The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) Script

Mm-hmm.

A little bit of magic time.

I feel it.

Yes, sir.

Terrific shot ! I'm in the goddamn woods again.

Goddamn.

Damn game.

I spend more time in the trees than the squirrels.

Wizard Two ? Why not ?

Uh-oh.

Not again.

I've had five heart attacks in the last ten years.

My first was on a golf course in South Carolina.

It wasn't all that bad.

A couple of doglegs that were more dog than leg, but I-I'd-- all in all, it was playable.

Assuming, of course, you didn't die on the second hole.

The second coronary was at Augusta, where they had the Masters.

Went down right on the first fairway.

It was a good thing, too, 'cause those greens probably would have been the end of me anyway.

My wife used to ask me, before she passed on, why do I play a game that seems destined to kill me ?

It all started back in 19 and 28... when I was just a youngster in Savannah, Georgia.

Jones and Hagen are really goin' at it.

They're like neck-and-neck all the time. Nuts.

Was it 350 ? Nah. More like 400 with the roll.

I don't care how good Jones and Hagen are.

Junuh could've beat 'em both with his eyes closed.

Junuh won that thing three times in a row.

Now when I was growin' up, every town had its heroes, and ours was Rannulph Junuh, an athlete who was a born winner.

Well, I wanted to be just like him.

Ladies and gentlemen, Junuh has the most difficult shot in the history of golf.

He must sink this shot from 110 yards to win the championship.

He steps up to the ball.

The crowd is hushed in anticipation.

Can he make this miracle shot ? And he swings !

Fore ! Watch your heads !

Now I'd never seen him play myself, since it was before I was born, but it was said that Junuh had been on track to becomin' the greatest golfer... this country had ever seen.

Titanic off the tee.

Approach shots which fell to earth, as Sam Snead once put it, "like a butterfly with sore feet."

He won just about everything.

But even he was the first to say that his most significant victory... was winnin' the heart of Adele Invergordon, daughter of the wealthiest man in Savannah.

¶¶


But fate plays funny tricks.

¶ The Yanks are coming The drums rum-tumming everywhere ¶ It was a patriotic call to arms to fight "the war to end all wars."

Junuh and everyone else in town believed it was his destiny... to lead the young men of Savannah into battle.

¶ Till it's over over there ¶¶

¶ How ya gonna keep 'em away from Broadway ¶

¶ Jazzin' around ¶¶ It was to be his crowning glory.

But nothing could have prepared him or anyone... for the shock and sorrow of what was to come.

Positions. Get ready. Ready, Captain.

Positions. Prepare to advance. Ready, sir.

Advance !

Advance !


Confused, broken... and unable to face a return to a hero's welcome, Junuh just disappeared,

hopin' to forget... and to be forgotten.

But Adele, bein' a woman of the South, had survived worse than desertion.

And she moved on with her life, dedicatin' herself to her father's dream.

What we have here is the most magnificent golf resort on the face of God's good earth, and I am buildin' it right here in Savannah.

Krewe Island, legacy to my sweet Adele.

And we'd like to use all of you as our main suppliers.


I was ten years old when Junuh came home.

Stop !


Less than a year later, the Great Depression that swept the nation... hit Savannah.

Jobs were lost, stores and banks were shut for good.

And John Invergordon, havin' spent his last dime on his great dream, opened Krewe Island on what should have been a glorious spring day.

¶¶

¶ My consolation when blue ¶

¶ So just supposing that you ¶¶

It might not have been a shot heard round the world, Oh, Daddy ! but it sure reached every nook and cranny in Savannah.

I'll be putting some doors and closets in the parlor.

With any luck, we could have some boarders within a few weeks.

Hardy, you think you can share your room with Cara Mae ?

What about the store ?

¶¶


Oh, Jesus.

I've died and gone to hell.

It's not as though you got a choice, Adele.

Your Krewe Island golf resort is dead and gone.

You've got the gumption of a corn fritter, Neskaloosa. My gumption is not the subject.

Well, then what is the subject, gentlemen ? Huh ?

If it's your offer to take Krewe Island for one-tenth of what my father spent--

You are lucky to be gettin' a dime on the dollar, Adele.

Just so you gentlemen can turn right around and resell it... to some Carolina paper mill for a tidy profit ?

The fact that you've most likely got the deal in your pocket already is not my problem.

Maybe we should come back when the shock of your father's passing... isn't so-- so-- Oh, God.

Don't bother. I'm not sellin'.

You got a stack of debts that'd fill every storage bay in the Cotton Exchange--

And I intend to pay them off.

In time. With what ? Ball tokens ?

With money people gonna spend once they know that this is the premier resort in the South.

Did I miss somethin' ? Did I ? Or are we not in the midst of a great depression ?

There's still people with money, Neskaloosa, and I'm gonna make sure they know about Krewe.

But how exactly do you intend to accomplish that ?

How ? Well, how ?

How ? I'll tell you how.

I'm gonna have the greatest exhibition match ever held... on the greatest golf course ever built.

Bobby Jones... Bobby Jones ?

-will be playin' Walter Hagen... -Walter Hagen ?

-for the grand prize of $10,000. -$10,000 ?

You can't be serious, Adele. $10,000 for one weekend ?

Well, I'd make it more, gentlemen, but that's just about all I believe I can raise... if I sell everything I own... on this earth.

Except, of course, Krewe Island.

Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen are comin' to Krewe Island ?

Playin' an exhibition match for ten grand ?

That's correct.

They don't know it yet, but that's exactly what they'll be doin'.

