Golf Masters in Film - How good are they in real life?
You may have seen some of the many golf movies that are out there such as the classic and hilariously funny Caddy Shack or the sometimes shocking Happy Gilmore or you may have seen the more serious adaptations of stroke-play such as Tin Cup or The Legend of Bagger Vance. What all of these movies have in common is that the lead actors are usually pretty handy with their clubs and probably indulge in a little golf betting. Whilst some work obviously went into teaching them how to act with a club we decided to find out if they were actually any good with a club.
Adam Sandler - Happy Gilmore - Handicap: 16
Whilst Sandler played the talented (mostly) late discoverer of golf Happy Gilmore his golf skills aren't as bad as you would think. He probably has lots of time on his hands to practice whilst he's hiding away from the bad reviews after he releases average movie after average movie. Some say Happy Gilmore is the only good film on his CV. That being said having a handicap of 16 isn't particularly easy, he's a member at L.A's Hillcrest C.C and regularly takes part in the Sony Pro-Am in Hawaii.
Kevin Costner - Tin Cup - Handicap: 11.2
Costner has a long history of playing the lead in sporting movies and that experience certainly helped him in this one. The predictable plot and fairly obvious series of events shown in this film needed lifting and he succeeded. Kevin once said that playing Roy McAvoy in the popular golfing flick, Tin Cup, ruined his life and he's got a pretty good explanation why:
"It's a great game, but it has never been my particular passion, so people are gigantically disappointed - I can hear them whisper, going 'He's not very good.' I can hear that. Even though there's a rope, it doesn't block the sound"
So maybe the fans expect too much of Kevin but playing off what's roughly expected to be a handicap of 11.2 isn't too shabby to say the least.
Matt Damon - The Legend of Bagger Vance - Handicap: 30
Matt Damon had no experience of sporting movies previous to this role and his only one since was Invictus which was pretty good. Bagger Vance split critics with some bad reviews and some even worse ones but considering the standard of golf displayed in the movie it's actually quite good. It's fair to say that playing Rannulph Junuh in The Legend of Bagger Vance didn't inspire Damon to try his hand at becoming a golf pro, with a handicap of 30 he'll more than likely be holding up most players at his local course.
Will Smith - The Legend of Bagger Vance - Handicap: 15
The 'Fresh Prince' starred alongside Matt Damon in The Legend of Bagger Vance as the title character, a mysterious man who comes out of nowhere to save Rannulph Junuh's (Matt Damon) golfing career. With Will in real life currently playing off 15 he's certainly no slouch on the fairway being described by people who have seen him play as "powerful, with a smooth swing", Smith could well chip away at this figure in years to come.
Gary Sinise - A Gentleman's Game - Handicap: 20
A Gentleman's Game is often slated as one of the worst films of all time and that's saying something with some of the other contenders - some of which star actors on this list (Smith: Wild Wild West, Damon: We Bought a Zoo, Costner: Waterworld and nearly every film Adam Sandler has been involved with). It would seem you have to have at least one bad movie in your past to be considered for a golf movie, with Sinise, it's the golf movie that's the bad one. However with a handicap of 20 for someone who doesn't play regularly not being too bad, he could probably redeem the poorly rated film himself by improving his golf game.