The Best Golf Movies to Buy in 2019
The best golf movies. This is a list of movies that feature golf as a central theme. We’re pretty sure we’ve included all of the best movies, but if you believe we missed one please feel free to add it to the list.
While “watching golf” may be considered by many to be one of the most boring experiences on earth, movies about golf are often incredibly entertaining. All genres are included on this list, although dramas and comedies tend to be the most popular. Golf is one of the oldest sports in the world, steeped in plenty of tradition, such as its caddies, golf clubs, and the hole in one. No surprise then that Hollywood likes to make use of golf in their films.
What are the best golf movies? Take a look here and see for yourself. A golf course is an excellent setting for a movie. Whether the film is a timeless comedy or a period piece, a PGA event or country club adds an extra character, verdant scenery and inherent drama. Every moviegoer sits with anticipation and the stroke count in the mind as the movie’s hero takes that final putt, just the same as the spectators watching a playoff in a major.
On this list of the best movies ever made about golf, there are lots of comedies, plenty of underdog stories and class conflict throughout. Buy one as a gift for a young golfer who’s never seen the classics or stream one that you’ve missed over the years.
Best 7 Golf Movies Of All time
Overall Best: Caddyshack 1&2
Caddyshack doesn’t just top most lists of Best Golf Movies, but it still found consistently toping the lists of the best comedy films ever made. Although now decades old, this chaotic movie filled with visual gags still entertains both young and old and leads to lots of laughter.
Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe), a teen down on his luck, works as a caddy at the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club to raise money for his college education. In an attempt to gain votes for a college scholarship reserved for caddies, Noonan volunteers to caddy for a prominent and influential club member (Ted Knight). Meanwhile, Danny struggles to prepare for the high pressure Caddy Day golf tournament while absorbing New Age advice from wealthy golf guru Ty Webb (Chevy Chase).
Initial release: 25 July 1980 (USA)
Director: Harold Ramis
Featured song: I’m Alright
Producer: Douglas Kenney
Screenplay: Douglas Kenney, Harold Ramis, Brian Doyle-Murray
Best golf movie number 2: Happy Gilmore
The movie has plenty of fun golf bits for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, from the hockey stick putter to Happy’s unique swing. Some of the best parts of this film come from small parts by actors, including Ben Stiller, Carl Weathers and Bob Barker. Many golfers, even professionals like Padraig Harrington, love this film for its goofiness and true celebration of the game of golf.
All Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) has ever wanted is to be a professional hockey player. But he soon discovers he may actually have a talent for playing an entirely different sport: golf. When his grandmother (Frances Bay) learns she is about to lose her home, Happy joins a golf tournament to try and win enough money to buy it for her. With his powerful driving skills and foulmouthed attitude, Happy becomes an unlikely golf hero — much to the chagrin of the well-mannered golf professionals.
Initial release: 16 February 1996 (USA)
Director: Dennis Dugan
Box office: 41.2 million USD
Budget: 10 million USD
Production companies: Universal Pictures, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Imagine Entertainment
Best golf movie number 3: Tin Cup
The movie’s climax focuses on the mental and physical limitations of a golfer playing in the U.S. Open, with a great ending that isn’t in every Hollywood movie. If you are yet to see this movie, it’s a great option for anyone who loves the drama of the PGA tour but wants a little more personality.
Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) was a golf pro with a bright future, but his rebellious nature and bad attitude cost him everything. Now working as a golf instructor, he falls for his newest pupil, Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo), a psychiatrist who happens to be the girlfriend of PGA Tour star and Roy’s rival, David Simms (Don Johnson). After he is humiliated by Simms at a celebrity golf tournament, McAvoy decides to make a run for the PGA Tour, as well as Molly’s heart.
Initial release: 16 August 1996 (USA)
Director: Ron Shelton
Box office: 75.85 million USD
Screenplay: Ron Shelton, John Norville
Producers: Gary Foster, David V. Lester
Best golf movie number 4: The Greatest Game Ever Played
It’s not just golf historians that will love this period piece, the 2005 Walt Disney movie starring Shia LaBeouf is a serious and family-friendly golf movie that everyone will enjoy. Directed by Bill Paxton, The Greatest Game Ever Played traces the rags to riches story of Francis Ouimet, the unlikely amateur winner of the US Open in 1913.
Blue-collar Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) fights class prejudice while mastering golf, a game guarded by the upper crust. Employed as a caddy at the exclusive Brookline Country Club, Francis fine-tunes his skills during off hours. His father, Arthur (Elias Koteas), disapproves, but a few admirers help Francis enter the 1913 U.S. Open. The underdog competes against British star Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane) and finds common ground with his boyhood idol. The film is based on a true story.
Initial release: 30 September 2005 (USA)
Director: Bill Paxton
Box office: 15.4 million USD
Music composed by: Brian Tyler
Story by: Mark Frost
Best golf movie number 5: The Legend of Bagger Vance
The Legend of Bagger Vance was a box office bomb when it debuted in 2000 and has drawn criticism from some over its treatment of race, however many still see the film as a compelling golf drama. Starring Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron and directed by Robert Redford, the movie is star-studded and based on a Steven Pressfield novel.
During the Great Depression, Georgia socialite Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron) announces a publicity-garnering high-stakes match at her struggling family golf course, featuring the greatest golfers of the era. Once-promising local golfer Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon), whose career and life were derailed by World War I, is brought in to play alongside the stars, but his game is weak — until the enigmatic Bagger Vance (Will Smith) offers to coach him back into the great golfer he once was.
Initial release: 3 November 2000 (USA)
Director: Robert Redford
Narrator: Jack Lemmon
Screenplay: Jeremy Leven
Story by: Steven Pressfield
Best golf movie number 6: The Caddy
For many golfers, comedy started with Caddyshack. But the first golf comedy that was a hit was 1953’s The Caddy. Starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in one of their many comedic collaborations, The Caddy focuses on the son of a famous golfer (Lewis) as he trains and caddies for his brother-in-law (Martin) who find quick success. This success leads Martin’s character to belittle Lewis’ caddy and eventually the two turn to show business in a meta-narrative that links back to the actors own comedy team. It’s definitely a strange golf film and doesn’t fit the traditional plot arc, but it’s a good option for a golf lover who wants a golf movie from the Hollywood’s golden age.
Initial release: 10 August 1953 (USA)
Director: Norman Taurog
Budget: 1.864 million USD
Music composed by: Joseph J. Lilley
Screenplay: Danny Arnold, Edmund L. Hartmann
Best golf movie number 7: Stroke of Genius
This biographical drama is based on the true story of revered golfer Bobby Jones (Jim Caviezel). 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.
Initial release: 30 April 2004
Director: Rowdy Herrington
Producer: John Shepherd
Box office: 2.708 million USD
Music composed by: James Horner