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Members Choice: Which movie character has the best golf swing?

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As golfers, we all quote the classic golf movies — such as Caddyshack and Tin Cup — ad nauseam. Hang around a golf course long enough and you’ll most certainly hear someone drop a “na-na-na-na-na,” a “gunga galunga,” or a “Noonan!” We just can’t help ourselves.

But one thing that golf movies tend to struggle with is utilizing actors with believable golf swings for their roles. If you put Shooter McGavin on the range at the U.S. Open, he’d easily be exposed. Or imagine watching David Simms warm up on the range at Augusta next to Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott. The main characters in golf movies are often touted as the game’s best players, but the actors who play the roles often don’t have the swings to match. Not saying that it ruins the movies, but avid golfers can tell something is a bit off.

That being said, some movie characters do have great, or at least passable golf swings. In that vein, we polled our GolfWRX Members to see what movie character has the best golf swing.

Below are the top-3 movie character golf swings, as voted by GolfWRX Members, and why. Join the discussion here.

3) Danny Noonan (Caddyshack): 13.33 percent of votes

SubaruWRX: Na na na na na na na na na na…

Medic: Do you do drugs, Danny? The guy (Noonan) had a really nice looking swing. Seem to recall that I read somewhere that the actor still plays.

2) Bobby Jones (The Legend of Bagger Vance): 14 percent of votes

BCULAW: The actor that played Bobby Jones in The Legend of Bagger Vance actually looked like he could play a bit. Can’t say that about many of the “actors who golf.”

sdandrea: Bobby Jones in Bagger, hands down.

hehateme2285: Jim Caviezal took his role as Bobby Jones seriously. Took a lot of lessons.

1) Roy McAvoy (Tin Cup): 24.67 percent of votes

bladehunter: It’s Tin Cup and it ain’t even close. David Simms looks like a Tin man with rusty joints.

Discussion: Join the discussion here.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mike W

    Feb 14, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    It’s hard to credit Costner/McAvoy’s swing as a pro swing, I just don’t see it, he looks like at best a 10 handicap, whereas the fellow who plays Jones in Bagger Vance, that swing wouldn’t immediately trigger snickers if he teed it up on the range at a tour event.

  2. Dave Sanguinetti

    Dec 27, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Your research is baaaad- Joel Gretsch is a professional acting and looking a lot like Bobby Jones. While Costner is a very good athlete, and has done many sports themed movies, NO ONE who sees this swing would ever confuse him with a pro golfer.

  3. Brandon

    Dec 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    The Unfinished Symphony of Roy McAvoy

  4. HOWARD THEISMAN

    Dec 26, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Swings from ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’ should be included. Great movie with great swings!

  5. ken

    Dec 26, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Costner has a good move to the ball. Looks like he plays ,
    However the Actor ( Joel Gretsch) that played the part of Bobby Jones, had about the most natural, smooth golf swing of any actor I have seen in a golf movie.
    Bruce Mc Gill, who played the part of Walter Hagen also had a very good golf swing.
    Other actors that had good swings. Jerry Orbach of Law and Order and “Dirty Dancing” fame.
    Don Johnson’s swing in Tin Cup looked pretty authentic.
    In the movie “Greatest Game Ever Played” which chronicles the shocking win of the US Open by Francis Ouimet, the actor Shia LaBeouf . That actor’s swing was in need of some serious editing during the golf scene shooting.

  6. S

    Dec 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Jim cavaziel didn’t play Bobby Jones in the legend of bagger Vance. Joel Fritsch did. You’ve got yout Bobby Jones movies mixed up

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Remembering Celia | Valentino Dixon freed | Bryson the muse

