This week I want to change it up a little bit and talk about a subject in which I am well versed, golf movies. Sports movies in general have a way of pulling on the heartstrings (think Rudy, Remember the Titans, Miracle, etc.), but golf is the perfect movie sport.
Why is golf such a great movie sport? In my opinion there are several factors, the most important being that the sport lends itself to a movie storyline because there are built in breaks between the action. Baseball also has this luxury and it allows filmmakers to build up the suspense and emotion in any given scene.
Of all the golf movies I have seen, I have liked all of them. And in these films, certain scenes stick out and have worked their way into my brain and even into my everyday lexicon. I will now post what I believe are the three best golf movie scenes.
Disclaimer: I have not seen every single golf movie ever made, so some scenes may be missing. These are just my favorite three scenes from the golf movies I have seen.
3. Go Home Ball- Happy Gilmore
Of course I couldn’t leave out Happy Gilmore, the namesake of this blog. Despite the fact that the producers of this movie have seemingly no idea how the PGA Tour works or adhere to the rules of golf — Happy would have never needed to putt through a fallen TV tower, come on — this movie is full of hilarious moments and features maybe the greatest movie villain of all time, Shooter McGavin. The clip I chose is a good overview of Happy Gilmore and what he is all about. The best part of this clip is when Happy is on his tirade laced with horrible language and the PR director of the Tour is talking to the commissioner. Best Line: “Sure he’s a little rough around the edges, but phones are ringing off the hook with people who want to see Happy.” All this while happy is dropping copious amounts of F bombs in the background. Bonus quote: “5-iron huh? Well, you’re fired. Bye bye.”
2. Cinderella Story- Caddyshack
There are so many clips I could have chosen from this movie. It is the golfer’s quote smorgasbord. Terms from this movie such as the lumberyard and Noonan are routinely used on live golf telecasts and in foursomes around the world. Clearly, sifting through and finding the best scene from this movie is a difficult task, but I am confident I have found it. Bill Murray’s character, Carl, is the most ridiculous character in the movie, and often the most hilarious. This scene, which Murray completely improvised, is Carl narrating his victory at the Masters while hitting flowers with a gardening tool. Best line: “Cinderella boy, tears in his eyes, I guess.”
1. See the Field- The Legend of Bagger Vance
The Legend of Bagger Vance is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated movies of all time. The all-star cast is brilliant and the story is about more than simply finding and losing your golf swing. This sequence is the heart of the movie; it is the beginning of Junuh’s redemption and overcoming the horrors he experienced in WWI and his personal life. From a golfer’s perspective, Bagger Vance’s description of “the field” is great advice and can help a golfer “stop thinking without falling asleep” to quote the film. I used to watch this every night before the first day of high school golf tryouts and used it as a mental jumping off point. Not coincidentally, I often played my best rounds of the year under the intense pressure. Best line: “You can’t see that flag as some dragon you got to slay…You got to look with soft eyes.”
Hope you enjoyed this little diversion into the world of golf entertainment. My next entry will likely be on the NGA Tour (formerly the Hooters NGA Tour) and how it helps prepare players for the Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour.