Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, however, there are only a few golf movies that are considered the best. As a golfer, watching iconic golf movies is one of the best ways to stay connected to the sport you love. Additionally, if you have a high handicap and want to get better, certain golf movies might even help you see a different perspective and other strategies that can help you lower your handicap and enhance your game.
There are excellent golf movies that can help you see all types of different aspects of a golfer’s experience — how they start playing golf, how they face challenges, and how they improve their handicap and overcome their adversities. Whether you are a seasoned golfer or a beginner that is trying to reduce handicap, golf movies can help you realize that anything is possible on the golf course. Here are, in no particular order, the most iconic golf movies you should watch.
Caddyshack — 1980
Caddyshack is undoubtedly one of the most popular golf movies, especially among golfers who love classic comedies. Caddyshack is a 1980 American sports comedy movie directed by Harold Ramis, with a star-studded ensemble of well-known comics and actors including Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Rodney Dangerfield.
The plot of the film takes place on a golf course and it has people and scenarios that seasoned golfers will probably be able to relate to. It tells the tale of a young child trying to get a scholarship against the backdrop of a groundskeeper trying to get rid of a gopher. The movie’s popularity remains a great example of how golf can be a pleasant and fun source of content for comedy and golf sports films.
Tin Cup — 1996
Tin Cup is one of the top choices for the most iconic golf movies that many golfers should watch and learn from. Tin Cup is a 1996 American romantic drama and sports movie directed and co-written by Ron Shelton. It features main characters Kevin Costner and Rene Russo, as well as Cheech Marin and Don Johnson in significant supporting roles.
Tin Cup will make you realize that you need discipline, knowledge, and motivation if you want to be successful. The movie is about a down-and-out, washed-up golfer who has opened a driving range and appears to have given up on his golfing dreams. He lacked motivation until he met a lovely woman who caused him to reconsider his perspective on the once-loved sport of golf. To show the woman he loves that he is more than just a small-time golfer, he decides to compete in the U.S. Open, which will demand self-discipline and strategic play. The rest, as they say, is history. Watch the movie to discover for yourself how he accomplished his golfing goals and to learn about one of the best golfers’ comeback stories.
Happy Gilmore — 1996
Happy Gilmore is a renowned film that successfully serves as an instructional movie, providing valuable information about golfing technique, strategy, and temperament. Happy Gilmore is a 1996 American sports comedy film that was produced by Robert Simonds and directed by Dennis Dugan. The film’s main character, played by Adam Sandler, is a failed ice hockey player who discovers a hidden knack for golf. To save his grandmother’s home, he puts forth a lot of effort on the golf course. Chubbs, a club pro, approaches him and urges him to participate in a money-based competition. He joined the PGA Tour after winning the competition, but it is difficult for him to compete at a high level since he hasn’t learned enough.
Watch the movie to find out how Happy learns all he needs to succeed in golf competitions and achieve his goals. Aside from a great story, Happy Gilmore offers great lessons about golf equipment, techniques, attitude, short games, and swings. Make sure to pay attention to every small detail and you will learn a lot that can help you on the golf course.
Miracle on the 17th Green — 1999
Miracle on the 17th Green is a fantastic drama and sports film that is an adaptation of a James Patterson novel. Miracle on the 17th Green is a movie that Michael Switzer directed and stars Robert Urich. It’s a terrific golf movie with many lessons to take away, especially if you’re trying to get better at playing golf. Miracle on the 17th Green is the story of fifty-year-old Travis McKinley, who loses his job. Instead of trying to find a new job, he decides to play golf and try to make it on the senior golf tour. With practice and dedication, he unexpectedly improves his game to the point where he is asked to participate in the PGA Senior Open at Pebble Beach, where everyone saw a miracle.
Although the movie is more focused on the drama and story about family, the movie will nevertheless help you in realizing that golf can be an amazing sport to which you and the people you care about can relate — which will help you bond and enjoy the experience — and help you get to the point where you can achieve your golf goals.