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

September 20, 2018

Good Thursday morning, golf fans. Did you catch the stealth announcement in yesterday’s M9? The FedEx Cup, in addition to other stated changes, will be changing its name to the “FexEx Cup.” At least, that’s the conclusion you could have drawn from the typo in my subject line. More coffee hopefully equals fewer mistakes this morning.
1. Remembering Celia
We know what happened. We will probably only ever have a superficial understanding of why it happened. The golf world now turns to remembering Celia Barquin Arozamena.
  • Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols writes…”Celia Barquin Arozamena was a feisty competitor. She was thoughtful too. The kind of player who bought flowers for teammates on Valentine’s Day and left inspirational quotes on the bulletin board. Iowa State coach Christie Martens choked back tears on the phone as she talked about the special relationship Barquin Arozamena had with her own daughter, Norah.”
  • “There are no answers for times like this. Only questions, tears and cherished memories of time spent with a 22-year-old woman whose future was bright”
  • “The spotlight is on her because of her golf,” said Martens. “But it’s everything else about her that has made her so special to me personally and to our team.”
2. Valentino Dixon freed
AP Report…”A New York prison artist who never played golf but became known for drawings of lush courses he could only imagine was set free Wednesday after authorities agreed that another man committed the murder that put him behind bars for nearly three decades.”
  • “Valentino Dixon walked out of Erie County Court into bright sunshine and hugs from his mother, daughter and a crowd of other relatives and friends, ready for a meal at Red Lobster and vowing to fight on behalf of others who are wrongly convicted.”
  • “Earlier Wednesday, a judge agreed to set aside Dixon’s conviction in the 1991 shooting death of 17-year-old Torriano Jackson on a Buffalo street corner and accepted a guilty plea from another man who had confessed to the killing two days after it happened.”
  • …”While behind bars, Dixon rekindled his childhood passion for drawing, often spending 10 hours a day creating vivid colored pencil landscapes, including of golf courses, while imagining freedom. Articles in Golf Digest and elsewhere have drawn public attention to Dixon’s case. NBC Sports’ Jimmy Roberts spotlighted Dixon in a 2013 segment for his “In Play” series on Golf Channel”
3. Bryson remains a muse
The scribes can’t get enough, and who can blame them? Nearly every week, DeChambeau offers bon mots or behavioral fodder for articles-and the overarching storylines are too good not to pick up a pen/peck at a keyboard.
This week, it’s David Dusek writing about BAD’s comfort with his place in the golf world.
  • “Part of DeChambeau’s comfort level comes from knowing his game is firing on all cylinders right now. He enters this week ranked fourth in strokes gained total (1.664), 13th in scoring average (69.62) and after having played a few practice rounds under bright Georgia sunshine, he said East Lake suits his style.”
  • “…DeChambeau is also getting used to the demands that are being placed on him and the commitments that come with success.”
  • “I’ve had to prioritize now more than I’ve ever had to in my life, so Brett (Falkoff, DeChambeau’s agent) has been very instrumental in that, my caddie (Tim Tucker) has been helpful with that,” he said. “I’ve just had to plan things out more and really be on point. When I wake up in the morning, I can’t be messing around. I’ve got to get up and get ready to go to work. It’s more of like a 9-to-5 job in a sense.”
…and ESPN’s Bob Harig with “Bryson DeChambeau is different from every golfer you’ve ever seen,” the angle of which you can probably surmise.
  • “What makes DeChambeau different from others at the highest level of the game is his “single-length” irons and wedges. Each club measures 37.5 inches and is built with a 7-iron shaft — unlike traditional sets of irons that get progressively shorter as you go from a 2-iron down to a wedge…All of the head weights in his irons are 280 grams, and he uses oversized grips on each of his clubs.”
  • “Jordan Spieth, who has known DeChambeau since their college days at Texas and SMU, respectively, is somewhat amused but also impressed with the approach….”I think he phrases stuff differently than he needs to at times, but the belief in what he’s doing is very important in this game, and when you’re that exact on what you’re trying to do … . When you feel the slightest bit off, you’re trying to fine-tune to the nth degree,” Spieth said.”
4. Brooks wasn’t invited
Credit to Golf Digest’s Brian Wacker for getting Brooks Koepka’s response to being left off the pre-tournament interview schedule at the Tour Championship.
  • “[The media] has their guys they wanna talk to,” Koepka said when tracked down on the course. “I’m not one of them and that’s fine.”…”We don’t get asked to do many interviews, so I’m not gonna go out of my way to do one,” he said. “I don’t really care.”
