Our favorite pastime is remembering the best moments of our golfing careers.
You know what I’m referring to… What keeps us coming back, despite the hundreds of terrible shots that make us doubt why we even participate in sports.
You can relive your own golfing moments, but it’s also great to watch one of your favorite golf movies from time to time. Fortunately, some of the most memorable events and characters have been preserved for us to enjoy again and again.
It’s also worth noting that some fantastic golf movies have had a lasting impact on the sport. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice golfer, these movies will help you understand the idiosyncrasies of the sport.
Take a break from golf and watch some of these fantastic sports films and documentaries.
Best Golf Movies Of All Time
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What are the best golf movies?” we’ve got the answer. To help you fall in love with the game even more, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite movies and documentaries.
1. Caddyshack (1980)
As far as golf movies go, Caddyshack is a shoo-in for the top spot. When it comes to golf movies, the Bushwood Country Club is a go-to location.
In the 1980s, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase star in a classic golf movie. Aside from Bill Murray attempting to slay the golf club’s obnoxious gopher, the film features a strong plot, amusing characters, and a wealth of quotable exchanges. In addition, the cast includes Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and a host of other actors.
Bill Murray pretending to play golf while hitting flowers is one of my all-time favorite scenes (watch it here). Use the phrase “Cinderella Story” whenever you need a miracle shot on the golf course to channel some of Caddyshack’s greatness.
When it comes to Caddyshack, the sequel doesn’t have the same cult status as Caddyshack. It’s difficult to live up to a classic, and this one was a complete failure. In the meantime, you can watch some other golf movies or documentaries instead of Caddyshack.
2. Happy Gilmore (1996)
Despite the fact that Caddyshack is hilarious, some viewers may find it dated due to its release in 1980. With its slightly more current take on slapstick humor, Happy Gilmore is difficult to dislike. One of Adam Sandler’s most popular films, it recently marked its 25th anniversary!
Happi, an unhappy hockey player who isn’t very good and misses tryouts, is played by Adam Sandler. He takes up golf in order to raise money to save his grandmother’s house because he has a remarkable talent to hit the ball long distances.
Chubbs Peterson, a local pro, spots Happy and enters him into a tournament during the driving competition. As Chubbs teaches him the ins and outs of the game, Happy discovers what it’s like to be on a tour. It’s a great cast, with Ben Stiller and Shooter McGavin delivering hilarious and memorable performances.
In addition, the film has spawned the “Happy Gilmore” swing. This is a golf swing that requires you to stroll into the shot in order to get the most distance possible. If you attempt this shot, be aware that many golfers have shattered their clubs by doing so!
3. Tin Cup (1996)
Tin Cup, featuring Kevin Costner as Roy McAvoy, is another classic golf movie. The amount of actual golf in this film sets it apart from the rest. Even if it’s only for the laughs, it’s also a remarkable narrative of a professional golfer’s comeback.
We can all relate to Roy, a golf phenom who has burned out and moved into a trailer behind his own driving range since he’s lost his passion for the game. The golfer orders the caddie to lay up after he had previously criticized him for doing so.
To the dismay of his teammates, Roy steps up to the shot and nails it. As soon as the match concludes, he is furious and vows to qualify for the US Open to exact his vengeance.
There is, however, a major drawback… Roy lacks faith in his abilities (something that all golfers can relate to at one point or another). He trades lessons for mental game methods with Molly to help him regain his confidence.
Despite his struggles with self-doubt, he manages to play some spectacular golf shots and never lay up. To get a good laugh and learn a lot about golf, you should watch Tin Cup at least once.
In addition, I’ve read that Kevin Costner is a major fan of the game and played a lot throughout the making of the movie.. This kind of acting must be respected!
4. The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)
Francis Ouimet is played by a teenage Shia LaBeouf in The Greatest Game Ever Played, which is based on the 2002 book of the same name. Taking place in 1913, the film follows Francis as he attempts to win his country’s most prestigious amateur golf tournament for the first time. Amateur golf was a privilege reserved for the well-to-do at the time, thus he was unable to participate.
