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10 Best Golf Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

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.

The Phantom of the Open

#1 The Phantom of the Open (2021)

Critics Consensus: Led by a stellar performance from Mark Rylance, The Phantom of the Open turns a stranger-than-fiction true story into crowd-pleasing entertainment.

Synopsis: The Phantom of the Open tells the heartwarming true story of Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance), a dreamer and unrelenting optimist. This humble crane operator from Barrow-in-Furness managed to gain entry to The British Open Golf Championship qualifying in 1976, despite never playing a round of golf before. He shot the worst round in Open history and drew the ire of the golfing elite, but became a folk hero in the process and, more importantly, showed his family the importance of pursuing your dreams.

Starring: Mark RylanceSally HawkinsRhys IfansJake Davies

Directed By: Craig Roberts


#2 Caddyshack (1980)

Critics Consensus: Though unabashedly crude and juvenile, Caddyshack nevertheless scores with its classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue.

Synopsis: Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), a teen down on his luck, works as a caddy at the snob-infested Bushwood Country Club to raise money for his college education. In an attempt to gain votes for a college scholarship reserved for caddies, Noonan volunteers to caddy for a prominent and influential club member (Ted Knight). Meanwhile, Danny struggles to prepare for the high pressure Caddy Day golf tournament while absorbing New Age advice from wealthy golf guru Ty Webb (Chevy Chase).

Starring: Chevy ChaseRodney DangerfieldBill MurrayTed Knight

Directed By: Harold Ramis

Pat and Mike

#3 Pat and Mike (1952)

Critics Consensus: Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy take competition to a romantic-comic highpoint in this elegantly directed sports comedy by George Cukor.

Synopsis: Pat Pemberton (Katharine Hepburn), a college athletics instructor, enters a number of golf matches against female professionals. She holds her own until her well-meaning but condescending fiancé, Collier Weld (William Ching), turns up at the games and distracts her. Sports manager Mike Conovan (Spencer Tracy) sees her talent and offers to train her. After realizing that Pat stops trying when Collier is around, Mike works to keep them apart -- especially when he begins to develop feeling for her.

Starring: Spencer TracyKatharine HepburnAldo RayWilliam Ching

Directed By: George Cukor

The Short Game

#4 The Short Game (2013)

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: The world's best 7-year-old golfers travel to Pinehurst, N.C., to compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf.

Starring: Jack NicklausGary PlayerAnnika Sörenstam

Directed By: Josh Greenbaum

The Caddy

#5 The Caddy (1953)

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: A golfer (Dean Martin) and a caddy (Jerry Lewis) land in show business after getting kicked out of professional golf.

Starring: Dean MartinJerry LewisDonna ReedFred Clark

Directed By: Norman Taurog

Swing Away

#6 Swing Away (2016)

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Following a meltdown that leads to a suspension, professional golfer Zoe Papadopoulos (Shannon Elizabeth) travels to her grandparents' village in Greece to escape the harsh spotlight of the international sports world. Between baking bread and eating baklava, she meets and mentors a 10-year-old girl who is determined to become the next golf sensation.

Starring: Shannon ElizabethJohn O'HurleyKarl TheobaldManos Gavras

Directed By: Michael A. Nickles

Loopers: the Caddie's Long Walk

#7 Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk (2019)

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Filmmaker Jason Baffa examines the personal bonds and dynamic relationships that form between golfers and caddies.

Starring: Bill Murray

Directed By: Jason Baffa

Loopers: the Caddie's Long Walk

#8 Seve: The Movie (2014)

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Synopsis: Severiano Ballesteros (José Luis Gutiérrez) battles adversity to become one of the greatest professional golfers of all time.

Starring: José Luis GutiérrezJosé NavarMaría MolinsAlvar Gordejuela

Directed By: John-Paul Davidson

Tin Cup

#9 Tin Cup (1996)

Critics Consensus: Breezy and predictable, Tin Cup is a likeable sports comedy that benefits greatly from Kevin Costner's amiable lead performance.

Synopsis: Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) was a golf pro with a bright future, but his rebellious nature and bad attitude cost him everything. Now working as a golf instructor, he falls for his newest pupil, Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo), a psychiatrist who happens to be the girlfriend of PGA Tour star and Roy's rival, David Simms (Don Johnson). After he is humiliated by Simms at a celebrity golf tournament, McAvoy decides to make a run for the PGA Tour, as well as Molly's heart.

Starring: Kevin CostnerRene RussoCheech MarinLinda Hart

Directed By: Ron Shelton

Tommy's Honour

#10 Tommy's Honour (2016)

Critics Consensus: Somewhat staid yet ultimately rather charming, Tommy's Honour opens a well-acted window into professional golf's formative years.

Synopsis: Tom and Tommy Morris, father and son pioneers of professional golf, relied on skill, business acumen and working-class street smarts to make Tommy one of the world's first sports superstars and found the modern game of golf.

Starring: Peter MullanJack LowdenOphelia LovibondSam Neill

Directed By: Jason Connery

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