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The 7 best golf documentaries to watch this year

These documentaries are a brief glimpse into the amazing history of golf, including how the sport has evolved

Depending on how you look at it, golf is either one of the simplest sports or one of the most complex. The objective is very easy to wrap your head around: This ball has got to wind up in a hole that’s maybe a quarter mile away. Everything that happens after that, though, is where things get interesting. Of course, people who love golf love it for a wide array of reasons. Some people love the beautiful courses, while others love the stories behind their favorite players.

There are plenty of people who love golf but don’t play it much themselves, and those are the people who this list is really for. Golf’s full of amazing stories, and we’ve even gotten our fair share of great golf movies as a result. Sometimes, though, a documentary is an even better fit for a particular story set in the world of golf. That’s why, after careful consideration, we’ve brought you this list of the best golf documentaries you can stream now.

Full Swing (2023)

Full Swing
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Documentary
Created by James Gay-Rees
Following a full season on the PGA tour, Full Swing is a bit like The Last Dance of the golf world. This eight-episode series gets you behind the scenes with many of the top players in golf as they talk about what’s working, what isn’t, and where their success ultimately comes from. Because it follows the players on the PGA tour in real time, viewers get to feel a little bit like they’re part of the action. Rarely do you get this kind of access to the thoughts of high-level athletes, which makes Full Swing a can’t-miss series for any golf fan. 
Full Swing | Official Trailer | Netflix

Tiger (2021)

Tiger
7.8/10
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast Tiger Woods, Earl Woods, Rachel Uchitel
Tiger Woods, aka The GOAT of golf, has already had a massive career. Championships, green jackets, celebrity stardom, Woods has seen himself at the highest of highs, as well as the lowest of lows. Tiger is a groundbreaking two-part documentary that centers on Woods’s entire life, including his 2019 comeback to win the Master’s. The doc plays on themes of greatness, redemption, and dignity, and features plenty of footage and interviews that had never been seen prior to the film’s release.

The Founders (2016)

The Founders
7.3/10
85m
Genre Documentary
Stars Louise Suggs, Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork
Directed by Charlene Fisk, Carrie Schrader
The Founders is about a group of trailblazing women who decided to show the world they could compete as well in golf as any man could. They toured at a time when American culture barred women from playing any sports that could be deemed “too manly.” The film reminds viewers how far we’ve come, even as it highlights the trailblazers who made that progress possible in the first place.

Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk (2019)

Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk
47 %
7.1/10
pg-13 80m
Genre Documentary
Stars Bill Murray, Ben Crenshaw, Nick Faldo
Directed by Jason Baffa
Today, you wouldn’t think twice about how important a caddy is to a pro golfer. They’re often seen as the all-knowing guide when battling out on the greens; however, this wasn’t always the case. Enter Loopers, a documentary on the long and interesting history of caddies in golf. It features interviews from a diverse range of famous caddies and golfers — Bill Murray, a former caddie himself, even appears throughout. Loopers also takes the time to establish the important role that has played in this history, including the fact that African American caddies were hugely important to the early history of the position.

Uneven Fairways (2009)

Uneven Fairways
46m
Stars Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by Dan Levinson
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, Uneven Fairways looks at the rich history of African American golfers who paved the way for future stars of golf by standing up for their rights. The film features incredible interviews with these golfers as they retell the dramatic ways in which the landscape of the sport has changed over the past 100 years.

The Short Game (2013)

The Short Game
51 %
7.3/10
pg 100m
Genre Documentary
Stars Edd Hall, Jennifer Van Horn
Directed by Josh Greenbaum
The Short Game follows some of the world’s best golfers as they gather to compete in Pinehurst, North Carolina at the World Championships of Junior Golf. Yes, junior; these golfers are all still in grade school. Learn about this world of golf through a film festival favorite, where the greens are not only a setting for competition but also where these kids learn lessons they’ll carry for the rest of their lives.

Hit it Hard (2016)

Hit it Hard
50m
Genre Documentary
Stars John Daly
Directed by Gabe Spitzer, David Terry Fine
One of golf’s biggest personalities also has one of the sport’s most unique stories. Hit It Hard is an ESPN Film’s 30 for 30 focusing on John Daly’s past and present. The film covers his wild career, his powerful comeback performance at St. Andrews in 1995, and what he’s up to closer to the present day. Daly’s often known as the king of the “grip it and rip it” style of play. You’ll find that how he acts off the course isn’t all that different from his behavior on it.

Editors' Recommendations

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Joe Allen
Contributor
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
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