Francis Ouimet defied his father’s desires to play in the US Open, despite his father’s disapproval. He’s competing against his childhood hero, Harry Vardon, to make it even more unforgettable. Prior to that, he was a world-class golfer who motivated Francis to take up the sport, making this a particularly poignant time for him.
I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will say that it’s an uplifting tale that offers a unique perspective on how the game was played more than a century ago.
5. The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
Unlike any other film on our list, The Legend of Bagger Vance features an all-star cast! Will Smith, Matt Damon, and Charlize Theron feature in Robert Redford’s 2000 picture. Set in Georgia in the 1930s, it was based on the 1995 book by the same name.
Will Smith’s character, Bagger Vance, is the star of this golf movie, yet it’s not about the golfer at all. In it, Matt Damon portrays Rannulph Junuh, and Bagger Vance serves as his caddy.
As a fan of baseball’s rich history and uncompromising standards, you’ll like this entertaining film. It was panned by the critics, but the majority of golfers have a great time watching it and applaud the performances of each actor.
6. Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius (2004)
Bobby Jones is a legend in golf history for a reason. The only golfer to win all four majors at the same time is him (not counting the Tiger Slam in 2000-2001). Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters Tournament were both founded by him.
One of the game’s legends is the subject of this film’s uplifting true narrative. St. Andrews provided the perfect backdrop for this Bobby Jones biopic, which was filmed on site there.
The film Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, on the other hand, was a huge hit with critics and golfers alike. His startling early retirement at the age of 28 is revealed in this fascinating portrait of one of the game’s greatest players.
7. Golf in the Kingdom (2010)
For those who are unfamiliar, Wikipedia reports that this film is based on Michael Murphy’s best-selling book of the same name. A different kind of golf film, this one concentrates on the inner workings of the mind rather than on the physical game.
After visiting the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Michael was inspired to write the book. When he was in that state of Zen, he realized that it was directly linked to good athletes.
Michael, who is on his way to India, is the focus of both the novel and the film. Shivas Irons, a professional golfer, welcomed him to Burningbush on a layover. His little time with him is spent teaching him everything he needs to know about spirituality and how it applies to golf.
In my experience, golfers love the movie, regardless of what the critics say. Insight into the importance of golf’s mental game has never been more clear. You might also change your perspective the next time you want to get furious, as most of us do after making poor shots.
For those who have visited Bandon Dunes, you may expect to feel a bit of nostalgia while watching the film.
8. Miracle on the 17th Green (1999)
The Miracle on the 17th Green is another book-to-film adaptation. It’s an interesting narrative because the premise may happen to anyone.
Mitch McKinley, an ad executive, abruptly loses his job. The PGA Senior Tour allows him to follow his lifelong dream of playing golf instead of fretting and looking for another career. His family is in disbelief at the sudden change, but he perseveres to secure a place on the tour.
However, how will his life change as a result of this newfound success? See how the story unfolds by purchasing this on DVD.
9. A Gentleman’s Game (2002)
The pursuit of excellence in golf often necessitates making sacrifices in other areas of your life. We follow 12-year-old Timmy Price, a promising junior golfer at his country club, throughout the film.
Finally, he finds a teacher who has had a terrible background to help him learn more about the game. The whole movie is encouraging, and it shows you that life is about more than simply golf (as hard as that may seem for some of us).
10. Seven Days in Utopia (2011)
Seven Days in Utopia, the narrative of a golfer’s battle with his demons on the tour, completes our list. Despite the fact that it isn’t an Oscar contender, this is an uplifting video about the possibility of improving one’s golf game.
Luke Chisholm tries to make sense of what happened after he lost it on the 18th hole and his caddy (his father) walked away. Utopia is the name given to a community where a car accident leaves him with only a few belongings and no one to turn to for help.