Twitter: GeoffShac
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  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
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    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
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  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
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  • Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
    Teeing Off: Players, Techniques, Characters, and Reflections from a Lifetime Inside the Game
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Roundup: Tommy's Honour Reviews, Filming Backstory

The LA Times' Kevin Crust gives Tommy's Honour a very positive review, calling the film "handsomely produced" while weaving in current (golfing) events with his review.

He writes:

Connery and his crew, including director of photography Gary Shaw, production designer James Lapsley and costume designer Rhonda Russell, richly evoke the harsh beauty of Scotland, while warmly re-creating the style and manners of the period. There’s a certain “Chariots of Fire”-like reverence for all things golf and Scottish, but the woolly courses, a far cry from the manicured fairways of today, and comparatively crude implements used by the players, provide an earthy balance.

Variety's Peter Debruge gives a largely glowing review though does take issue with the golf swings.

While there's a certain charm in seeing these early sportsmen dressed as though ready for mass (no kilts, alas), the golf scenes are undone by the fact that no one can actually swing a club. For some roles, actors will learn to play an instrument of master a manual skill, but there's none of that authenticity here. Instead, Connery has gone back in post and unconvincingly inserted digital balls, which defy the laws of physics as blatantly as the CG goo in Disney's "Flubber." The strategy robs us of what little thrill golf has to offer, whether spectating live or on TV, as impossible shots remain precisely that: impossible.

Thankfully, Connery has kept the story's human side grounded in the real world, and those are the only stakes that matter.

Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times slaughters the film, calling it staid.

Redolent of damp wool and dour personalities, “Tommy’s Honour” wants to convince us that watching two men bicker and bang balls into tiny holes for the better part of two hours is the height of entertainment.

Not that I wasn’t open to persuasion. For one thing, this staid biopic was prettily filmed in my beloved Scotland and directed by Jason Connery (the son of Sean Connery).

Peter Rainer, reviewing for the Christian Science Monitor leads by saying Tin Cup is the best golf movie ever made and...I stopped reading.

Adam Schupak in the Morning Read talks to the film's producers about what inspired their desire to turn Kevin Cook's book into a film.

The Old Course in its present state was too manicured to represent the 1860s and ’70s. Striving for authenticity, the filmmakers found Balcarres estate, about 30 minutes south of St. Andrews. Funny enough, golf's most cherished temple was reproduced in a cow pasture. Once the filmmakers relocated the cows and cut down the weeds, they built two holes, including the famed 18th. That meant digging a Swilcan Burn and the bridge that golfers know and love.

"There's a little movie magic involved," said Keith Bank, one of the producers, noting that the snow in a winter scene was shot with paper on a 60-degree day.

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Reader Comments (20)

I fear the scenes on the courses were to be hones poor and did not reflect the true conditions that of the 1870's.

While I accept courses back then did not have the super finishes we see today, they represented by far a better finish than portrayed in the film.

Then was this film about Golf, I fear not because there are many other stories about Old Tom than would keep golfers more entertained and I would dearly love to see a film around course design circa 1870, if for no other reason to put the facts on the table that design back then entailed much more than staking the course out in say a morning and played in the afternoon as some seem to believe.

People say that they could not move much earth back then so how did the Suez Cannel get built. Of course they could move the soil around, look at the Old Course First Hole it was reclaimed from the sea as was the Bruce Embankment.

The Design story, I hope may one day be told on film and today's golfers will then understand why I believe that was a Golden Age of Golf in both the game and through design.

Still Tommy's Honour is about father & Son and a love for all things golf.
04.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Morris
I liked the movie generally. There were a few elements I didn't care for. Some of the CGI / green screen work was well meaning but didn't quite ring true. I also took offense to Young Tom yelling "Come On!" when he sunk putts. The costumes, human interest, Young Tom's relationship with the R&A and other parts were all interesting. On the whole - well worth a look. :) And - congrats to Kelly Leonard for his work on the clubs used in the filming!
04.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMatthewM
Geoff you wrote an incomplete sentence by leaving out the description notaded by an ''X''/

"" by saying Tin Cup is the ~~X~~ golf movie ever made""


04.15.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
@ digsouth
You could click on the link he provided and read the second sentence about Tin Cup, but then, that would take you 5 seconds.
04.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBedard
Poor sentence structure ,none the less. ~X~ completes the sentence.

It's hecck being a poor speller, a lousy typist, and inconsistant proof reader, a formerly excellent punctuation scholar, and a once great grammar writer.

Nw where re my reading glasses---did I memtion my lousy sight?

04.15.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Dont play the pedantic school teacher again, digsouth. Very bad manners. Not as bad as burdening people who don't know or care about youwith personal orthopedic problems, or commenting on stories you haven't read, but bad manners just the same. You're never too old to show respect for the host. After all, he's providing you with a place to spend the autumn of your life.
04.15.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBedard
Feel better for that, Bedard? Enjoy kicking people who can't kick back?

