November 7, 2014
The Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival is now underway, running from November 5 through November 9.
This year’s Festival is showing movies not only at the Movies at Midway, but also at the beautiful and spacious Cape Henlopen High School theater.
With over 88 movies on the schedule, this year’s Festival offers plenty of enjoyable viewing options. Unlike past years, however, none of this year’s selections include movies with a golf-related element.
That’s not to say you couldn’t have your own golf movie festival with Netflix, a big screen TV, and maybe a DVD player, if so inclined.
“Keeping Mum” ran at the 2006 Rehoboth festival, and is available in DVD. The late Patrick Swayze played a sleazy golf professional on the make with a preacher’s wife, played by Kristin Scott Thomas. Rowan Atkinson, better known as Mr. Bean, is the preacher.
This is a dark little comedy, with golf as one of the subplots.
“The Short Game” is now streaming on Netflix. I highly recommend this charming, family-friendly documentary about junior golfers competing in the 2012 World Championships in Pinehurst, NC. My daughter Carolyn recently tipped me to this movie, and I’m very glad she did.
Five boys and three girls, ages 7 and 8, from the United States and several foreign countries, are showcased as they prepare and then compete in the annual tournament, sponsored by U.S. Kids Golf. As one of the parents says, the golf is just a stage.
As we watch, the kids learn something about competition, themselves, and what it means to be so totally dedicated to one sport.
The documentary does not sugarcoat the occasional presence of stage mothers and (especially) fathers. Nonetheless, it’s also refreshing to see that not every child’s daddy caddie lives vicariously stroke by stroke with their child’s performance.
The kids themselves are just a joy to watch. They’re far too young to judge for their occasional lapses of judgment, and often show a surprising level of maturity, mixed in with completely natural kid behavior.
The movie had a limited run in a few cities in 2013, and also earned several awards on the film festival circuit. For more information, go to theshortgamemovie.com.
Here are additional golf movie options, which I’ve noted in previous columns.
“The Caddy” (1953)—Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis took their comic shtick to the golf course, with Martin as a pro golfer and Lewis as his caddy. This is the film where Martin sings “That’s Amore,” which earned an Oscar nomination. Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, and Byron Nelson play themselves, and a very pretty, very young Donna Reed appears in a supporting role.
“Caddyshack” (1980)—Following the Martin/Lewis tradition, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray tried their hand at a comedy centered around golf. The raunchy movie is now recognized as one of the best such movies of all time. Among other running gags, Murray plays a demented groundskeeper trying to eliminate an obviously fake groundhog, with eventually explosive results.
“Tin Cup” (1996)—The writer of “Bull Durham” switched sports, but kept Kevin Costner as the hero, in this wry character study about a golf pro at a down-market driving range. Rene Russo plays the love interest. Cheech Marin is a wise-cracking caddie who helps Costner when he somehow makes the finals of the U.S. Open.
Pick a better time and place to practice
A recent Ruling of the Day at the USGA website stressed the fact that there are limits to where and when a golfer can practice, especially during a competitive round.
A golfer lifts his ball properly from the putting green. While waiting for another golfer to play their ball, he drops his ball off the green and makes a few practice putts.
Not a good idea, because it violates the practice limitations of Rule 7-2.
In match play, the golfer loses the hole. In stroke play, he adds two penalty strokes after putting out.