8 Memorable Golf Movies

7:41 PM 4/7/2018

by Zoe Haylock

Bill Murray, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Shia LaBeouf and Adam Sandler are just some of the stars who have hit the links in these films.

Adam Sandler in 'Happy Gilmore'
Adam Sandler in 'Happy Gilmore'
Photofest

Golf movies take on a wide variety of genres.

From comedies like Caddyshack to biographical dramas like Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, the below films all tell different stories while capturing the spirit of the sport.

In The Greatest Game Ever Played and Tin Cup, golf helps the main characters overcome serious societal differences. Even the oldest movie in the bunch, 1953's The Caddy, shows how golf can help bring people together. 

While some plot points may be a little far-fetched (Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore character beats professional players after just 90 days of playing), these pics firmly believe in the sanctity of golf.

Whether you play the game, watch it or just want to see something inspiring, these eight films could have you believing, too. 

  • 'The Caddy' (1953)

    From left: Jerry Lewis, Barbara Bates, Dean Martin and Donna Reed star in 'The Caddy'
    From left: Jerry Lewis, Barbara Bates, Dean Martin and Donna Reed star in 'The Caddy'
    Photofest

    Starring Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Donna Reed, this 1953 film follows a successful comedy duo from their roots as a golfer and a caddy. While their skills on the green aren’t quite there, the men are hilarious together, which gets them noticed by a talent agent. 

  • 'Caddyshack' (1980)

    Bill Murray as Carl Spackler in 'Caddyshack'
    Bill Murray as Carl Spackler in 'Caddyshack'
    Courtesy of Photofest

    Michael O’Keefe stars as Danny Noonan, a young caddy at the upscale Bushwood Country Club. While trying to save up money for college, he encounters several eccentric members and employees played by Chevy Chase, Ted Knight, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and more. 

  • 'Happy Gilmore' (1996)

    Adam Sandler stars in 'Happy Gilmore'
    Adam Sandler stars in 'Happy Gilmore'
    Photofest

    In this Adam Sandler comedy, his character, Happy, uses his newfound golf skills to win enough money to save his grandmother’s home.

  • 'Tin Cup' (1996)

    Kevin Costner and Rene Russo in 'Tin Cup'
    Kevin Costner and Rene Russo in 'Tin Cup'
    Courtesy of Photofest

    Kevin Costner stars as the rebellious Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy, who loses his successful career as a professional golfer. After falling for the girlfriend (Rene Russo) of a PGA Tour star, he decides to get back in the game and risk it all for love. 

  • 'The Legend of Bagger Vance' (2000)

    Will Smith (left) and Matt Damon star in 'The Legend of Bagger Vance'
    Will Smith (left) and Matt Damon star in 'The Legend of Bagger Vance'
    DreamWorks/Photofest

    In this Robert Redford-directed film set during the Great Depression, Adele Invergordon (Charlize Theron) creates a high-stakes golf match to garner publicity for her family course. Local golf star Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon) is off his game until Bagger Vance (Will Smith) gets him back on par. 

  • 'A Gentleman's Game' (2002)

    Gary Sinise in 'A Gentleman's Game'
    Gary Sinise in 'A Gentleman's Game'

    In this coming-of-age drama, Gary Sinise’s Foster Pearse, a former amateur golf champion, teaches young Timmy Price (Mason Gamble) the meaning of the game. 

  • 'Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius' (2004)

    Jim Caviezel stars in 'Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius'
    Jim Caviezel stars in 'Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius'
    Photofest

    Bobby Jones, portrayed by Jim Caviezel, is the only golf player to win all four of the major men’s championships in a single season. This biographical drama follows his life and details his success. 

  • 'The Greatest Game Ever Played' (2005)

    Shia LaBeouf as Francis Ouimet in 'The Greatest Game Ever Played'
    Shia LaBeouf as Francis Ouimet in 'The Greatest Game Ever Played'
    Photofest

    Based on a true story, working-class amateur golfer Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) struggles against class discrimination and familial obligations as he competes on the professional golf circuit. It all leads up to him becoming the first amateur at the 1913 U.S. Open and having to face his hero.