Tin Cup came out at a time when all of America loved movies that were like wading through syrup.
04.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCenter Cut
The Peter Debruge comment on the golf swing only means one thing; he needs to read more. And if he can't do that, at least watch some old film as far back as it goes to understand this was get-it-in-the-hole golf. Same as today but not as pretty.

"Bob Martin, St. Andrews caddie and professional golfer, went on the win the Open Championship in 1876 and 1885. He was noted for his long drives and was especially gifted in his use of the cleek. Though a fine golfer, he described his swing like an old wife cutting hay."

Courtesy of Richard Mackenzie - A Wee Nip at the 19th Hole.
04.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
I can't get past the title.
04.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGreg B.
meh... one fist pumps too many... one
04.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn C
Bedard +1000
digsouth needs to go away
04.16.2017 | Unregistered CommenterWAV
@ bedard I'll keep that in mind... oh you can count on that. Really.

Your critique of my critique is so GD impotant.(sic)


ps I have been here a while and the host knows me well. If he has anything ti say to me, he knows he can and I will adhere to his wishes--usually, right Geoff? I found your attempt at an attack on my post to be a bore and unneeded.

I did state a true error that needed clarifying without the reading of an open link. If you don'y gryt that pfft. I'm done here.

Now go find some eggs with all the others and have a great and hly Easter.

Still dig no reading glasses at my kids- blind ad a bat.
04.16.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Yes and the host is woefully bored with asking you to not post off topic. Also, spacing out posts to get attention isn't exactly a favorite of mine. Stick to the topics at hand and take a pass on typos posts until you can cut down on them yourself.
04.16.2017 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Glad to know you're paying attention, Geoff, even with all the "haters" out there.

I saw TH with my wife Friday night. She says I "tricked her" by taking her to a golf movie. I had told her it was a period love story, and I'll stand by that. I thoroughly enjoyed it. She didn't hate it.

Fairways and greens.
04.16.2017 | Unregistered Commenterpasaplayer
So Tin Cup is NOT "the best golf movie ever" -- I saw it once and I would love to agree, but I actually got through it. All I would like is for someone to point me to a better one. Golf has NOT been well-served by movies -- unlike baseball, boxing, running,and some other sports. I am hard-pressed to think of a satisfactory golf movie, even though some have been based on very good books (the Francis Ouimet thing, based on Mark Frost's book, was sluggish beyond belief). Bobby Jones -- Strokes of Genius was a testament to why so many people think golf a yawn. Bagger Vance was rubbish -- but so was the book. And do not even mention Caddyshack, which seems a perennial favourite of the adolescent male mentality that seems to populate sport discussion boards. I didn't last 20 minutes, not being raised in men's locker rooms of the 50s or similar mentality, and turned upside down by juvenile pratting about.

Tin Cup is looking better and better. And Tommy's Honour is looking like something worth a try.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterV.Lind

I post spaced out posts because paragraphs usually denote separate ''points'', even on the same ''topic''. I certainly don't give a flip about ''drawing attention'' as you may think- dam man, if anyone wants to read what i post, they can, if not they don't have to. It is easy enough to scan to the bottom of a post and see who wrote it.

I have been as annoyed as you on the typo issue, but my eye sight has been very poor recently. I'll try and delete the whole post if i see too much red underline. the trick is to ''see'', sadly. Typos are also an issue when I post in the middle of the night.

Since we have not communicated by email in a long time, I assumed i was doing ok on the off topic topic, and I will try and reel it in, OK?

You certainly understand my comment on your sentence in the original post of mine, right? And for the host, I'm sure toy have seen your own typos pointed out often, right, not by me- shoot I get it- you are on your own deadline.

Dominus Vobiscum,
04.17.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
V. Lind---

if you didn't like Caddyshack, I guess Animal House st your stomach churning. Yes, the shabby 14 YO's jokes are a sorry attempt at humor, but it seems to be the way of too many comedy writers.

Just fun movies, not about college or golf.

04.17.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Hey Guys

Come on, let's calm down if for no other reason this film show the complete wipe out of my great grand Uncle's Young Tommy's and his direct family.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Morris
Glad to see commentary and reviews in the posts about the movie. Continues to be like a school yard at a grade school here with all the bickering about non sense. Geoff, can you do something to make this a grown up, worthwhile forum?
04.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

All opinions have to be considered no matter if you agree or not because through communicating we lean far more - look at golf - due to the lack of understanding and poor communication the game is swamped with carts, distance aids, game promoting the aerial game with high tech equipment that destroys old designs - in other words a bloody mess, all because many years ago designers, club owners, players and the Governing bodies never communicated with each other.
Thanks to them golf is poor today, design is questionable, clearly we still have not understood that talking is good.
04.18.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Morris

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