grew up around a country club, this is a must see. Prepare to laugh a lot.
“Caddyshack” is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.