As I dozed off on the couch the other night watching Caddyshack for the hundredth time, I began thinking about other golf flicks. In particular, the best golf movies of all time: golf films that provide great entertainment along with a compelling story. Without further delay, here are my picks for the five best golf movies.
5. Happy Gilmore
Who can forget the film about the failed hockey-player-turned golfer showcasing Adam Sandler? It’s a film full of laughs that even sees Price is Right legend Bob Barker put a beat-down on Sandler, the title character. Happy has to use his new golf skills to save his grandmother’s home from being seized by the IRS. The antics of Sandler combined with the guidance of Carl Weathers (Yes, the man who played Apollo Creed and Action Jackson) make this an atypical feel-good sports movie.
4. The Greatest Game Ever Played
The Greatest Game Ever Played is based off of Mark Frost’s classic book. It tells the story of 20-year-old Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf), who has to compete against his hero Harry Vardon in the 1913 US Open. Vardon, played by Stephen Dillane, won the golf major 13 years prior and is considered the best golfer in the world. If you enjoy biographical sports films, this one should be right up your alley. Spoiler alert, the movie ends with a dramatic three-way tie that goes into an 18-hole playoff.
3. The Legend of Bagger Vance
This Will Smith/Matt Damon film takes place in Georgia during the 1930’s. For you golf historians, this is indeed set in the Bobby Jones era. Damon plays a World War I hero who enters a big golf tournament, where Jones is also playing. Damon’s character is helped by a golf caddie Bagger Vance (Will Smith), who mysteriously appears to help Damon rediscover his authentic swing. Charlize Theron has a supporting role in the film as the love interest. The conclusion is quite dramatic.
2. Caddyshack II
Comedy and golf worked well way before Sandler’s work in Happy Gilmore. Caddyshack II is the sequel to the movie that inspired me to make this list. Jackie Mason, Robert Stack, Randy Quaid, Dan Aykroyd, and Chevy Chase are all hilarious in this one. The story deals with Jackie Mason’s character, Jack, being rejected by the Bushwood Country Club because he builds low-income properties in wealthy communities. Jack plots revenge against his adversaries at Bushwood by buying the club and turning it into quite a circus. While not as great as its predecessor,Caddyshack II has plenty of funny scenes.
We all know I’ve professed my love for the original Caddyshack as the best golf movie of all time. The comedic talent of Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, and Chevy Chase provide plenty of classic lines, such as “Remember two wrongs don’t make a right, but three rights make a left.” Caddyshack ends with a cool team golf match with $20,000 on the line.
Did any of these films make your top 5 best golf movies list? Let us know if this list hit a for a few birdies or is of the double bogey variety.