There are several factors that make for a great golf movie. One, the film needs to show love and respect for the game. Golf movies that come from a place of cynicism are doomed to fail. Two, you need at least one lovable golfer. A film of only snooty and arrogant golfers won’t win anyone over. Finally, a great golf movie showcases the intense competitive nature of the sport in a way that appeals to all types of sports fans. We’ve compiled a short list of golf movies that fit all of these criteria perfectly, and they are must watch films for people who are fans of golf, comedy or movies in general.
Caddyshack is the ultimate absurd comedy golf movie. It features powerhouse comedic performances by legendary comedians Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and an extensive and talented cast of supporting characters that help build an absurdist golf environment. While the film does a great job at satirizing the elitist golf culture that exists in a lot of American country clubs, the film never attacks the sport itself. Golf is portrayed as the great equalizer, providing a way for underdog characters to make their mark and stand up against tyrannous authority figures.
2. Tin Cup
Kevin Costner plays the downtrodden golf pro of an abandoned driving range who attempts to make it big in the U.S. Open. The greatest thing about Tin Cup is its ability to show how the game of golf is about more than raw individual talent. The climax of the movie also shows how some of the greatest moments in life don’t come from the conclusions of our efforts, but the paths we take to get there. This is a great allegory for the sport of golf itself, because many people enjoy the game most for just being out in the fresh air and nature.
3. Happy Gilmore
Like most other Adam Sandler films, Happy Gilmore features a man-child main character who learns to take responsibility for his life and become successful. The movie’s main strength is its ability to make fun of the idiosyncrasies and traditions of golf in a way that make you love the sport anyway. The film is full of outrageous characters, including an angry and violent Bob Barker and sinister nursing home worker played by Ben Stiller. The film ends with an intense championship golf battle that will have you glued to the screen.