What’s the best golf comedy, ‘Caddyshack’ or ‘Tin Cup’?

April 6, 2020

In GOLF’s all-new series That’s Debatable, sponsored by Cisco WebEx, we’re settling some of golf’s most heated disputes. Our writers and editors have been seeded 1-16, battling head-to-head to determine whose takes are most on point. Up first, it’s a battle for cinematic supremacy: “Caddyshack” vs. “Tin Cup.”

In the golf-film world, there are many contenders, but only one champion. From the list of great golf comedy flicks, our staff whittled down the options to two standalone blockbusters: “Caddyshack” and “Tin Cup.”

Stepping into the ring (and onto the silver screen) are our first contenders. It’s the tournament’s no. 1 seed, part-time J.V. women’s basketball coach and full-time GOLF senior writer Alan Shipnuck squared up against the 16-seed, baby-faced assistant editor James Colgan. So which will it be, Carl Spackler or Roy McAvoy? Shipnuck and Colgan battle it out in the video above. You can also check out their crib notes below.

The Case for “Caddyshack” (Colgan)

  1. Intersectionality: Golf fans of all ages, colors and creeds can watch this movie and connect to its humor. It’s easy to digest but doesn’t pander, a difficult position for any comedy film, but one that “Caddyshack” maneuvers well.
  2. Relevancy: The jokes are still funny. They haven’t aged, they’re not tired and they’re not overdone as the movie progresses. Rewatch “Tin Cup” and you’ll feel older than you will watching “Caddyshack,” and “Caddyshack” came out 16 years before!
  3. Universality: Caddyshack is the greatest golf movie of all time because it’s the most universal golf movie of all-time. If you work in golf, watch golf or play golf, this movie likely holds unique meaning to you.
  4. Quotability: “The best round of my life.” “So I got that going for me, which is nice.” “Well…we’re all waiting.” Need I say more?
  5. Star Power: Kevin Costner? Seriously? “Tin Cup” needs to give me a break. “Caddyshack” is the movie that defined Chevy Chase and immortalized Bill Murray, to say nothing of Rodney Dangerfield!

The Case for “Tin Cup” (Shipnuck)

  1. Unlike “Caddyshack,” “Tin Cup” has a plot. Actually two, and they’re good ones: will Roy McAvoy conquer his demons and make it on Tour? Will he get the girl?
  2. The writing is so clever and subtle…two words rarely used to describe “Caddyshack.”
  3. The PGA Tour cameos are fun and funny and add a pleasing verisimilitude.
  4. Rene Russo.
  5. It’s one of the classic surprise endings – our man doesn’t win the U.S. Open! And yet he is still true to himself and finds inner-peace, a different kind of victory.

Winner (via judge’s vote)

“Tin Cup”! The 1-seed survives an early scare and moves on to Round 2. Shipnuck will go on to play the winner of the 3-vs-14 matchup: Josh Sens and Nick Piastowski’s debating Pebble vs. St. Andrews. Keep it locked on GOLF.com and @GOLF_com on social media to follow along as “That’s Debatable” continues every day at noon.

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