Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • 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
    by Ken Bowden
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Wednesday
Apr192017

"I can't think of a movie that conveys golf more realistically."

I enjoyed Michael Bamberger's Golf.com reaction to Tommy's Honour given the longtime author's love of cinema and links golf.

While Bamberger notes the many elements that stood out to him and shares some insights from book author Kevin Cook, it's this review from a film buff friend that was enlightening.

Neil Oxman, my friend and fellow Philadelphian, who has caddied for Tom Watson since Bruce Edwards's death in 2004, is a fellow movie buff who in a slow year will see a couple hundred movies (all new releases, in theaters). Each December he goes on a public radio station and discusses the high points and low points of his movie-going year. He knows golf in Scotland like you know your home course. He saw Tommy's Honour the night after we did. When Neil and I compare movie notes, they are, may I say, to the point. (A random example: "It's good, despite the boring parts.") Here is Neil's review of Tommy's Honour:

"Make no mistake, Caddyshack it ain't. But if you want to see an unusual recreation of golf in the 1870s, Tommy's Honour is worth it. Who knows what the real family dynamic was between Old and Young Tom Morris, but it's neat to see Jason Connery's depiction of the Morris clan. And when was the last time you saw Willie and Mungo Park in a movie? Bet it's been a while for that. This is probably not a movie for a non-golfer. But if you're a golfer—or a golf fan—go see it."

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Reader Comments (7)

I am glad I saw the movie. There are worse ways to spend two hours. That being said, I think it apt that this thread is juxtaposed with another "golf is dying" thread, for as much as we denizens of this niche wish otherwise, golf doesn't lend itself to either big business or good movies. Let's be honest here: the movie was not unenjoyable, but when talking about a movie that was made for a certain ready-made fan base, this was closer to "The Hobbit" than "The Lord of the Rings". We are all glad that it was made, and will enjoy it for the brief time it is encountered, but really, there is little reason to carry this movie forward with us through life, particularly as it exists alongside a far, far superior book.

I appreciate Michael and Neil's thoughts, but would point out that giving points for it being the most realistic portrayal of golf in a movie is more of a comment on the portrayal of golf in all movies than it is on the portrayal of golf in THIS movie.

Would love for this thread to turn into one of reviews and discussion of the movie rather than a schoolyard fight. I will begin holding my breath..........now.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTremendous Slouch
Maybe at some point, TS. When convenient. Prefer reading this sort of history since every director knows what's best for u$. No fighting during recess for sure. Opinions should always be welcomed without being attacked for them. The political divide culture has gained ground everywhere.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
What Tommy’s Honour book or film does not show is the quality of the Golfers (lead by the Professionals) and more so the imagination of those early designers from Allan Robertson’s time circa 1840’s through to the 1900’s.

On the golf front one just needs to look at Young Tommy and his score, one of the most remarkable scores of the 19the Century occurred on the 1st Hole of the 1870 Open at Prestwick – A Hole that no longer exists but the Tee is marked in the car park and travels for 578 yards to what is today the 16th Green. Young Tommy using a gutty ball and Hickory to down the Hole in 3, those who know the equipment of the day and the Prestwick course will understand the real quality of that score.

Now on the design front, one just has to look at all the old holes much loved and copied today from the Redan, Road Hole through to the fist at Machrihanish. Not to mention courses like Dornoch, Prestwick Crail, Cruden, Forfar, Dunbar, North Berwick, North Inch, Leven and so many more scattered throughout GB yet have their history firmly in the 19th Century.

Courses took on average 2-3 months to a year to make with Cruden Bay starting in 1894 and finally opening in 1899. Designs that required soil to be moved, yet also incorporated the natural to offer golfers the challenge that defined the Scottish Game. The more cunning the design the more ‘sporty’ the course was called and there where many sporty courses throughout GB in the 19th Century.

If or when I hope you venture over to these islands of ours you will play these out of the way courses that still maintain the richness of the early design which are scattered through the islands of GB – Your game may just excite you while you enjoy the simple yet complexity of the design which encompasses Man efforts with that of Nature.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Morris
I forgot to mention that when you either read the book or see the film you are looking at not just one World Golf Champion but two, with each winning The Open 4 times - thus the family hold eight Open wins, with young Tommy winning The Open four times in succession.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Morris
I bought the book back when Geoff spoke about it last year. Really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the movie.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered Commenternancy
The book told a terrific story and was valuable from a historians viewpoint.. I used the parts dealing with the class system / structure of 19th century British society and the descriptions and conditions of the work, particularly done by women of the lower classes, to augment study of the time period for my high school sophomores in AP European History. The movie was wonderfully filmed. However, I did not think the characters of any of the major figures were well developed. Likely it suffers from much imagination and the story being so well known that the audience leaves the theater thinking there wasn't much there. At least that's how I felt. FYI, I was the only one in the place. Coming to On Demand quite soon I would think.
04.20.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjimbo
Sorry...."suffers from "little " imagination".
04.20.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjimbo

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