The Best Golf Movies to Binge Watch

Let’s face it: we are all bored out of our minds. It’s been about two months of isolation, my boyfriend is driving me crazy, and the warm weather days are still a couple of weeks away. As I was browsing through Netflix and Hulu for a movie to watch, I found myself at a loss. What the heck do I watch? Star Wars Trilogy? Nope. Watched it too many times. Grace & Frankie? Nope, already finished that one. Law & Order: SVU? Finished that too. My mind soon wandered off, and I thought about how much I miss golfing. That’s when I had the idea to write this article. So, here is a list of the best golf movies to binge-watch during this boring and seemingly never-ending period of social isolation. I hope you find something you can enjoy watching!

Caddyshack

From opening lines to final credits, this uproarious golf-themed classic will keep you rolling with laughter. Featuring some of Hollywood’s truly great comedic talents, Caddyshack is the story of a young caddy at the Bushwood Country Club, the wealthy and eccentric members who play there, and a single-minded groundskeeper who’s declared war on a rampaging gopher. Starring Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight. Directed by Harold Ramis.

Caddyshack fun facts:

  • Bill Murray improvised the entire Cinderella scene based on just two lines of stage direction.
  • Caddyshack was actor Ted Knight’s last movie.
  • This was Harold Ramis’ first directing job.
  • The film’s writer and co-star Brian Doyle-Murray is also Bill Murray’s brother.
  • The sound effects used for the gopher in the movie were actually vocalized by a dolphin.

Happy Gilmore

If you could only watch one Adam Sandler movie, I hope you would choose this one. It’s one of my favorite Sandler movies, and, it’s about golf!

Here’s the basic premise of the movie: Happy Gilmore wants to be an Ice Hockey player. He’s got a mean slapshot and the requisite anger problem, but unfortunately, he can’t skate to save his life. Worse, he’s broke, and Grandma’s house is being repossessed. One day he is discovered, quite by accident, to have a golfing drive of 400 yards – which is worth a fortune. Success in a local tournament catapults him onto the Pro-Tour, where his propensity for hurling both clubs and a stream of expletives, and violent scuffles with scornful spectators, swiftly offends the po-faced establishment. If you want to laugh at the goofiness of this movie, this is for you.

Happy Gilmore fun facts:

  • Happy Gilmore was based on a real guy.
  • There’s a deleted scene of Julie Bowen making out with a dwarf.
  • The fight between Sandler and Barker won an MTV movie award.
  • It was co-written by Sandler’s college roommate.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

In 1913, a working-class American amateur named Francis Ouimet defeated the great British player Harry Vardon to win the U.S. Open. Here is a movie that tells that story and exactly that story, devoting a considerable amount of its running time to the final rounds and playing like one a superb sports telecast.

Shia LaBeouf stars, as Francis Ouimet, a poor boy who lives with his family across from a golf course in Brookline, Mass. From his windows and the front porch, Francis can see the golfers at play. So can his father, Arthur (Elias Koteas), an immigrant who steadfastly opposes his son’s passion for golf: “A man should know his place.” But Francis has a natural gift for the game and is encouraged by his mother (Marnie McPhail) and two players at the local club. Now, I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll stop there. If you like suspense, dramatization and being able to connect with the characters, this is for you.

The Greatest Game Ever Played Fun facts

  • It was filmed at the Kanawaki Golf Club outside Montreal, Quebec
  • Shia LaBeouf and Max Kasch had worked together two years earlier, in Holes (2003).
  • The real Francis Ouimet and Eddie Lowery remained life long friends. When Ouimet died in 1967, Lowery was one of the pall-bearers.

Tommy’s Honour

Tommy’s Honour is the inspirational, powerfully moving tale of the real-life father-son team who foundered the modern game of golf.  I love Tommy and the story of his determination and independence to rise above his station. He’s self-assured, quiet-but-not-shy, and very, very likable. I’ve watched it more than once and will continue to rewatch it for two reasons: Peter Mullan and the strength of the story-line. Absolutely heartbreaking in the end but that’s the fact of life. The pace and reality of this story make the viewer feel as though they’re transported back into history a bit.  Matches and tournaments in the movie took place at Prestwick, St. Andrews, Musselburgh, Blackheath, and North Berwick. If you are interested in the history of golf, this one’s for you.

Dead Solid Perfect

Apparently one of PGA champion John Daly’s favorite films, this HBO golfing dramedy stars Randy Quaid (it was made at around the same time as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) and is based on a bestselling novel by Dan Jenkins. Randy Quaid stars as Kenny Lee, a talented but underachieving pro golfer trying to break through on the tour while learning that the most important things in life go far beyond the game.

Keep in mind: I don’t believe it was ever released on DVD, so you will have to do some searching to watch this movie unless you have cable TV still. However, I found that YouTube has the movie split up into 4 parts. In addition, this movie was first a book, which I highly suggest you take the time to read as it is even better than the movie. (It’s here on Amazon).

Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius

This biographical drama is based on the true story of revered golfer Bobby Jones (Jim Caviezel). Not even Tiger Woods has equaled Jones’ triumph in 1930 when he became the only player to win the U.S. Open, the British Open, the U.S. Amateur, and the British Amateur in the same year. Jones also won seven U.S. titles in a row, an achievement that may be unmatchable.

Rising quickly from amateur to legend, Jones becomes renowned for his intense persona and wins an extraordinary number of tournaments. When it appears that Jones is having problems balancing his golfing career with the rest of his life, he consults his devoted wife, Mary (Claire Forlani), and must make the difficult decision of staying in the game or retiring.