9 golf courses that star in popular films, from ‘Tin Cup’ to ‘Happy Gilmore’
His name was Bond, James Bond, and the match he played in Goldfinger against the titular villain ranks among the most famous golf scenes in movie history. Though the scene was shot at an English club called Stoke Park, historians of golf (and cinema) agree that the inspiration for the course we see in the film was Royal St. George’s, where author and Bond creator Ian Fleming was a member. With a nod to the 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George’s this week, here are 9 golf courses that have enjoyed cameos on the silver screen.
1. Cypress Point in My Favorite Brunette
In this 1943 film noir parody, all zaniness breaks out when Bob Hope pegs it with a man who plays golf with an imaginary ball. Turns out the guy is mentally ill. The scenery is insane, too, as the sporting action takes place on the seaside par-3 15th hole at Cypress Point.
2. Rolling Hills Golf Club in Caddyshack
Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. In 1979, little-known Rolling Hills Golf Club took a star turn when Billy Murray and Co. descended on the Florida course for 11 madcap weeks of filming. That, anyway, was the venue’s name back then. Today, the course is known as Grande Oaks Golf Club.
3. Kingwood Country Club in Tin Cup
Though Roy McAvoy didn’t seem too bothered by all those water balls, he might be bummed to learn that the hole he played as the par-5 closer in the movie was a par-4 in real life. As in, the par-4 4th hole on the Deerwood Course, one of five tracks at Kingwood Country Club, in Houston.
4. Ocean Course at Kiawah in The Legend of Bagger Vance
If The Legend of Bagger Vance isn’t Phil Mickelson’s favorite movie, it should at least be in his queue. The film about a mystical caddie was shot in part at the site of Mickelson’s near-mythic PGA Championship win.
5. Kanawaki Country Club in The Greatest Game Ever Played
An unwritten rule at The Country Club is that members’ names should only appear in the newspaper when they die. Appearances in movies aren’t encouraged, either. No surprise, then, that for the cinematic adaptation of Francis Ouimet’s historic U.S. Open win, the hush-hush Brookline club itself had a stunt double. Kanawaki CC, in Montreal, did the stand-in duties.
6. Pitt Meadows Golf Club in Happy Gilmore
Happy Gilmore is a film about an ex-hockey player who takes up golf. Pitt Meadows is a golf course in hockey-obsessed Canada (just east of Vancouver). Seems fitting, eh?
7. Bandon Dunes in Golf in the Kingdom
The movie version of Michael Murphy’s best-seller didn’t enjoy much critical acclaim. The same cannot be said of Bandon Dunes, where the film was shot.
8. Kawaguchiko Country Club in Lost in Translation
No movie magic was required to place Mt. Fuji in the backdrop in the scene where Bill Murray’s character ambles to the tee and strikes a drive in a hypnotically beautiful setting. The fleeting moment was filmed at Kawaghuchiko Golf Club, outside Tokyo, which sits in the shadow of the iconic peak.
9. Riviera Country Club in Pat and Mike
With Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in leading roles, this 1952 romantic comedy packed plenty of star power. Same goes for the celebrated L.A. course where parts of it were shot.