(Photo by Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection)
Golf may not have lined its shelf with as many movies as other sports (such as baseball, football, and basketball), so you’ve got to appreciate what is available. Let’s take a look at the top 10 golf movies according to the Tomatometer, with Certified Fresh films first. Golf movies may be on an upswing since the best-reviewed movie came out within the past few years: 2021’s The Phantom of the Open, starring Mark Rylance in the true story of a 46-year-old making his way to the British Open having never played before. Further on the Certified Fresh fairway is Caddyshack, the classic, raucous party movie starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray.
Kevin Costner, already the king of baseball movies with the likes of Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, stars in Tin Cup, a popular adult-oriented favorite from the ’90s. Two classic golf comedies came out within a year of each other in the ’50s: Pat and Mike and The Caddy. The former is one of the nine movies Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy starred in together (with Hepburn doing all of her golf work on-camera), and the latter is also from a famous Hollywood duo: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The Caddy is right near the middle of their 17 movie collaborations.
We similarly got two ace golf movies within a year in 2016: Swing Away (starring Shannon Elizabeth, soaking in the sunshine in Greece) and Tommy’s Honour (a biopic of legendary Scottish golfer Old Tom Morris, and his relationship with his son). Another biopic to check out is Seve: The Movie, the story of Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros, who popularized the sport globally for three decades.
Documentaries round out the rest of the top 10 best-reviewed golf movies: The Short Game, in which you can witness the most competitive 7-year-old golfers in the world, and Loopers, which explores the relationship between caddie and golfer to the narration of Bill Murray.
Outside of the top 10 are plenty of audience favorites, including Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore, Shia LaBeouf’s The Greatest Game Ever Played, and The Legend of Bagger Vance. —Alex Vo