Have you gone totally off your rocker ?

Nobody has the right to call Krewe Island "Invergordon's Folly."

Nobody. Good day, gentlemen.

Adele !

Nobody holds your father responsible for this depression, Adele !

You're a damn fool, Adele !

Save your breath, Judge. She'll sell to us.

You really think Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen are gonna come to Krewe Island... just 'cause Adele Invergordon wants 'em to ?

All four golf championships in a single year.

The Grand Slam. Simply amazing.

I don't believe that's ever been done before in the history of golf, has it ?

Well, no, it, uh-- It, uh--

It just takes my breath away.

You don't impress me as someone who tends to lose her breath, Miss Invergordon.

Did you know, Mr. Jones, that reprobate Mr. Walter Hagen-- who I hear spends his every minute chasin' after women-- has been approached about playin' in next's month's $10,000 Krewe Island match ?

No, I didn't.

But I'm not clear how this is an urgent matter for the American Red Cross.

Did I say that ? At the front door.

May I speak candidly, Mr. Jones ?

I wish you would.

I've come here today to see you because to the South, you are a hero.

They see you as a young god: brave, valiant, glorious.

One of the greatest golfers in the world today.

I would say the greatest golfer in the world today... were it not for that unfortunate incident last year when that profligate, Mr. Hagen, whupped you by 12 strokes on your very own course.

You say he's been invited to play at Krewe Island next month ?

She has a remarkable talent, Mr. Hagen.

I was the one who hit the ball.

I wonder if you might excuse us for just a couple of minutes, Anna Mae ?

It won't be long.

A charming woman, Mr. Hagen. Although she gave me quite a fright for a moment there.

With so much weight distributed in front, I'd have sworn she'd topple back to the floor... before she ever got to her knees.

I do admire a man with your... vitality. Oh ?

The South is in such an unfortunate place these days, and Savannah most of all.

The memories of our disastrous defeat in the War Between the States still linger, and with them, the defeated, uncertain men who returned lacking the vigor... we woman normally associate with your gender. Hmm.

And now, sadly, here is Savannah, teeming with the most attractive young women, and nobody, absolutely nobody... to satisfy them. Hmm.

Except for, perhaps, Bobby Jones, who will be playing in our Krewe Island tournament.

So he says, "It don't matter what it is. It won't hurt you.

You just pop one in your mouth, and you chew !"

I'm pleased to announce that Mr. Bobby Jones and Mr. Walter Hagen... have accepted my golfin' invitation, with enthusiasm.

This, of course, is Miss Adele Invergordon's... commitment to her father's dream, possibly the most--

Not one to concede defeat easily, Neskaloosa engineered a local uprising against the tournament.

And I'm sure that you boys would think I've been drinkin' too much blackjack tea.

'Course, these are our streets that they're gonna be parkin' in.

They will tax the limits of our constabulary--

Do you think one of them damn rich Yankees... gives a hoot about Savannah or anybody in it ?

Now, now, now, now, now.

Now, we need the Yankee, but we also need someone from Savannah... in the match, one of us, givin' Jones and Hagen a real run for their money.

Then they'll know what we're made of.

We need someone from Savannah playin' in our tournament !

What about Dougal McDermott ? He'd turn a trick or two.

He's a Scot. The only time he comes into town is to get drunk.

Bobby Jones is from Atlanta. I said, Savannah !

The South. The real South.

Neskaloosa knew the golden rule of politics better than anyone:

If you can't beat 'em, lead 'em.

All right, all right. Hold it, hold it ! Hold it, everyone !

There's one person we're forgettin'.

We all know there's one man who hits gargantuan drives off the tee... and has a lock picker's touch around the greens.

Savannah's own Enderby "Cottonmouth" Conyngham.

Wait a minute ! He's 80 years old !

He'd need one caddie to carry his golf clubs... and two to carry him !

Junuh could whip 'em both. You're off your rocker.

Junuh couldn't whip a dead possum in a gunnysack.

That ain't true. Oh, yeah ?

- What about Captain Junuh ? Who ?

Captain Junuh.

My dad says he's the greatest golfer Savannah ever had.

Hardy. Well, it's true.

You must've said it a hundred times.

Sit down, son. The boy's got a point.

-Junuh's born and bred Savannah. -Exactly !

- And this is the point ! I heard he just disappeared.

Forget Rannulph Junuh, assumin' you can locate his whereabouts.

I hear he's so far gone, he wouldn't know a putter from a pussy willow.

I know where to find him.

You find him, Hardy, and we will be there.

Fly, lad, with winged sandals on your feet !

If I live to be a thousand, which doesn't seem likely, I'll never know where I got the courage to call out like that.

But once I did, I wasn't backin' down.


This could've been the stupidest idea I've ever had.

Captain Junuh ?

Captain Junuh ?

This is Hardy Greaves, sir.


Get outta here with that.

Hey, just make sure you guys save some of that money for me.

Whoa-ho-ho ! What have we here ?

Well, well.

Look like we got a new cardplayer, gents.

It's all right, boy. There's no need to be scared.

I ain't scared.

I've seen men drunk plenty of times.

Well, what do they look like ? Well, they ain't much to look at.

At least not so much as they seem to think it is. But it don't scare me none.

Gentlemen, we may be lookin' at the only male in Chatham County... who isn't completely full of shit.

What's your name, son ?

Uh, Hardy. Hardy Greaves.

You Frank Greaves' boy ? Yes, sir.

What brings you here, Hardy ?

Maybe I'd better come back when you're not so busy.