  • “You’ve got guys who will kiss up, and I’m not gonna kiss up,” Koepka said. “I don’t need to kiss anyone’s butt. I’m here to play golf. I’m not here to do anything else. A lot of guys are known for the stuff they do off the golf course and who they like to hang around. It’s pretty obvious who’s doing that and who isn’t. I don’t need to bend over backwards to be friends with anyone [in the media], but certain guys do that because they want their names written. I’d rather be written about because of my play.”
  • “Sometimes it does suck, but I’ve started to care less. Come Sunday, I won’t forget it when everyone wants to talk to me because I just won. I don’t forget things.”
5. Tiger reflects on 2018
USA Today’s Steve Dimeglio with a few notes and some context from Tiger’s pre-Tour Championship presser.
  • “Starting his comeback ranked 1,199th in the world, he is now No. 21. Exceeding his own tempered expectations, he has six top-6 finishes, including a tie for second in the Valspar…Championship, a second in the PGA Championship, a tie for sixth in the British Open and a tie for sixth in the BMW Championship, the third of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs.”
  • “He also earned a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, and will play in the biennial tussle with Europe for the first time since 2012. And he’s one of just 30 players to make it to The Tour Championship.”
  • “I haven’t been here in quite some time, and it’s great to have accomplished one of the goals I set out at the beginning of the year, to make it back to East Lake to be part of The Tour Championship and part of these top 30 guys,” said Woods, who is looking for win No. 80 and his first since 2013. “To have come back from where I’ve come back from and to get here has been a pretty tall order and something I’m proud of.”
  • Woods offered this perspective on his attitude entering the season…”I just needed rounds. In order to get rounds, I needed to be physically fit and healthy enough to do it, and I felt pretty comfortable to be able to add a tournament in there. I just needed to keep my body strong, keep it moving, and eventually I would find a game that could contend and that eventually would lead to wins.”
6. “Weird”
A solid take from Geoff Shackelford on the new FEC format-and Justin Thomas as well.
  • “The PGA Tour faced one major dilemma in trying to improve the FedExCup: how to make sure FedEx gets full value for their sponsorship.
  • “….So to have recent FedExCup champion Justin Thomas calling the new 2019 system “weird” right out of the chute, with the social media reaction suggesting he gave the perfect summary of how most feel, comes off as pretty weird given all of the brainpower put into the latest FedExCup overhaul.”
  • “From Bob Harig’s ESPN.com story…”It’s something that is very, very weird and going to be hard to get used to,” Thomas said. “We talked about it, and it’s … never going to be perfect.”
7. Ryder Cup memorabilia of years past
Our Gianni Magliocco rounded up 10 interesting finds from eBay and elsewhere.
A 1987 Ryder Cup money clip, a 2010 Scotty Cameron Team Europe putter cover, and much more!
8. Here comes the night
Dark wedges are in. Titleist’s limited edition Slate Blue Vokey SM7 is the latest example of the phenomenon.
  • WRX staff report…”The Vokey SM7 L Grind proved to be a welcome addition for those golfers who were looking to excel around the greens on firm conditions. The enhanced heel, toe and trailing edge grind provided the lowest bounce option available from Titleist upon its release.”
  • “Now, Titleist has announced the release of their new Vokey WedgeWorks Limited 60-degree T Grind. Just like the L Grind, the latest release from Titleist is a low-bounce option designed for players with a shallow attack angle playing in firm conditions, however, the new T Grind’s dual-bounce sole allows the wedge to sit closer to the ground, making it easier to get the leading edge under the ball and promoting lift. According to Titleist, the dual bounce sole creates a narrow, forward bounce which helps to provide a gliding sensation.”
9. Bury me in the Ryder Cup
Credit to Golf Digest’s Alex Myers for this funerary find.
He writes…”Urns for Ashes is now offering a Ryder Cup replica urn. And all kidding aside, this thing looks pretty sweet:..Here’s what it says under product description”
  • “A perfect send off for a golf loving friend or family member. We have been commissioned to create a variety of golf urns for ashes, from a customised bag to a ball and tee to immortalise a special memory. Our 3d printed, 100% unique urns are hand finished in as much detail as you wish. We work with award winning designers and artists to ensure only the highest quality. I look forward to helping you create a memory to keep forever.”
  • “According to someone who works for the UK-located company, the Ryder Cup replica urn was actually a special request recently made by a Golf Digest reader,” which the company decided offer for sale after the positive response.”
Is Ian Poulter a Golf Digest reader?
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Breaking down FedEx Cup changes | Details in amateur golfer’s death | USGA survey

