Can’t make it to the course today because of bad weather or a long day at work? Well, you can still experience the joy of golf without even putting on your golf shoes by enjoying one of these classic golf movies in the comfort of your own living room. Caddyshack is a 1980s comedy starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O’Keefe, and Bill Murray. The film takes place at an exclusive golf club, probably a little more eccentric than your own (depending if your groundskeeper has an unhealthy obsession with a gopher or not). Director Harold Ramis sinks a perfect hole in one with Caddyshack’s side-splitting, wacky humor. The film became a model for other teen comedies of the early 1980s and was followed up by a sequel Caddyshack II.
Tin Cup (1996) is a romantic comedy about a former golf pro (Kevin Costner) who attempts to revive his golf career, in order to qualify for the US Open and steal his rival’s girlfriend. Kevin Costner probably does such a great job depicting a golf-pro because the guy can actually golf! He is ranked number 39 in Golf Digest’s “Hollywood’s Top 100 Golfers.”Continue reading →
I find it fascinating when celebrities represent certain brands. So, there was great pleasure when I came across a 1960′s commercial starring Dean Martin sponsoring Dino’s Golf Balls. However, there was no question as to why Dean Martin would sponsor this brand because it was his own line of golf balls!
The production is classic. The Ventures’ Hawaii Five-0 plays while Martin’s facial expressions and antics of frustration finally reside after hope transitions into joy — all in under a minute.
The most surprising piece of this commercial is the customer satisfaction guarantee and return policy after they’ve been used. The voice over states:
“Try one. If you don’t agree, return the dozen and get your money back. Exclusively at White Front Stores.”
Of course we can’t leave this post without displaying some of the talent and charisma that made Dean so successful. Below is him singing “That’s Amore.” Enjoy!
Who is your favorite celebrity that has represented a golf brand or company?
Legendary crooner Bing Crosby may have had a voice that was unrivaled, but it was a different story on the golf course. Crosby was no match for golf hustler John “Mysterious” Montague, even when given the upper hand. In 1937, the pair faced off in a match, in which Montague played with an unconventional set of “clubs,” including a rake, a shovel, and a baseball bat.
Montague was a happy and rotund man, who played golf and gambled with the celebrities of his day. He was the champion at Lakeside Club two years in a row, but he fervently dodged the limelight, hence his nickname. “Mysterious” Montague never discussed his past, career, and avoided getting his picture taken. On one occasion when he was likely to break the course record at Lakeside, he decided to bypass the last hole to escape the attention of the press.
Crosby, who was a five time champion at Lakeside himself, was amused when Montague suggested this off the wall bet. Bing and Montague agreed on a wager of $5 a hole, and Bing was confident that he would able to beat Montague’s equipment of junk with his seven-iron. The match ended when Montague hit the ball in with his rake for a birdie three. Continue reading →
There is little that can better spice up a good golf game than waging a little bet with friends. Most of us keep it small and simple, betting a couple of bucks or a round of drinks. However, golf folklore is infamous for costly, outrageous, and just plain wacky bets.
Have you ever bet that you could make a hole in fewer strokes than your partner? So did Sir David Moncreiffe and John Whyte-Melville in 1870, but they probably played with a little higher stakes than your average bet. The records of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews report that the bet was literally life or death and the loser had to die. Although the records omit the outcome of the match, it is recorded that 13 years later, John Whyte-Melville gave a speech where he lamented “the causes that led to…” the death of Sir David Moncreiffe.
Such wagers in early Scottish golf were not uncommon, especially among the aristocratic class. Restrictions were even formally set by the Honourable Company in the mid-18th century to limit the amount one could bet on a game of golf, but were not followed as elite gentlemen continued to play for large sums.
In the early 20th century, golf bets became less extreme but far more unusual. There are stories of a man who bet he could win a game wearing a suit of armor, and another of a man who bet he could score under 90 in a dense fog.
There are also tales of golf debauchery in order to make sure a bet to swings in one’s favor. Infamous gambler, Titanic Thompson, bet that he could sink a hole in one 40 feet away. His poor opponent probably gawked in amazement as he made it in, unaware that Titanic payed a greenskeeper to lay a track straight to the hole. Don’t get any ideas!
More about Titanic Thompson, the man who could “sink” everybody.
There is a lost art form within the game of golf. An art that produces an experience because of golf’s rare mix of mental, social, and physical skills required — traditionally, this is called an exhibition match.
A Very Brief History
Before there was a professional golf tour, many of the game’s greatest players earned money by competing in exhibition matches against each other. There was no better ‘exhibitor’ than Walter Hagen. A man with a larger than life personality and a grandiose lifestyle to match it. To draw the widest audience as possible, celebrities of that time would also join in on the competition. Continue reading →
You might think that the busiest man in the country would not have time for a nice round of golf, but you would be mistaken. Ever since Taft’s presidency in 1909, all but three men in office have played golf. Mike Trostel, curator and historian at the USGA Museum in New Jersey, reports that many presidents have used golf to cope with the pressures of having one the most stressful jobs in the world. However, golf may be the name of the game, but politics is often the goal. Many commander-in-chiefs have also used golf as diplomacy, as being out on the course can alleviate the tension and conflict of more formal politics settings.
President Obama is no stranger to golf, even teaming up with his political opponents for the sake of the game. In June 2011, Obama teamed up with Speaker of the House, republican John Boehner. They played at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, against Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Unlikely victors, Obama and Boehner beat Biden and Kasich, winning them a whopping $2. Sign of the financial crisis—I don’t know. The scores of the players, like most important things in Washington, are “classified”. It is likely that Boehner, who is #43 on Golf Digest’s ranking of Washington’s top 150 golfers with a handicap of 8.6, outperformed his teammate. Obama is #108 on the list, with an estimated handicap of 17. The most noted golfer out of the bunch is Vice President Biden, who ranks far better than his boss at #29 with a 6.3 handicap.
Maybe we can learn something from Golf Summit, as the game was later dubbed. Although a round of golf may not solve all our problems (or our country’s), it can create a better atmosphere for later conversation and dialogue.