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TIN CUP: This 1996 romantic comedy follows Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) and his rise from a failed golfer living out his days in a trailer and hustling for a few bucks to qualifying for the US Open and shooting one of the most thrilling four rounds in the golf major’s history. Known for its famous scene on the 18th hole and the immortal line: “Give me a ball.” As with many sports movies, there are plenty of cameos from stars playing themselves on the course, such as Phil Mickelson, Craig Stadler, John Cook, Johnny Miller, Lee Janzen, Billy Mayfair, Corey Pavin, Fred Couples and Peter Jacobsen.
Image Credit: Warner Bros
2 of 10
HAPPY GILMORE: The year 1996 was a good one for golf films, and Happy Gilmore combined the sport with whacky comedy to great success. Adam Sandler plays the lead role, Happy, who is a frustrated ice hockey player who discovers his unique style makes for an amazing asset in golf, a gargantuan drive. He turns professional to help earn money for his grandmother, who is in trouble with the IRS. He sparks a rivalry with superstar golfer Shooter McGavin and takes him on in the Tour Championship, not without a few hilarious hitches on the way. Of course, the cameos are aplenty and this film is worth watching for the fight scene with ‘Price is Right’ presenter Bob Barker alone.
Image Credit: Universal Pictures
3 of 10
THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE: Robert Redford directed this 2000 golfing picture, and brought together an A-list cast including Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron. Set during the Great Depression, the film follows Adele Invergordon’s (Theron) announces a publicity-garnering high-stakes match at her struggling family golf course, featuring the greatest golfers of the era. Once-promising local golfer Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon), whose career and life were derailed by World War I, is brought in to play alongside the stars, but his game is weak — until the enigmatic Bagger Vance (Will Smith) offers to coach him back into the great golfer he once was. Despite the top cast, the film was widely criticised for a bland script and play, and for failing to address the race issues prevalent at the time it was set.
Image Credit: DreamWorks LLC. and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
4 of 10
CADDYSHACK: The film that launched a genre of sports comedies. Crude and infantile, yep, but 1980’s Caddyshack is a top movie for anyone who loves classic comedy and even a passing interest in sport. Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe), is a down-on-his-luck (spotting a theme yet?) youngster as a caddie working at a posh country club to raise money for his college education, meeting all sorts of oddballs. With a comedic genius cast including Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Roger Dangerfield and written and directed by Ghostbusters creator Harold Ramis, Caddyshack is a must-watch. “In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre: ‘Au revoir, gopher.’”
Image Credit: IMDB
5 of 10
BOBBY JONES: STROKE OF GENIUS: This is a 2004 biographical movie that follows the life of Robert ‘Bobby’ Tyre Jones Jr who - you guessed it - rose from complete obscurity to become one of the best golfers in the world during the 1920s and won seven majors (four US Opens and three British Opens) and five US Amateur titles. Inner-conflicts and a fierce drive to win everything leads him to quit the game at the age of 28 to protect his sanity and the ones he loves. Rowdy ‘Gladiator’ Herrington directed and Jim Caviezel portrayed Bobby, but the film received mainly negative reviews.
Image Credit: IMDB
6 of 10
THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED: Another biographical tale, this time directed by Bill Paxton in 2005. The film follows the early life of Francis Ouimet, the US Open champion in 1913 and regarded as the father of amateur golf. A young Shia LaBeouf plays Ouimet, a child of Irish and French-Canadian immigrants who broke the glass ceiling into the golfing world that was previously only the playground of the rich and famous. It was positively received and still sits well in the pantheon of feel-good sports movies.
Image Credit: Touchstone/IMDB
7 of 10
FALLING DOWN: While clearly not a golfing film, or even a sports movie, Falling Down, which follows the mental and emotional breakdown of Foster, an unemployed engineer who is trying to get across LA on foot to make it to his daughter’s birthday at his ex-wife’s house. As things begin to go awry for Forster (brilliantly played by Michael Douglas), he resorts to more extreme and violent ‘solutions’ to the predicaments in which he finds himself. To keep in line with our golf theme, one of the most memorable scenes is when Foster is making his way across a fairway in an attempt to get closer to his destination. “Just passing through,” he says politely when a rich member hollers at him to “get off my hole”. Things quickly turn sour after the oldie aims a golf shot at Foster, who shoots at the golfer’s buggy, which rolls away into a lake with the golfer’s pills on board, just as said golfer starts having a heart attack. “Now you’re going to die wearing that stupid little hat. How does it feel?” A clear commentary on the ills in society, Falling Down certainly puts some golfers in their place along the way, with more than a pinch of dark humour.
Image Credit: IMDB
8 of 10
GOLDFINGER: James Bond is at his classic best in one of the franchise’s greatest and treasured scenes of all time. The titular villain of the piece, Goldfinger, is playing a round with Bond (the immortal Sean Connery). With Goldfinger losing, his caddie-cum-best-Bond-henchman Odd job ‘finds’ his boss’s ball in the rough after dropping a replacement down his trouser leg. Bond is wise to the antics and serves justice bay calling out Goldfinger for playing the wrong ball. “If that’s his original ball, I’m Arnold Palmer,” says Hawker, Bond’s caddie. “It isn’t,” replies Bond. “How do you know?” Hawker asks, eliciting the classic line: “I’m standing on it.”
Image Credit: IMDB
9 of 10
JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN: The anti-James Bond in action now as Rowan Atkinson’s English is a farcical spy in this 2011 British spoof comedy. In a clear nod to Goldfinger, English finds himself in a golf match with a suspected bad guy. Unfortunately, he clearly hasn’t played the game before. When he is offered a glove to help him with his first tee shot, English replies with a roll of the eyes: “I may not know much about golf, Tucker, but I know how to hold the bat.” Cue much hilarity from the man who created Blackadder and Mr Bean ...
Image Credit: Universal Studios
10 of 10
LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS: OK, this one is almost a cheat as it is not even on a golf course. The scene in question in Guy Ritchie’s 1998 breakthrough London heist comedy is early on when Mr Nasty (well one of them, there are plenty in this gangster flick), a tough guy named Dog, is trying to get information from two lackeys. Rather than torture them in the ‘normal’ way, Dog opts to get the lowdown by getting in some golf practice with a difference, placing the ball on one unfortunate’s mouth rather than a tee and using the tied-up second chap as his target. Needless to say Dog gets the information he needs (it was in the fireplace) before both the victims meet a grisly end.
Image Credit: IMDB