The Legend of Bagger Vance — 2000
The Legend of Bagger Vance is a 2000 American sports movie based on Steven Pressfield’s best-selling novel “The Legend of Bagger Vance: A Novel of Golf and the Game of Life.” The movie is directed by Robert Redford and includes an all-star ensemble, including Will Smith as the main character Bagger Vance, with Matt Damon playing Rannulph Junuh. The Legend of Bagger Vance is an unbelievable experience of a movie that deals with concepts like falling from grace and despair, recovering a clear sense of purpose, overcoming barriers, and connecting with a greater sense of meaning.
The Legend of Bagger Vance narrates the tale of the caddie who goes by the name of Bagger Vance. Rannulph Junuh, a former golf prodigy who appears to have lost his way and is inebriated, meets Bagger and is given a caddie. Bagger Vance promises to assist him in recognizing and resolving his personal problems so that he can get back to playing golf. Watch the movie to see how Bagger Vance helps Rannulph Junuh become one of the best golf players. The movie will help you pick up new perspectives and methods for improving your golf game.
A Gentleman’s Game — 2002
A Gentleman’s Game is a 2002 sports drama movie that was directed by J. Mills Goodloe and starring Mason Gamble, Dylan Baker, Philip Baker Hall, and Gary Sinise. A Gentleman’s Game is a film adaptation of Tom Coyne’s book of the same name. A lot may be learned from this movie about going from being an amateur to winning major competitions. A Gentleman’s Game portrays the story of 12-year-old junior golfer Timmy Price, whose father sees potential in him at an early age and hires a talented coach with a rough history to help the young protagonist realize his maximum capabilities.
The inspirational story A Gentleman’s Game tells the tale of a young man’s transition into maturity and his route to personal development as he plays golf and meets interesting people along the way. Watch the movie to learn several approaches and strategies for getting better at golf that you can use to raise your score and lower your handicap.
Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius — 2004
Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, a 2004 biographical drama film, is based on the biography of golfer Bobby Jones, the first competitor in the sport to win all four of the men’s major golf tournaments in a single season in the 1930s. These four major tournaments are:
- The Amateur Championship in Britain
- The U.S. Amateur
- The Open Championship
- The U.S. Open
Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius is a brilliant biographical film about the power of sincere enthusiasm and self-belief as well as the astounding real tale of one man who didn’t play golf to make money but for the love of the game. He played with all his heart and accomplished the exceptional. It highlights the story of difficulties in the tournaments, particularly the British Open. Not to be outdone, Jones returns to the Open and completes the grand slam of golf — an accomplishment that had never before been accomplished by an amateur golfer. Watch the movie to learn from a real golfer about real-world situations.
The Greatest Game Ever Played — 2005
The Greatest Game Ever Played is a 2005 biographical sports movie centered on Francis Ouimet’s early life as an amateur golf champion and his unexpected victory in the 1913 U.S. Open. It portrays the story of self-taught golf phenom Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old belonging to the middle class who fell in love with golf and was determined to succeed in it during a period when golf was seen as an exclusive activity for members of high society.
The Greatest Game Ever Played is one of the finest case studies of learning how to overcome adversity, particularly in golf. The plot and direction of the movie stand out despite being almost as sentimental as they get. This gripping golf film is a motivational narrative about chasing your ambitions no matter the cost and highlights how people’s capacity to overcome adversity. Watch the movie and you may learn some pointers on how to raise your golf game to a better level.
The Bottom Line
There are many golf movies with great stories, but our top selections are the most iconic golf movies that many golfers, whether professionals or amateurs, can relate to and learn from. If you pay close attention, these great films can technically enhance your game and give you a better perspective on the game, which can help you improve your playing. Watch the movies and take what you learn to the golf course. You can also check out our other blogs for more golf tips and facts.