Five golf movies to watch

Posted: June 14, 2013

Flash floods? Twisters? Hail the size of - yes - golf balls? If the U.S. Open's opening day in Merion proves the total inundated, storm-tossed washout that forecasters are predicting, here are five duffer-centric cinematic entries to celebrate the sport's transcendental pleaures - safe and dry via your TV, PC, tablet, or smartphone.

And even if Tiger Woods et. al. get to play through, you might want to add these titles to your queue.

Caddyshack (1980) Chevy Chase tries to score on and off the fairway, Rodney Dangerfield makes ungentlemanly noises, and Bill Murray trolls the Bushwood Country Club grounds on the hunt for Mr. Gopher in Harold Ramis' putt-and-swing send-up.

The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) The historic, century-old story of Francis Ouimet, the unknown amateur who improbably and famously beat British pros Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at the 1913 U.S. Open in Brookline, Mass. Shia LeBeouf stars as Ouimet, actor Bill Paxton directs. The golfing sequences were shot at the Kanawaki Golf Club in Quebec.

Happy Gilmore (1996) Adam Sandler goes from the rinks to the links, playing an uncouth hockey player turned "amazing golf ball, uh, whacker guy" in order to raise money to save his Grandma's house. Makes Caddyshack look like a class affair, but it ranks high on the Sandler CV.

Pat and Mike (1952) Katharine Hepburn is Pat Pemberton, a star golfer (and tennis player, too) who falls in with a mug of a manager - played by her frequent costar, Spencer Tracy. Hepburn was a serious golfer, and she seriously swings in the golfing scenes filmed at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. "There's nothing wrong with a long shot." Indeed.

Tin Cup (1996) Kevin Costner is washed-up driving-range pro Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy, and Rene Russo the psychologist who comes along looking for lessons. "Waggle it," he instructs, and the rest is history. Ron ( Bull Durham) Shelton brings the sport to life in this hit 18-hole romantic comedy. The movie's climax is set at a fictional U.S. Open in North Carolina, and real-life PGA stars Lee Janzen, Billy Mayfair, Gary McCord, Phil Mickelson, Johnny Miller, Corey Pavin, and Craig Stadler appear. Fore!!


Contact Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or srea@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @Steven_Rea. Read his blog, On Movies Online, at www.inquirer.com/onmovies.

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