Busy ? I thought you were gonna say drunk.

But I'm not busy and I'm not drunk.

Fact is, there ain't enough whiskey in the state of Georgia to get me drunk enough.

Well, how drunk is drunk enough, - Captain Junuh ? Whoo.

Good question, Hardy. Come on over here, take a seat.

I'll tell you how drunk drunk enough is.

Aaron, you think you can find the young man a bottle of Nehi ?

Expect I could. Just as long as I takes my money with me.

Now, the question on the table... is how drunk is drunk enough ?

And the answer is that it's all a matter of brain cells.

Brain cells ? That's right, Hardy.

You see, every drink of liquor you take kills a thousand brain cells.

But that doesn't much matter, 'cause we got billions more.

And first the sadness cells die, so you smile real big.

And then the quiet cells go, so you just say everything real loud for no reason at all.

But that's okay, because the stupid cells go next, so everything you say is real smart.

And finally... come the memory cells.

These are tough sons of bitches to kill.

Well, there's a golf match out at Krewe Island... between Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, and there was a meeting to see who would stand up for Savannah in the match, so I said you would.

That's why I'm here, so you can beat Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen.

Hell, I'm a whole lot drunker than I thought.

I'll caddie for ya. You gonna caddie for me ?

Against Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen ? Yes, sir !

I'll caddie for you too. Aaron will carry the clubs.

I'll carry the balls. And I'll carry them little wooden tees !

And I'll carry Junuh !

I wasn't jokin' !

I heard my dad tell how you won every golf tournament there ever was in the South.

And how you hit a drive so long... that they made you stop playin' for 20 minutes just to measure it for a record.

And how you used to swing righty, but you was in the woods once by this tree, and there was no room to swing righty, so you borrowed some guy's lefty club... and hit the ball six inches from the hole.

It's time for you to go home, Hardy.

I ain't goin'.

Well, suit yourself, 'cause I'm goin' to bed.

Night, gentlemen.

The hell you doin' in my house ? Trespassin', Junuh.

But on a matter of great importance-- to no less than Savannah herself.

Some delegate you got there. Isn't it a little past his bedtime ?

Isaiah 11:6: "And a little child shall lead them."

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Junuh.

So what's in it for you ? Pride.

The great city of Savannah, so close to my heart. So close to all our hearts.

Well, you're wastin' your time ? I'm not playin'.

Why is that ?

I lost my swing.

Then find it. Goddamn it !

Because you're playin' ! That's all there is to it ! Savannah needs you, Junuh !

Why don't you get Dougal McDermott ? He'll play. Balls !

We don't need some sawed-off Scotsman poopin' drives out 40 yards...

in Jones' and Hagen's way.

We need a man with thunder in his fist, a hero to boom that pill out past those golfin' gods !

We need a knight. You are our gentle-born chevalier.

That's one hell of a speech, fellas.

I don't take no for an answer.

Well, you're gonna have to, 'cause I'm not playin'.

Now get out.


Someone you picked up on your travels ?

He's not mine.

He's a little young for a drinking companion, don't you think ?

So, Adele, what can I do for you ?

I think you know why I'm here, Junuh. I do.

A little late to be out lookin' for romance, though, isn't it ?

Would that do it, Junuh ?

Would you play in the match if I had sex with you ?

Yeah, that would do it.

Well, that's good, Junuh.

Considering how infrequently we've seen each other since you've been back, I thought this was gonna be more difficult.

Now, where would you like to do it ?

Right here is fine.

Don't worry about him. He's out like a light.

Take an earthquake to wake him up.

For an earthquake, you'd have to play many more tournaments at Krewe Island... and do quite well at them.

Well, how do you suggest we begin ?

Shall I just run and jump on you, or would you like some preliminary romancin' ?

Romancin' sounds good. Very well, then.

Here's one short kiss.

It is, I'm afraid, all the romancin' I have in me at this time.


I do hope I haven't given the impression that I'm cryin' over us, Junuh, because I'm not.

You're not ?

No, I'm not.

I'm cryin' over Savannah.

Savannah ?

Over her pain and the pain of her people.

You're in tears over Savannah ? I am.

I truly am.

Then who'd you take your clothes off for ?

Chattanooga ?

Well.

This certainly has been a colossal waste of time.

I didn't ask you to come here.

No, you certainly did not, Junuh.

You know, if you ever get tired of sittin' around and feelin' sorry for yourself, a little golf might just do you some good.

I've lost my swing, Adele.

Really ?

Where'd it go ?

You can open your eyes now, Hardy.

Your education is over.

Go on home now.


Jesus.

Who's that ? Just me.

Just a man tryin' to find somewhere to rest his tired feet, takin' in some of God's glories.

My, what a night. I could've killed you out there.

Oh, no, sir.

See, I set myself directly in front of you.

Judgin' by how you was hittin' them balls, I figured that's where I'd be out of harm's way.

Excuse me, sir.

They say you can tell a player by his grip.

If you want some food or somethin', you can go on into the house, help yourself.

Oh, thank you kindly, sir.

Yeah.

Yeah, I always felt a man's grip on his club... is just like a man's grip on his world.

Look, is there somethin' you want ? Five dollars guaranteed.

Guaranteed for what ?

Well, there's a big match comin' up with Mr. Jones and Mr. Hagen.

Fella gonna be needin' a caddie.

You a caddie ?

Well, that depends. You a golfer ?

Well, I don't need a caddie 'cause I'm not playin'.

I don't play anymore at all.

Oh. Well, thank you, sir.