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Yes, I know in the subject line of the email version of the M9 I said “FexEx.” I am an idiot. With the cat out of the FedEx box, however, there’s nothing I can do…
1. FedEx Cup changes officially official…
As had been previously established, the Tour will move from four playoff events to three. Most dramatically, the rumored staggered Tour Championship scoring, with the No. 1 player on the points list starting at 10 under, is now a reality. The next four players in the standings will being a 8 under through 5 under. No 6-10 will start at 4 under. Every five players after that will start a stroke further back, with No. 26 through 30 beginning at even par.
  • There will also now be a $10 million regular season bonus pool sponsored by Wyndham Rewards, aptly named the “Wyndham Rewards Top 10.”
  • The FedEx Cup Playoffs will wrap prior to Labor Day, thus finishing before the NFL season kicks off. The field for The Northern Trust will be 125 players, 70 for the BMW Championship, and 30 for the Tour Championship, with the points remaining the same for the first two events.
  • Regarding the $10 million Wyndham Rewards Top 10, the Tour says it, “will also put an even greater premium on excelling over the course of the FedExCup Regular Season.”
  • The leader of the top 10 will earn $2 million, with the runner-up pocketing $1.5 million. The existing FedEx Cup bonus pool will now total $60 million-$25 million more than the existing pool. Accordingly, the FedEx Cup champion will earn $15 million, rather than the $10 million in the current system.
2. …still not playoffs
And yet…still the Playoffs are not playoffs, as Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner points out.
  • He also offers this take: “In a move that surely will alienate many of its hardcore fans, the Tour on Tuesday unveiled its new format for the Tour Championship. Beginning next year, players will begin the week at East Lake with a predetermined total based on their position on the points list, the leader starting at 10 under par.”
  • “In an age of points and projections, the Tour’s desire for simplicity is understandable – RIP, Steve Sands’ whiteboard – but its new-look finale violates the spirit of competitive sports…There are no head starts in sports. That’s the beauty of them.”
3. Details in amateur golfer’s death
Look, this story is just awful. May Celia Barquin Arozamena rest in peace. That said, details were scarce in the initial report of her on-course murder, yesterday, so I made the decision to wait until there was more of substance to report. Now there is. It’s horrible. Here it is.
  • Per an ABC News report…”A homeless man has attacked and killed a top amateur golfer from Spain who was playing a round near her university campus in central Iowa, leaving her body in a pond on the course, according to police.”
  • “Collin Daniel Richards, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a student at Iowa State University (ISU)…Barquin was found Monday morning (local time) in a pond at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 50 kilometres north of Des Moines.”
  • “Police were called to the golf course around 10:20am to investigate a possible missing female after golfers found a golf bag with no one around it.”
  • “Officers found Barquin’s body some distance from the bag, with several stab wounds to her upper torso, head and neck, according to the criminal complaint filed on Tuesday against Mr Richards.”
  • “A police dog tracked Barquin’s scent to a temporary camp along a creek near the golf course, where Richards had been living in a tent, the complaint said…Officers found Mr Richards with several fresh scratches on his face consistent with fighting, and a deep laceration in his left hand that he tried to conceal, it said.”
4. Tiger Woods off probation
Golf Channel Digital report…”Tiger Woods’ year-long probation stemming from last year’s DUI arrest has been terminated a month early.”
  • “According to Sam Smink of WPTV, Woods, 42, was let off probation early for successfully completing all regular and special conditions of his probation after pleading guilty to reckless driving and entering a diversion program last October.”
  • “Under the conditions of the program, Woods was required to pay a $250 fine and court costs, attend a DUI school and undergo a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program. He was also subject to random drug and alcohol testing under the program.”
5. The Full Dechambeau
Bryson DeChambeau, scientific method in tow, is testing the effects of morning dew on his golf ball.
  • Before we get into specifics: I don’t think there’s anything crazy about this. Golf is a game of variables and minimizing misses. Any effort to further understand a variable or minimize a potential miss is wise. Full stop.
  • Anyway, here’s what BAD was doing per Christopher Powers, “DeChambeau, who does things a little differently to say the least, took his preparation to a different level on Tuesday at East Lake ahead of this week’s Tour Championship. According to the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin, who was watching DeChambeau closely on the range, the Mad Scientist was spraying his golf balls with water to simulate morning dew, because of course he was.”
Photo via PGATour.com’s Sean Martin.
6. Spieth’s violation settled
…but we know not how.
  • ESPN’s Bob Harig…”With next week’s Ryder Cup, Spieth will have played in just 24 events this season after competing in 24 last year. All along, he had planned on being at East Lake, where he won the 2015 FedEx Cup.”
  • “PGA Tour regulations stipulate that a player in violation of the policy is subject to a “Major Penalty,” which can include a minimum fine of $20,000 and a suspension of at least three tournaments.”
  • Don’t expect Spieth to be sitting out any tournaments. In fact, according to the PGA Tour’s Andy Pazder, it appears that Spieth will be adding events in the coming season.
  • “We have come to a resolution,” said Pazder, the tour’s chief tournament and competitions officer, on Tuesday at East Lake, site of this week’s tournament. “You will see it next season. I think it will be good for the tour, for fans and for golf in general.”
I guess we’ll look forward to that next season…
7. Jay Seawell reflects
PGATour.com’s Helen Ross filed an excellent look at the work of Alabama men’s golf coach, Jay Seawell.
  • A bit…”Under Seawell’s guidance, the Crimson Tide won national championships in 2013 and ’14, and finished runner-up in 2012. Five of his former players are on the PGA TOUR right now – Justin Thomas, Trey Mullinax, Tom Lovelady, Bud Cauley and Michael Thompson.”
  • “Seawell says Thomas was probably 15 years old when he started recruiting the future world No. 1. He remembers getting a call from someone who said the teenager might be interested in attending Alabama and Seawell followed up immediately. After all, he says, Thomas could have gone anywhere in the country. He had the “buffet in front of him,” the coach explains.”
  • “The recruitment on him started from him, believe it or not, and that’s the way it happens a lot,” Seawell says. “There are a lot of players out there and so he just kind of sent word through a third party who called my phone.”…”They said, ‘Hey, I think Justin Thomas would be somebody who’d be interested. They wanted me to know that if you’re interested they would like for me to watch him play.’
  • “So it kind of was initiated by Justin and his father and of course, when we first saw him we were like, ‘Wow, this is great.'”
8. USGA survey time!
The USGA wants your feedback on the distance debate.
  • As for the essence of the questionnaire, Geoff Shackelford had this to say.
  • “The USGA/R&A distance survey is a bit like a Robert Trent Jones design: needlessly long, seemingly takes longer to get through than you think, isn’t the most rewarding experience and you’d never do it again….But unlike some tired old RTJ effort, this one really won’t cost you a dime and will entertain at times if you are intrigued by reading between the lines or general survey construction.”

