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Golf Movie Madness: What’s the best golf film ever?

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In the spirit of a certain collegiate sporting event that occurs during the third month of the year (which will unfortunately not be occurring this year), we’re presenting a bracket of our own and allowing you to determine the winners via a series of polls.

We’ll leave voting open for 48 hours for the first eight matchups. At that time, we’ll determine the winners and matchups for the next four matches. We’d say the “final four” matches, but that might be met with a cease and desist letter…

The movies and seeding were determined by a contentious round-table discussion among the WRX staff (via Zoom meeting, naturally), and Editor-in-Chief Ben Alberstadt was tasked with composing the thoroughly amateur bracket in Google Sheets. He did not disappoint with respect to the amateurishness. (Note: the inclusion of Caddyshack in the featured image does not necessarily mean GolfWRX is biased toward that particular Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis, and Doug Kenney-written masterpiece)

Game 1

Tin Cup

Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) is a washed-up golf pro now turned instructor who falls for his latest pupil (Rene Russo) who just happens to be the girlfriend of PGA Tour great and enemy of McAvoy, David Simms (Don Johnson). Embarrassed by Simms at an exhibition, McAvoy decides to return to the game and make a run at the U.S. Open.

Bagger Vance

Rannulph Junuh (Matt Damon), whose life and career has been turned upside down after World War 1, is brought in to play a high stakes match at Adele Invergordon’s (Charlize Theron) family golf course. Struggling with his game, Junuh meets the mysterious caddie Bagger Vance (Will Smith) – who changes his path of destiny.

Who wins game 1?

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Game 2

The Greatest Game Ever Played

Working-class immigrant Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) in employed as a caddie at the exclusive Brookline Country Club where he works on his game in his off-time. Fighting class boundaries, Ouimet enters the 1913 U.S. Open where he competes against his childhood hero Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane).

Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius

Based on the real-life of Bobby Jones (Jim Caviezel), who while winning events left, right and center, must lean on his wife Mary (Claire Forlani) to control his intense persona and to balance his life on and off the course.

Who wins game 2?

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Game 3

Happy Gilmore

Ice Hockey wannabe Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) finds he has a talent for golf and in learning that his grandmother (Frances Bay) is on the verge of losing her house he joins a tournament to win the money for her. Disrupting the applecart with his foulmouth and unorthodox approach, and armed with a big drive but poor putting, Gilmore must take down his greatest foe Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald).

Dead Solid Perfect

Kenny Lee (Randy Quaid) is a talented underachiever who learns about life and himself as he travels the country, struggling to turn pro and enter the U.S. Open.

Who wins game 3?

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Game 4

Caddyshack

Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) works as a caddie at an exclusive golf club in an effort to fund his education. Eccentric club members, a gopher running riot and all-out chaos ensue in this golf film classic which features the likes of Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield.

A Gentleman’s Game

Timmy Price (Mason Gamble) is a 12-year-old boy who caddies at an exclusive country club who learns about life as he sees the seismic divide in wealth and class between the members who frequent the club and the staff members.

Who wins game 4?

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. R2D2

    Mar 20, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Seven Days in Utopia wasn’t terrible..

  2. Boyo

    Mar 20, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    “We’re all gonna get laid!”

  3. Rich Douglas

    Mar 20, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Where’s Caddyshack II?

  4. Dttruman

    Mar 20, 2020 at 9:40 am

    What about “Follow the Sun”, about Ben Hogan, You got a story in there about Bobby Jones?

  5. Old tom

    Mar 20, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Where is Tommy’s Honour?

  6. Dan

    Mar 20, 2020 at 8:52 am

    This poll lost all credibility when I see HG has move votes than DSP

    For those who haven’t seen Dead Solid Perfect: https://youtu.be/TrVPsofkko4

    • Nick

      Mar 20, 2020 at 9:05 am

      Came here to say this. If you don’t vote for DSP you’re a cop.

    • TommyV

      Mar 20, 2020 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks for the link, had never seen it before. Tried to buy it a few years back and couldn’t find it for sale.

    • Russell Ziskey

      Mar 21, 2020 at 9:08 pm

      OMG I have been looking for this movie for nearly 30 years. I almost bought a VHS copy in like 2005 that was going for $70 so I could rip it to a digital format, but would have then needed to find a VCR!

      That’s for the link – an unbelievable public service u have performed!!!

  7. pat

    Mar 20, 2020 at 8:50 am

    People should try to see “Dead Solid Perfect”, a true golf movie, before voting. Also agree, a tough draw against “Happy Gilmore” which most everyone has seen. Glad DSP was included in poll so that many will now be aware of this undiscovered gem. Thanks for including it.