I'll take you up on that food you offered me. All right.

Evenin', sir. Mm-hmm.

Don't make no sense, is all.

Man say he don't play no golf, yet he out here this shade of night, hittin' balls off into dark where he can't even see 'em.

Yep, well, I've done things that made less sense.

As we all have.

For $5 guaranteed, I'm offerin' you my caddie services.

For $5 ?

You know the winner gets 10,000, and the caddie's cut is 10% of that.

So that's $1,000. I'll take $5 guaranteed.

You don't want $1,000 ? You done already said you ain't even playin'.

And Lord knows how awful you're gonna look if you do.

So $5 guaranteed sounds pretty good from where I'm sittin'.

Yeah, the rhythm of the game just like the rhythm of life.

Here.

Here !

Oh, no, sir, I don't-- Go on.

Go ahead.

Well, thank you, sir.

You know, some folks say you should put the ball in-- in the front of your stance.

Other folks say you should put--

You gonna hit the ball or are you gonna dance with it ?

Actually, I'm kind of partial to dancin'. Me and this gal--

Hit the ball.

So, you're a golfer.

Uh, no, I don't play golf.

Give me that damn thing.

Here, uh-- See, the trick is... to find your swing.

What'd you say ?

Well, you lost your swing.

We got to go find it.

Now, it's somewhere in the harmony of all that is--

Ooh.

All that was--

Ooh. All that will be.

Whoa. Ooo-eee !

I ain't seen a man hit a ball like that... since the North-South Championship of 1916.

You know, they stopped play for 20 minutes to measure how far it went.

Bagger Vance the name.

Come on, let's hit a few more.

And that, they say, is how Bagger Vance became Junuh's caddie.

Oh, yeah. One more just like that.

Just like that one there.

I'm tellin' you the truth, Wilbur Charles.

She was down to her panties and brassiere.

And you were in the room watchin' all the time ?

You really think we're that stupid that we believe...

Miss Adele got down to her skivvies with you right in the room watching ?

It's the God's honest truth, Eugene.

Scalp me, shrink my head, and roast it on the stake... if that ain't exactly what happened.

She thought I was asleep the whole time.

And that ain't all. Junuh's gonna play.

He said that ?

Not in so many words, but-- Hey, look over there.

Ain't that Miss Adele now across the street ? Where ? Where ?

She just went into Louder's Notions. I could swear it's her.

I'd know that figure anywhere.

Well, as far as Junuh is concerned, I guess that's just about it.

If we don't have someone from Savannah, I will not support this match.

All right.

I'll play in your damn golf match.

I should've let you finish what you started.

Now I got nothin' at all to show for it.

Well, for the life of me, I have no idea what you're referrin' to.

I can explain it if you like. I don't believe that will be necessary !

God bless Savannah.

The day that Jones and Hagen arrived in Savannah... was declared a holiday.

¶¶

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first golf tournament--

That's O.B. Keeler.

He writes for theAtlanta Journal.

He goes wherever Bobby Jones goes.

And that's Walter Hagen's man, Spec Hammond.

They say Hagen won't play without him.

And that's Grantland Rice, the most powerful sports writer in the country.

And he's staying at our boarding house, because he's nobody's man.

Aah !

Mr. Robert Tyre Jones, Jr., of Atlanta, Georgia.

Mr. Jones has won 13 national championships, including four U.S. Opens and five U.S. Amateurs.

He has also won all three British Opens in which he has played.

For the first time in history, last year... he won the Grand Slam-- all four major golf championships in a single year !

But what is not well-known is that at the very same time... he was winnin' all his championships, Mr. Jones was earning a degree in engineering from Georgia Tech, a degree in English Literature from Harvard, and a law degree from Emory University here in Georgia, all with distinction.

Mr. Walter Hagen--

Mr. Hagen has won 11 national championships, includin' four British Opens and five PGA's.

And in one stretch, Mr. Hagen won 22 straight professional championships.

That's work !

Mr. Rannulph Junuh--

Walter, I think we're the underdogs.

Born and bred in Savannah, Georgia !

Mr.-- Mr. Junuh won the Georgia Amateur at the age of 16, makin' him the youngest man to ever do so.

And until he left for the war, was considered... the South's premier golfer.

Mr. Junuh returned from the war a hero, decorated with the Medal of Honor... for survivin' a deadly mission in which... most--

Most-- uh--

The rest of his company were tragically defeated.

Boy, makes you think twice about steppin' on his ball, doesn't it, Bobby ?

Mr. Hagen.

Ladies and gentlemen, Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen... and our very own Rannulph Junuh !

¶¶

On behalf--

On behalf of the great city of Savannah--

Sure is some storm a-brewin'.

So, where you off to ?

However far it takes.

You don't expect me to stay around here, do you ? Oh, no, not me.

I consider it one of the six great miracles of the world you was even there at all today.

Let me help you with these bags.

You heard Adele.

Bobby Jones never finished lower than second in any tournament he ever played in.

I believe Miss Adele said he finished lower than second once.

Must've been the week he took his law exams.

Yeah, I believe it was.

Uh, you gonna be needin' these shoes where you're goin', Mr. Junuh ?

They look like they just about my size.

Keep 'em. Thank you kindly, sir.

Yep, sure is some storm headin' this way.

It's a real pleasure to welcome you to our home.

It's a pleasure to be here, ma'am. Thank you.

Hardy, you take his belongin's up to his room.

Then come right back. I got chores for you. Yes, ma'am.

I expect this is the most exciting sportin' event ever.

