by Jeff Skinner
In a recent poll taken by The Los Angeles Times they ask their sports readers, What is the best golf movie of the last 35 years? Truth be told there haven’t been that many golf movies and good golf movies are few and far between. The results of the poll aren’t surprising. Caddyshack was a runaway winner. Heck, that’s on many movie goers list of all time best movies, not just sport movies. I’d have to agree that Caddyshack is the standard that all other golf movies are measured against but they probably shouldn’t be.
Caddyshack has grown into a classic and its lines are quoted by golfers and non-golfers alike. It truly is more than a film. It changed comedy and culture with a “Cinderella Story” and an overzealous greenskeeper, not to mention the career of Rodney Dangerfield.
Second on the list was Tin Cup. Who hasn’t stood there on the course stubbornly hitting ball after ball from the same spot, just to prove you can make that one damn shot. Costner was good but Rene Russo was mighty fine.
In Third place was The Legend of Bagger Vance. People are confused when they say that Bagger was a golf movie. It was really a movie of redemption, forgiveness and spirituality. Golf was only the vehicle that allowed the characters to redeem themselves and find their “authentic swing.” The soundtrack is fantastic and serves as the trigger for the characters to feel their spiritual selves. I’ll take that and Charlize Theron any day of the week,
After those the quality falls off greatly. It’s a shame too because there are two of the best stories in golf that were butchered by Disney when they tried to make a movie that appealed to the masses. Unfortunately, The Bobby Jones Story and The Greatest Game Ever Played failed to capture the essence of the greatest golfer of his day and turned the most unlikely win in a major championship ever into a bad video game.
The rest of the list is a waste but Caddyshack, Tin Cup and The Legend of Bagger Vance will never disappoint you, no matter how many times we watch them.