And for our international readers, the R&A’s

9. Out of bounds
I want to call your attention to the fine work Ms. Amanda Rose is doing for GolfWRX. She’s only made a handful of videos at this point, but this former college golfer has something of the spirit and substance of Katie Nolan; and it’s a voice we certainly could use in the golf media space.

Check out her latest Out of Bounds video

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The FedEx Cup overhaul is official. Here are the details

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The PGA Tour substantiated the rumored changes to the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Tuesday, unveiling a new playoff format in general, an overhaul of the Tour Championship in particular, and a new regular season points race.

As had been previously established, the Tour will move from four playoff events to three. Most dramatically, the rumored staggered Tour Championship scoring, with the No. 1 player on the points list starting at 10 under, is now a reality. The next four players in the standings will being a 8 under through 5 under. No 6-10 will start at 4 under. Every five players after that will start a stroke further back, with No. 26 through 30 beginning at even par.

There will also now be a $10 million regular season bonus pool sponsored by Wyndham Rewards, aptly named the “Wyndham Rewards Top 10.”

The FedEx Cup Playoffs will wrap prior to Labor Day, thus finishing before the NFL season kicks off. The field for The Northern Trust will be 125 players, 70 for the BMW Championship, and 30 for the Tour Championship, with the points remaining the same for the first two events.

“This is a significant and exciting change for the PGA Tour, our players, our partners and – most importantly – our fans,” said PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan. “As soon as the Tour Championship begins, any fan – no matter if they’ve followed the PGA Tour all season or are just tuning in for the final event – can immediately understand what’s going on and what’s at stake for every single player in the field. And, of course, players will know exactly where they stand at all times while in play, which will ratchet up the drama, consequence and volatility of the competition down the stretch.”

Regarding the $10 million Wyndham Rewards Top 10, the Tour says it, “will also put an even greater premium on excelling over the course of the FedExCup Regular Season.”

The leader of the top 10 will earn $2 million, with the runner-up pocketing $1.5 million. The existing FedEx Cup bonus pool will now total $60 million—$25 million more than the existing pool. Accordingly, the FedEx Cup champion will earn $15 million, rather than the $10 million in the current system.

Alternatively, there’s Geoff Shackelford’s summary of the changes: “This will be easier to follow than the current system where algorithms proved consistently boring to follow. This has to be better…the FedExCup as we knew it, did not work.”

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