Ain't it, Mr. Rice ? Why is that, son ?

Why ? 'Cause of Jones and Hagen. They's out for blood.

Oh, I didn't come for Jones or Hagen.

I came for Rannulph Junuh.

You come all the way down from New York City to see Junuh ?

Uh-huh.

I saw Junuh play once. Then he disappeared.

I'd love to see him play again, especially against Jones and Hagen.

Go get 'em, Junuh ! You go get 'em !

God bless you, Junuh ! Show 'em what Savannah's made of !

Go get 'em, Junuh ! Hey, Junuh, give 'em hell !

"Give 'em hell." You can do it !

Damn.


So I takes it you was interested in bein'...

Mr. Junuh's forecaddie.

No. No ?

No ! No ?

Well, maybe I was, but I guess I just ain't got the nerve to ask you yet.

I ain't got the time to sit around and wait, so here's what I'm proposin'.

I'm gonna assume that just about the moment you gets up the nerve to ask me... gonna be just about the same moment I decide I'm gonna tell you yeah.

How that suit you ?

That suits me just fine, sir. Folks call me Bagger.

Yes, sir, Bagger, sir.

You may want to get to pickin' all the crud out of Mr. Junuh's shoes.

You through with that, we got us some measurin' to do out on the course.

Junuh knew now that if he were to have any chance at all in the tournament, he had no choice but to come to terms with his demons.

The only question in Junuh's mind... was which demon was givin' him the most aggravation:

Bagger Vance or Miss Adele Invergordon.

Mr. Jones ?

Could you hold, please ?

Thank you very much, Mr. Jones.

¶¶

Any time now. Okay.

That's very nice.

Thank you very much, Mr. Hagen.

Dancin' picture, sir ?

Thank you very much.

¶¶ That's it. Very nice look. Right over here.

Big smile. No, don't stop dancin'. Stay together.

Just pretend there's music. Keep goin'. Keep goin'.

Look right over here. Okay.

Give me a smile.

Thank you very much.

¶¶

May I have the pleasure of this dance, please ? Yes.

Longer.

A little shorter.

How's that ?

Yeah, that's good. One stride equals a yard.

You go on over to the tee and start countin'.

Top golfers always tried to get a leg up on the competition... by havin' the men they trusted most sneak onto the course at night... and do their own measurements.

So Bagger and I walked the course that night, measurin' away.

Bagger never wrote down a number.

He filed it all in his head.

Hit one a little harder.

Go on, do that again.

Yeah, right here is where this game is won, right here on the green, but first you got to see it.

Sun gonna be there in the mornin', over there in the afternoon.

Funny thing is, blades of grass... are gonna follow the sun.

The grain is gonna shift.

That same putt... is gonna go one way in the mornin', the other in the afternoon.

One way in the mornin', the other in the afternoon.

You see that ?

Yeah, a golf course puts folks through quite a punishment.

It lives and breathes just like us.

Do you think Junuh can win ?

Yeah, if he can find his authentic swing.

Authentic ?

Go on, hit one more for me.

Yep, inside each and every one of us... is one true, authentic swing.

Somethin' we was born with, somethin' that's ours and ours alone.

Somethin' that can't be taught to you or learned.

Somethin' that got to be remembered.

Over time, the world can rob us of that swing.

It get buried inside us under... all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas.

Some folks even forget what they swing was like.

Some folks even forget what they swing was like.

You keep swingin'. But I don't have any balls.

Don't worry about hittin' the ball the way it's gonna go.

Just swing the club, feel the club.

Now close your eyes.

Close my-- You can't make that ball go in that hole.

You got to let it.

I want you to feel that club, feel the weight of the club.

Settle in deeper, then drop the ball soft as butter.

Listen to the sounds of the night.

You just keep swingin' that club until you feel the breeze comin' off the sea.

Inside every one of us is one true, authentic swing.

You just keep swingin' that club until your authentic swing--

You're part of the whole thing, somethin' you was born with.

That's a good thing.

I don't feel a thing.

You just keep swingin' that club until you're part of the whole thing.

That's a good thing.

Can you see it ?

All right, time to go.

Why ?

They say that God is happiest when His children are at play.

Well, it certainly seemed like God was in fine spirits when the day of the match dawned.

People came from far and wide.

There wasn't a room to be found in either boarding house or the Krewe Island Hotel.

The match had been designed as the ultimate championship: thirty-six holes on Saturday... followed by another grueling thirty-six holes on Sunday.

Good luck today.

Where's Hagen ?

Oh, he'll be here.


Hello, Mr. Junuh. How are you ? Bob, how are you ? Walter.

They do put on a splendid show, don't they, O.B. ?

I hear that later today they'll even be hittin' some golf balls.

Ladies and gentlemen.

By virtue of the draw, Mr. Jones will hit first, Mr. Hagen second, and then Mr. Junuh.

Shh.

And then suddenly, in that moment, I felt as if I could hear the earth breathin' beneath me.


Junuh hit a promising opening drive, and I was sure he was on his way.

Nice shot. Absolutely.

It's hard to imagine three more different approaches to the game of golf.

Bobby Jones's swing was a study of grace in motion.

He had a way of making the difficult shots look easy... and the easy shots look even easier.

Hagen, on the other hand, hit more bad shots in a single game... than most golfers do in a season.

But Hagen had long ago learned one thing.

Three lousy shots and one brilliant shot can still make par.

And Junuh, well, even now I can't think of it without wincin'.

Beach. Go ball, go.

Yep. Beach.

