For those winter months of rainy days when you can’t get to a golf course, there’s always golf movies. While this isn’t the same as playing, it’s a great consolation prize for anyone who loves golf.
Not all golf movies are created the same, and they run the gamut of comedy to drama to true story.
We’ve rounded up the 10 best golf movies of all time so you can focus on the ones that matter.
Next time you’re out with your Saturday foursome, you can drop a few good quotes and get the gang laughing. This is especially handy if people are having a bad day.
Top 10 Best Golf Movies of All Time
I did not use a sophisticated ranking system, nor am I a film student of any kind. But after having watched all of these multiple times, I feel qualified to rank them based on their relevance to golf culture.
10. Seve: The Movie
IMDb Score: 7.1/10
This almost didn’t make the list because it’s part documentary, but I think more people should know about Seve Ballesteros, and this is the best vehicle to do so.
A few biopics are on the list, but many people already know their stories. Seve has largely flown under the radar because of how tragically short Seve’s career was. Despite his early exit, he left a lasting impression that is beautifully portrayed in this movie.
Mostly known for his famous shot under a tree and from his knees with a 3-wood at the 1997 Trophee Lancome, Seve made a name for himself by escaping trouble in spectacular ways.
The movie goes deeper into how positively he affected those around him and shows just how truly unique he was on and off the course.
9. Pat & Mike
IMDb Score: 6.9/10
Yes, this movie is old, and yes, it’s in black and white; get over it. The story is what matters, and this is a great story.
The film follows the story of Pat, a talented golfer, and her agent, Mike, as they navigate the challenges of the golfing world. Through their journey, viewers are treated to stunning golf scenes and an inspiring message about dedication, perseverance, and the importance of believing in oneself.
Watching Pat overcome obstacles and achieve success on the course is a reminder to all golfers, no matter what era, that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
8. The Legend of Bagger Vance
IMDb Score: 6.7/10
I also had to rank this one pretty low, based on Will Smith’s character. Although it’s derived from an ancient Hindu story that is very uplifting and inspiring, the character comes off like one of the ghosts from ‘A Christmas Carol’.
The movie hits a lot of keynotes about golf that we can all relate to. The frustration, disappointment, and feelings of never improving, but also the pure joy and camaraderie as well. There’s lots of golf talk and incredible scenery.
Some of Bagger Vance’s advice is a little too generic, though, and while it still applies to golf, you can tell it was adapted from the original story to fit the golf narrative. I still like the movie, just certain parts overtly made for Hollywood.
7. Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius
IMDb Score: 6.6/10
Here is a biopic that true golfers should watch. If you don’t know who Bobby Jones is, keep that to yourself until you watch this movie. Bobby’s legacy runs deep in the golf world, and understanding his role in the industry is eye-opening.
Primarily known for opening Augusta National and starting The Masters, his rise to fame started long before all of that.
This movie outlines everything that led to him starting the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments. An excellent player in his own right; you probably won’t be shocked to learn that he struggled with the game, just like you and I.
However, he has a few more tournament wins than the average golfer, just a few.
6. The Caddy
IMDb Score: 6.4/10
The Caddy is another oldie but a goodie that has stood the test of time and continues to be loved by audiences, specifically golfers, of course.
But what makes it such a great movie is its portrayal of golf and its die-hard fans, making it relatable and entertaining for anyone who has ever picked up a club. The film also features iconic performances by comedy legends Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, whose witty banter and hilarious antics will have viewers in stitches.
I know this is a controversial choice since it’s so old, but so is golf! So if you like golf, you should like this movie. Don’t avoid it because you think it’s outdated. The game you play every weekend with your buddies hasn’t changed, so why should movies about the sport change?
5. Tommy’s Honour
IMDb Score: 6.4/10
Another biopic that follows the lives of the legendary Scottish father-son duo of Tom and Tommy Morris.
Tom Morris Sr., affectionately known as “Old Tom,” was a pioneer in the sport, winning four Open Championships and designing some of the most renowned golf courses in Scotland. He was also a skilled club and ball maker, passing down his craftsmanship to his son Tommy.
Tommy Morris fondly referred to as “Young Tom,” followed in his father’s footsteps and became a celebrated golfer himself. He is still the youngest winner of the Open Championship at 17 and went on to win it three more times.
My only complaint about this movie is that there is not enough golf. It follows much of what happened with the business and family issues. But it’s still a great way to get caught up on the Morris’ if you’ve never heard of them.
4. The Greatest Game Ever Played
IMDb Score: 7.4/10
This movie is what golf is all about, and it’s a true story. It’s a classic tale of “if you put your mind to it, anything is possible.”
Francis Ouimet is a name all real golfers know because we always thought if he could do it, so can we. I won’t give too much away, but this feel-good story is on regular rotation at my house. It’s like the “Rudy” of golf.
If you’re not a fan of Shia LeBeouf, don’t worry; Josh Flitter’s portrayal of Eddie Lowery is exactly what we imagine him to be. Can you imagine being 10 years old and caddying in the championship match of the U.S. Open?
3. Happy Gilmore
IMDb Score: 7.0/10
I’m sure many of you will disagree with me ranking this movie so low, but in my defense, Happy Gilmore is not even a golfer; he’s a hockey player.
Of course, this is one of my all-time favorites, and I do consider it a golf movie, but if you’ve never golfed before, this movie will not help you understand what makes golf great.
Driving it 400+ yards with a persimmon driver, hitting it off Frankenstein’s “fat foot,” and going to your happy place make for a great chuckle, but it’s not golf.
If you’ve never seen any of the movies on this list, don’t start with Happy Gilmore. Unfortunately, the opposite is probably true, and many of you may have only seen this movie, especially since Will Zalatoris showed up on tour.
2. Tin Cup
IMDb Score: 6.4/10
This is a bit of a rom-com, but the golf aspects are substantial, and who can resist Kevin Costner in any kind of sports movie? One of the most relatable parts is when he visits Dr. Molly, and it’s revealed that his “nice shoes” are just golf shoes with the old-school metal spikes removed.
While there is a bit of sappiness here, I’m almost thankful for it because you can convince your significant other to watch it with you. It has the perfect amount of love story to keep non-golfers invested yet still enough golf to protect your man-card.
There are also tons of cameos from famous PGA Tour stars. Having said that, the movie is 25 years old, so the “stars” back then are much different now. You can find some of them still playing on the Champions Tour. See if you can identify them all before googling it.
IMDb Score: 7.2/10
This should come as no surprise. It still holds up today, as I can personally attest to country clubs having members just like Ty Webb, Judge Smails, and kids like Spaulding. I assume you’ve all seen it, so here are a few of the best quotes to have a laugh at.
“You’re rather attractive for a beautiful girl with a great body.” – Ty Webb (Chevy Chase)
“Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this, I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?” – Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield)
“Ahoy polloi… where did you come from, a scotch ad.” – Spaulding (John F. Barmon Jr.)
“I enjoy skinny skiing and going to bullfights on acid.” – Lacy Underall (Cindy Morgan)
“Check me if I’m wrong, Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they’re gonna lock me up and throw away the key.” – Carl Spackler (Bill Murray)
Summary—Best Golf Movies of All Time
Now that you know the 10 best golf movies of all time, you have plenty of binge-watching to do this weekend. Catch up on these so you’re not left out of the conversation next time your golf buddies throw quotes around.