As award season comes through, there is of course not too many sports movies.
However, that doesn't mean golf hasn't had its fair share of successes on the big screen. There have been plenty of hits that are based in such a long standing game. Old to new, there have been many movies produced about the trials and tribulations of golf. So which movies make the cut is the only question that remains to be seen. However, in this field the cut lies at 10, and there are no ties.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Bowen
In Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler stars as the title character, an unsuccessful ice hockey player who discovers a newfound talent for golf. He decides to use his remarkable skills to help his grandmother keep her house, but his foulmouthed attitude causes raised eyebrows among the other golf professionals.
Humorous and profane, Happy Gilmore is a good time for sports enthusiasts in general, who will appreciate this timeless tale of an unlikely hero knocking out the competition.
Cast: Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Don Johnson
Tin Cup follows a washed-up golf pro working at a driving range who tries to qualify for the US Open in order to win the heart of his successful rival’s girlfriend. Ah, the things we do for love! Boasting a tremendous cast and a gripping story, this compelling romantic comedy features plenty of exciting golf action. There’s a good chance you’ll be glued to the screen.
Cast: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O’Keefe, Bill Murray
A bona fide classic, Caddyshack remains one of the funniest sports movies ever made. The story is set at an exclusive golf course whose nefarious president wants to turn into a property development. He faces some unexpected opposition and the rest, as they say, is history.
The movie is very quotable and populated with memorable characters. You’ll laugh and laugh – even when you probably shouldn’t. Furthermore, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield deliver top-notch performances.
The Short Game
Cast: Allan Kournikova, Alexa Pano, Zamokuhle “Zama” Nxasana
Beginning 6 months before the 2012 World Championships, the movie visits each of the eight subjects at their homes, some of which are as far away as Paris, Manila, Johannesburg and Shenzhen, China to meet the kids and their parents. Once the subjects are introduced we observe the various trials and tribulations of the competition. The subjects of the movie are evenly split between children from the United States and other countries with five boys and three girls, including Allan Kournikova (half-brother of Anna), Sky Sudberry, and Augustin Valery (great-grandson of French poet Paul Valery). Kournikova went on to win the boys division of this event for his age group.
Seven Days in Utopia
Cast: Lucas Black, Robert Duvall, Melissa Leo
Meet Luke, a young golfer who’s about to take a swing at the big time. But after a rocky debut on the pro circuit, Luke seemingly destroys his once-promising career. While driving along a Texas back road, he crashes through the fence of an eccentric rancher who makes him an irresistible offer: spend a week in the tiny town of Utopia and see if he can turn his life around. A golf movie with a spiritual spin, Seven Days in Utopia is rich in life lessons – so whether you like it or not will depend on how much importance faith plays in your life. That being said, the movie has a talented ensemble cast and revolves around positive values and character development, making it a suitable watch for the entire family.
The Legend of Bagger Vance
Cast: Will Smith, Matt Damon, Charlize Theron
The premise of The Legend of Bagger Vance is fairly straightforward: a down-and-out golfer attempts to recover his game and improve his life with help from a mystical caddy. What sets the movie apart is the cast, with Matt Damon and Will Smith making an odd but fascinating pair.
The Legend of Bagger Vance is set during the Great Depression and is all about how a little help can go a long way when you’re struggling to find yourself. All in all, it’s beautiful to watch.
Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius
Cast: Jim Caviezel, Claire Forlani, Jeremy Northam
A biographical sports drama, the movie follows the career of legendary golfer Bobby Jones, the only player in the sport to win all four of the men’s major golf championships in a single season. Rising quickly from amateur to icon, Jones becomes renowned for his intense persona and impressive winning streak.However, when he starts to struggle balancing his golfing career with everything else, Jones must decide whether to stay in the game or retire. Featuring gorgeous cinematography, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius is definitely worth a stream if you’re an avid golf fan.
Cast: Sam Neill, Ophelia Lovibond, Peter Mullan
In every generation a torch passes from father to son. That timeless dynamic is at the heart of Tommy’s Honour, an intimate and moving tale about the real-life founders of the modern game of golf. The movie depicts the complex relationship between pioneering Scottish golfing champions Tom Morris and his son, Tommy Morris. Relying on skill, business acumen and working-class street smarts, the two work to make Tommy one of the world’s first sports superstars. Yet, things take a turn when tragedy strikes. Primarily a story of passion for the sport, Tommy’s Honour is a must-watch for golf fans interested in history. If you’re into well-acted period dramas, even better.
Cast: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Donna Reed
Since gifted golfer Harvey Miller is too nervous to play in public tournaments, he acts as coach and caddy for friend Joe Anthony. While on the PGA tour, their natural comedic abilities are recognised by an agent who senses their potential and a new comedy team is born. Hilarity ensues.
This charming golf comedy stars Martin and Lewis at the height of their popularity as a duo. Plus, it features the hit song That’s Amore, which received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The Greatest Game Ever Played
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Stephen Dillane, Elias Koteas
Based on the early life of golf champion Francis Ouimet, The Greatest Game Ever Played is an uplifting movie that will leave you in great spirits. Blue-collar Ouimet fights class prejudice while working as a caddy at the exclusive Brookline Country Club. He fine-tunes his golf skills during off hours and eventually enters the 1913 US Open, where he competes against British star Harry Vardon.With outstanding production values and fine performances, The Greatest Game Ever Played is as fun to look at as it is memorable. The fact that it’s based on true events only makes it that much more captivating.