We sure got lovely weather for it this morning, though, don't we ?

Let me get that from you, sir.

Any ideas ?

Hmm. About what ?

Could you give me a club ?

Yeah. That's a good one there.

What the hell's wrong with his grip ?

By the end of five holes, Junuh was five strokes behind... with 67 holes to go.

And things would've been a lot worse if it weren't for Junuh's shot on the sixth.

It was a birdie, one stroke under par... for the hole, moving him to four behind Jones and Hagen... and his only glimmer of hope for the entire round.

I think I found my game.

Good news, Mr. Junuh. Now all we gots to do is figure out what game that is.

By the 18th tee, at the close of the morning round, Jones and Hagen were neck and neck.

And as for Junuh-- This is becoming embarrassing.

Oh, no, sir. It's been embarrassing for quite some time now.


May I make a suggestion to you ?

What now ? Why don't you just hook it out of bounds ?

Yeah. Just curve it out over them pretty trees into the ocean.

Really, just do what you been doin'. Then you'll be so far out the match, man, we can just relax, enjoy ourselves the rest of the way.

Yeah.

What you waitin' for ? Go on.

Just hook it to hell and gone. Put yourself out your misery.


You want to quit, Mr. Junuh ?

You can just go ahead and creep off somewhere.

I'll tell folk you took sick. Truth be told, ain't nobody gonna really object.

Fact, they'd probably be happy as bugs in a bake shop, see you pack up and go home.

You know I can't quit.

I know.

Just makin' sure you know it too.


Man alive ! The fairway.

Hello, Bagger. Hello. Mr. Bagger Vance.

I want an explanation. It better be a good one.

What on God's green earth are you tellin' him ?

Sir, I'd sure be most appreciative if we could talk about this a bit later.

Right now I'm busy assisting Mr. Junuh.

Well, you have done a hell of a job of it so far. Okay, okay !

Let me talk to him, Neskaloosa.

Mr. Vance, I think what the judge is trying to determine here... is what exactly your strategy is for helping poor Mr. Junuh find his game, because to the untrained observer it appears you know as much about being a caddie... as I do about driving a locomotive.

Oh, you-all want to know my strategy.

Well, right now my player is a little confused about who he is.

See, he still thinks he's Rannulph Junuh.

He is Rannulph Junuh, you damn twit.

Well, he is and he ain't.

Thank you. Thank you.


Anybody drinkin' ? Here. I'm gonna get a drink.


It'll come.

I had me a uncle named Rufus.

Lost his right arm in a cotton gin.

Learned how to do everything with his left arm.

- Then he lost that changing a wagon wheel.

Axle snapped. So he learned how to do everything with his teeth.

It was a mistake. One night he says some dumb things to Mr. Johnny...

he shouldn't had said.

Mr. Johnny knock all the teeth out his head.

So he learned how to do everything with his feet.

Up till he got this, uh, fungus. It grew--

Stop it. I'm trying to tell you about overcoming adversity.

Listen, you want to talk to me about my grip, fine.

Talk about my swing, fine. You don't wanna hear about the fungus ?

He became a dancer. Oh, he made a fortune.

It was the most amazing thing to see this armless, toothless man sliding across the stage... to the music of Bessie Smith and the Duke.

I don't care if I'm 12 strokes back. I just don't.

You don't even want to win ?

It's just a game, Bagger. Ah. Yes, sir.

You done said it yourself now. Just a game.

So maybe, just maybe, there is something else that's rilin' you.

Maybe you thought you was just gonna sashay out onto that green... and the old hero of Savannah just reappear all by hisself.

Don't work that way, is all.

The Junuh you was, you ain't never gonna be again.

Ever. That's all I'm sayin'.

You don't know a damn thing about me.

I know one thing for sure. You gonna look pretty foolish... with two different shoes on your feet.

Ah, Jesus.

You got an answer for everything, don't you, Bagger ?

Let me tell you something. There's no difference between winning and losing... and anything in between.

What's lost is lost. A man lives. A man dies.

And in the end it all turns out the same.

You're alone. And that's all you're ever gonna be.

Is that a fact ? Alone.

So, a soul is born with everything that the Lord can give it, and things don't go its way, so it just gives up, and the good Lord takes everything back ?

That's right. And then the soul dies.

Alone. Was that pretty much what you're sayin' ? That's right.

That's a sad story, Mr. Junuh.

Yes, it is. And that's just about the dumbest thing...

I heard any fool say... ever.

You got yourself a hard eye there, Mr. Junuh.

Soul is born with everything, it dies, and the good Lord--

You're a funny man, Mr. Junuh.

Now, what I hear, Bobby's just waitin' to make his big move.

He doesn't wanna peak too early.

You think Walter doesn't know that ?

He's keeping pace with Bobby step for step.

And when Bobby kicks his game into high gear, he's in for a big surprise.

What about Junuh ?

Well, what about him, son ?

Well, there's still three rounds to go. And that's 54 holes.

All he's got to do is pick up one stroke... every four holes, and he wins.

It's possible. Well, it's possible, son, but it's not very likely.

I mean, I have been told that Junuh shows no sign of gettin' his game together.

He's playin' Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen.

What do you know ? You can't even get yourself a decent job !

Hardy ! Hardy Greaves, you come back here.

Let him go, Ida.

Been a hard time for the boy.

There something you wanted to tell me ?

Well, I'm tryin' to think of how to say it, Junuh.

There is a purpose to this visit, and that's to apologize.

But I'm not a naturally apologetic woman, so it takes me longer... to get my thoughts in order.

