February 22, 2013
By Lindsey M.
As Hollywood rolls out the red carpet this Sunday to honor the best films of the year at the 85th annual Academy Awards ceremony, we too are pausing to celebrate the greatest golf cinematic adventures.
Though they may not have brought home a little golden man, these golf-inspired films sure have won us over with their whimsical stories of trials and triumph, good versus evil, making the epic shot and winning the girl.
Get the popcorn ready – here are our nominees for the “Greatest Golf Movie of All Time” category as decided by the GolfNow staff:
5. The Legend of Bagger Vance – Who doesn’t like a comeback story? Down-and-out war veteran and Savannah golfer Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon) follows the wisdom of his mystical caddy, Bagger Vance (Will Smith), to piece his life – and golf swing – back together in this Redford-directed sports classic. And though we’re left wondering whether Vance was even real or a divine entity, it doesn’t matter when Junuh overcomes real-life golf legends Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, winning back his sweetheart Adele (Charlize Theron) in a traditional feel-good ending.
4. The Greatest Game Ever Played – This Disney drama pulls on the heartstrings during the true story of Francis Ouimet (Shia LeBeouf), a 20-year-old, working-class caddy who realizes his lifelong dream defeating his idol, English champion Harry Vadron to win the 1913 U.S. Open. We love The Greatest Game not only because it’s a classic underdog success tale laced with undertones of winning a reluctant father’s approval, but also because it’s actually true! Two thumbs up for this great historical account of the first amateur to ever win the U.S. Open.
3. Tin Cup – This amazing redemption/love story follows Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner), a failed golf pro and gambling addict as he rises from the ashes of his rundown driving range in west Texas to win the affection of his newest golf student, the beautiful Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo). Against all odds, McAvoy – along with his band of misfits, including caddy Romeo (Cheech Marin) – overcomes slick PGA Tour player David Simms (Don Johnson), winning the girl while making golf history in an unconventional way that has us all out of our seats yelling, “Go for it, Roy!”
2. Happy Gilmore – Happy Gilmore, a hockey player turned golfer (Adam Sandler) fights to save his grandma’s home and becomes professional golf’s most unruly, unlikely hero with a killer drive. We love this movie for so many reasons, mainly because of all its ridiculously-fun quotes as Gilmore struggles to master the difficulties of the game: “Go home, ball! Why didn’t you just go home?!” “Just taaap it in. Give it a little tappy.” Bob Barker, along with his mean left jab, even makes a special appearance: “The price is wrong, …” Well, you know the rest.
1. Caddyshack – The elusive, dancing gopher, “Nananana, be the ball,” and who could forget the candy bar pool scene. Oh Caddyshack, how we love thee. We could count the ways all day. With an all-star comedic cast, including Bill Murray as the assistant greens keeper on a warpath, Rodney Dangerfield as Bushwood Country Club’s newest, most-brash member and Chevy Chase as eccentric millionaire Ty Webb, Caddyshack has entertained golfers for decades and tops our list of best golf movies of all time.
An honorable mention also goes to Goldfinger for the classic 1964 Bond-Goldfinger golf match that kick started actor Sean Connery’s love for the game.
Do you agree with our favorites? What are yours?
Featured image courtesy of Caddyshack.