  8. GhostofKenGreen

    Mar 19, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    Dead solid perfect ! Happy Gilmore is the game improvement iron of golf movies.

    • Steve Cantwell

      Mar 20, 2020 at 12:26 am

      Excellent metaphor (?)!

    • MikeB

      Mar 20, 2020 at 11:04 am

      Dead Solid Perfect hands down!! Those who didn’t vote for DSP, never saw it. IMHO, better than Tin Cup. Case in point, at any US Open, when will a 3w, into a green, back up and go into the water? Multiple times.
      Happy Gilmore was entertaining, but not really a true golf movie.
      Seeing nothing is on, The Golf Channel needs to get Dead Solid Perfect on the air, some how, some way. Just buy the rights, ESPN has the money.

  9. Steve Cantwell

    Mar 19, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Happy Gilmore is not a golf movie. It’s a comedy that uses golf as a backdrop. Dead solid perfect is by far a much better movie. Sadly, it had no chance against Adam Sandler.

  10. Jason

    Mar 19, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Dead Solid Prefect is a great “golf” movie. It’s actually one of those movies that should be remade.

  11. Will o'the Glen

    Mar 19, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    “A Gentleman’s Game” is a nice little movie that maybe 20 people have ever seen, most of them related to Tom Coyne, the author of the book is its based on. I liked it, and I even own a copy on DVD. Tough, tough 1st-round draw against “Caddyshack”.

    “Dead Solid Perfect” is a pale, pale shadow of the classic Dan Jenkins book, and also got a very tough draw, against a movie that I personally don’t care for, “Happy Gilmore”.

  12. Smith

    Mar 19, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Tin Cup and Happy Gilmore is going to be tight!

  13. Paulo

    Mar 19, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Why go through all this. There’s only one winner , “ooooh billie billie “

    • TG65

      Mar 19, 2020 at 6:06 pm

      I’ve sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn’t want to do it… felt I owed it to them.

    • NormW

      Mar 20, 2020 at 8:42 pm

      Toss up between that and The Greatest Game…….

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The Wedge Guy: 3 keys to handling pressure

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Whether you play competitively or not, “pressure” is a big part of this game. Even if we are out for an evening practice nine, when we get over any shot, from drive to putt, we are putting “pressure” on ourselves to perform to our best capability.

So just what is pressure? My dad used to tell us the story about a guy who wanted to learn how to walk the tightrope. He strung a rope across his yard about a foot off the ground and started practicing—first just balancing, then walking, skipping—he got where he “owned” that tightrope. So, he decided he was ready for the big top, to join the circus. The circus manager says, “Well, climb up there and show me what you’ve got.” When he got to the top and looked down about thirty feet, he couldn’t even get off the platform.

Pressure!

Pressure affects all of differently, but it does affect all of us. How can we totally jack a two-foot putt sometimes? How can we chunk a chip shot? We don’t do that on the practice tee! But then, how can tour pros hit some of the gosh-awful shots we see them hit coming down the stretch? No one is immune.

So, I want to share my three keys to handling pressure. I’d like for all of you to chime in with your own personal keys that you use with success.

Here are mine:

  1. Recall success! The first thing that happens in pressure situations is that fear sets in. You may find yourself thinking of that last short putt you missed, or that chip you chunked, or bunker shot you skulled. In Dr. David Cook’s book/movie “Seven Days In Utopia”, the mentor tells his student, “See it. Feel it. Trust it.” See the shot you have and recall the dozens or hundreds of ways you’ve successfully executed it before. Take a few practice swings and feel the swing that will produce that vision. Then trust your skill that you KNOW you have and just execute.
  2. Get S-L-O-W. It’s a natural tendency to get quick when we are under pressure. As you begin to approach the shot, slow down a bit. If you are riding in a cart and approaching the green, pause for a count before you jump out of the cart. Take a breath before you pull the clubs from the bag. Walk a little more slowly over to your ball, which gives you time to think those successful thoughts we just talked about. Make your practice swings or strokes a little slower, more deliberately. And feel the end of your backswing. The quickness killer is not finishing the swing, whether it’s a full iron shot, a short chip or pitch, or even a putt. FEEL the end of the backswing to neutralize quickness.
  3. Lighten up! A nice relaxed grip is essential to a good golf shot of any kind, but pressure affects that first, most of the time. When you are feeling a little “amped up”, focus on your grip pressure and R-E-L-A-X. Your body will not let you hold a club too softly, but pressure sure can make you put the death grip on the club. And it is hard to swing too quickly when you have a nice soft grip on the club.

So, those are my “three keys” to handling pressure. Try them the next time you find yourself a little nervous, whether it’s for the club championship, or just beating your buddies out of a few bucks.

And let us know your keys to handling pressure, too!

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