I want to seem properly contrite for having gotten you into this golf match, but not seem that what I did was ill-intentioned, because it was not.

What exactly are you apologizin' for ?

For publicly humiliating you.

Oh. Well, that'd be a good thing to apologize for.

However... I think that... basically, what I'm trying to say is-- is that I'm sorry.

But it's not my fault.

You're the one to blame.

That's one hell of an apology, Adele.

I'd stop the tournament in a flash, if I could.

I truly, truly would, because I know it's just gonna get worse.

And the way you're playin' ! You're simply destroyin' any chance...

Jones and Hagen have of playin' well.

And your supporters, who are every man, woman and child in Savannah, are so demoralized that they can barely hold down their lunches.

So, you want my apology or not ? No.

Well.

That's the Junuh I know.

Just full of little surprises. What was it, Adele ?

What did you like about us ?

I liked the way we danced.

What's your problem ?

And they was just lookin' at me like I was stupid or crazy or something.

To think that you could beat Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen bein' 12 strokes behind, even though I told them all you had to do was pick up one stroke... every four holes of the next 54 holes, right ?

Yeah, right. And who do you think was tellin' me... what a hopeless case you was the most ?

My very own father, who says that he was a good friend of yours... until you lost your mind in the war.

He's right.

You can't win ?

He was a good friend of mine.

He's sweepin' streets, Captain Junuh... in the middle of Savannah where everybody can see him.

Me, my friends and everybody.

You feelin' sorry for yourself because your daddy's got to sweep streets ?

He ain't the only man who can't get work.

Wilbur Charles's dad can't get work neither, but he says he'd rather do nothin' at all than something beneath his dignity.

Grow up, Hardy. It ain't time for me to grow up, Mr. Junuh.

Your daddy's out sweepin' streets because he took every last dime he had... and used it to pay up every man and woman he owed... and every business who worked for him, instead of declaring bankruptcy... like everyone else in town, including your best friend Wilbur Charles's dad, Raymond, which is why he's able to sit around all day long on his dignity.

You daddy stared adversity in the eye, Hardy, and he beat it back with a broom.

You really love this game, don't you ?

The greatest game there is.

You really think so ?

Ask anybody. It's fun. It's hard.

You stand out there on that green, green grass, and it's just you and the ball, and there ain't nobody to beat up on but yourself.

Just like Mr. Noonan keeps hittin' himself with a golf club every time he gets angry.

He's broken his toe three times on account of it.

This is the only game I know you can call a penalty on yourself-- if you're honest, which most people are.

There just ain't no other game like it.

I better get goin'.

In case you didn't see that, Bobby, remind me when we're out there.

I'll show you where it's at when your second shot catches up to it.

Oh, yes. Greatest game there is.

Right, Hardy ? Yes, sir.

The greatest game there will ever be.

Just you and the ball. All by your lonesome.

I think it's time.

Time for what ? Time for you to see the field.

The field ? I see the field. It's 445 yards long.

It's got a little red flag at the end of it. It's 12 strokes ahead of me.

Come on. That ain't it.

'Cause if you was seein' the field, you wouldn't be hackin' at that ball... like you was choppin' weeds out from under your front porch.

Just gimme the club.

Sorry I bring it up. Here. You gonna take that. Hack away.

All right. What's the field ?

Fix your eyes on Bobby Jones.

Here's a piece of work here right now.

Give the man room.

Knock it out there, Bobby.


Look at his practice swing.

Almost like he was searchin' for somethin'.

Then he finds it.

Watch how he settle hisself right into the middle of it.

Feel that focus.

He got a lot of shots he could choose from.

Duffs and tops and skulls.

But there's only one shot that's in perfect harmony with the field.

One shot that's his. Authentic shot.

And that shot is gonna choose him.

There's a perfect shot out there tryin' to find each and every one of us.

All we gotta do is get ourselves out of its way.

Let it choose us.

Mm. Look at him. He in the field.

Can't see that flag as some dragon you got to slay.

You got to look with soft eyes.

See the place where the tides and seasons... and the turnin' of the earth... all come together.

Where everything that is... becomes one.

You got to seek that place with your soul, Junuh.

Seek it with your hands. Don't think about it.

Feel it. Your hands is wiser than your head ever gonna be.

I can't take you there, Junuh.

Just hopes I can help you find a way.

Just you, that ball, that flag,

and all you are-- seek it with your hands.

Don't think about it. Feel it. You're lookin' at it, Junuh.

Your authentic swing. That flag.

And all that you are.


Even the blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then, Bobby.

The rest of that afternoon is a blur.

Junuh kept asking question after question about the field, while Bagger just acted like nothin' much had happened... and kept makin' remarks about how much Hagen's socks must have cost... and how long to dry tobacco leaves before they make a good smoke.

But somehow, in the middle of it all, Junuh started playin' golf.

As the day and the second round came to an end, there was genuine excitement.

I do so enjoy this little game.

Why don't you ladies freshen up, and I'd love you to join me for dinner.

Hello, Hugh. Junuh.

I'll have a double Scotch. All right, sir.

Pretty entertaining out there today, huh ?

That's what the people want. Entertainment.

I got a proposition, Junuh. Exhibitions are the thing now.

Five, ten grand for two days' work.

How'd you like to go on tour with me ? We'd have some good matches.

I'd expect to win, of course. But then we'd split the money 70 - 30 afterwards.

You'd get the 30.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not just lookin' for another payday here.

I couldn't breathe if it weren't for this game of golf.

