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Golf: Tommy’s Honour

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Old Course Hotel general manager Stephen Carter added: “It’s an honour for us to be involved in this. Young Tom Morris and Old Tom Morris are iconic in this town with many visitors being taken in by their remarkable and emotional story.” That’s from Michael Alexander reporting on how, “Hollywood glamour arrived in St Andrews on Friday night as stars of the eagerly-awaited movie Tommy’s Honour attended its UK premiere at the town’s NPH Cinema.”

Realistic feel of rough times

Michael writes, “In stark contrast to the manicured courses and big money professionalism at the top end of modern golf today, Tommy’s Honour successfully captures the authentic feel of a time when the links courses on the east coast of Scotland were mown by sheep and it wasn’t unknown for hard-drinking partisan spectators – and players- to engage in full blown brawls on the course. Sweeping aerial panoramas, stunning sunsets and that unmistakable east coast light give the period film a realistic feel that could not have been achieved if it had been shot anywhere else.”

Common complaints
Once in a while there’s an attempt to produce a great movie about golf, for instance, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Bobby Jones Streak of Genius, The Legend of Bagger Vance but alas most golfers I’ve talked to reckon that Happy Gilmore is about as good as it gets for a memorable movie involving golf.

What the critics have to say
“This agreeably leisurely period piece, based on the book by Kevin Cook, is first and foremost a tale of father-son love, rivalry and tragedy.” Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal
“A standard-issue father/son clash-of-wills drama, brought to the screen by Jason Connery, who's had his own challenges filling dad's shoes.” Peter Debruge Variety
“Tommy’s Honour wants to convince us that watching two men bicker and bang balls into tiny holes for the better part of two hours is the height of entertainment.” Jeannette Catsoulis The NY Times

Good book, poor movie
Over at Geoff Shackelford’s blog, Erik J. Barzeski writes, “I didn't care for the film. I think that unless you know a LOT of the back-story, like their on-going battle against the Park brothers, etc. - that many of the scenes won't make much sense to you at all. Then there's the pointless scene where he "discovers" and shows off "backspin" by sucking a ball back on a shaggy green, and other seemingly pointless scenes.
I enjoyed the book very much. I don't think golfers or non-golfers will enjoy the movie much, though.”

Therefore I reluctantly come to the conclusion that we are still awaiting the production of a great movie involving golf. Perhaps a remake of theme of the 1951 movie Follow the Sun, the story of Ben Hogan?

Nevertheless I shall watch it when it comes to New Zealand and no doubt several times

Link to Michael Alexander

Quote of the Day
“Faith sir! She looks like the Old Course.” - Old Tom Morris upon looking through a Nineteenth-century telescope at the Moon.

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