I once had the next king of England hold the pin for me while I putted !

Did you know that ? I did.

Yes. I've paid back everything that golf gave me several times over.

But now I'm on the receiving end.

Whoo. It's the good life, Junuh.

Why me ? The crowd likes you.

I think we have a lot in common, you and I.

You've got no illusions that there's anything out there worth gettin' riled up about.

The meaning of it all is that there is no meaning.

Ah, you'd be good company. That's all I'm sayin'.

Thanks, Walter. I'll think it over.

Hey. I admire the way you're dealing with this match, Junuh.

Fighting the way you are. It's damn noble.

But no matter how good a fighter you are, just remember, I can ask the king to hold the flag for me when I putt.

But he's not gonna give me his crown. Neither is Bobby, and neither am I.

I'm not asking for your crown, Walter.

If I wanted it bad enough, I'd just take it.

¶¶


Was there something you wished to discuss ? Because this might not be the right time to--

I can win, Adele.

I can beat both of 'em.

Look in my eyes and tell me what you see.

Determination. Pure determination.

Panic, Adele. Pure panic.

I'm eight strokes behind the two greatest golfers in the history of the sport.

They've never blown a lead in their lives, and I'm gonna win. You know why ?

Panic ? That's right.

Oh, Junuh. You don't, by any chance-- Yes.

Oh, I ought to go back to my guests.

Yes. I should go back to my guests.

You-- You will stay in touch ?

I don't think I can wait another 12 years for the next installment.

Was there something about me that you particularly missed ?

Something that I can feel gratified about depriving you of all these years ?

I like the way we danced.

Make sure you got enough balls in there. Got another sweater ?

Got enough water ? Driver. I need the driver.

This is gonna take everything I got.

Oh, that's for sure. That's a jigger. Help you keep it under the wind.

Bagger, my putter's got more loft than this thing.

Well, actually, they just about the same. Oh. Well, that's good.

I'll just putt the ball down the fairway, then. Anything else ?

Just bash the livin' shit out of it.

An iron.

Well, I don't suppose it matters much what club you use...

when you start the day eight strokes back.


What club was that ? Mid-iron.

Some kind of driving iron. Extraordinarily well-hit.

- The flag ! Pull the flag, Hardy. Yes, sir.

Junuh eagled, pickin' up two strokes on the very first hole.

And he picked up another stroke when Jones bogeyed the second.

And two more strokes on Hagen when he double-bogeyed the third.

Does it look like 180 yards to you ? No.

It's 181.

You might wanna play that ball back just a bit in your stance.


He just hit a hole in one ! Hot dang !

I just seen a miracle with my own eyes ! He just hit a hole in one !

Hey, Homer, you're not gonna believe this ! Junuh made a hole in one !

Junuh made a hole in one ! He's gonna make it !

He's gonna make it ! You're kiddin' !

What ?

What's up ? Junuh's makin' a run for it.

He's pulled within three of Jones and two of Hagen.

He made a hole in one on eight ! God bless Savannah and the men she propagates.

Let's go. Let's go !

Get back. Get back now.

How do you expect Junuh to hit the ball if you stand on top of him ?

Shh !

His play in the third round was beautiful to watch.


While Jones and Hagen discovered new hazards of their own,

Junuh had discovered, as Bagger so eloquently put it, how to stop thinkin' without fallin' asleep.

Junuh finished the third round one stroke behind.

It was a new match, and no one knew it better than Jones and Hagen.

Not now, girls. Not now.

Gents.

Don't believe Walter planned on exerting himself.

It was fun this morning, wasn't it ?

Yeah, it was.

This is my last match, Junuh. I'm retiring.

You're at the top of your game.

I've got a wife and three small children and a law practice.

It's time to stop.

It's just a game, Junuh.

You know, I'll never forget you winnin' the Georgia Open in 1916.

I'd never seen a swing so sweet... or a man get so much pleasure from it.

This is my last 18 holes, Junuh.

And I been thinkin', I couldn't have picked a better way to end it.

Thank you, Bobby. It is truly my pleasure.

I can't let you win out of sympathy.

You know that.

I do.

And I have no intentions of losing my last match.


Gentlemen, excuse me, excuse me. Let's give Mr. Junuh some room.

Thank you. Thank you. I'd like to have a word with you, Junuh.

I don't think this is a good time, Adele.

No. I think this is a very good time.

I don't wanna do anything that might disrupt your concentration or anything.

But since our little encounter last night, I've been thinking.

Ten years and not one single solitary word from you ?

You don't do that to someone you love.

I deserve better. I deserved some correspondence and some indication of what you felt !

Oh, Junuh, I don't know what happened to you.

But whatever it was, it could not have been as unbearable... as a woman waitin' with no end in sight, wonderin' if she's remembered or forgotten by the man she loves.

You never even said you were sorry.

And now I'm supposed to just run into your arms and melt like butter on a hot muffin ?

I'm sorry, Adele. I am. Truly sorry.

It's too late for "I'm sorry," Junuh !

But-- Then-- Tell me what to say.

It was too long ago.

No, it wasn't.

It was just a moment ago.

Did something happen since we talked last night ?

No.

Not that I can think of.

Well, this is barely the place to talk about it.

You gotta go back to your game.


This town is gonna give you the biggest damn parade you ever seen !

Junuh was playin' a fierce fourth round.

And a wild thought began to percolate through the crowd.

Junuh could win.

- I think the driver, Bagger. Hey, give us a smile.

Well, you got water out there on the left side. Why don't you put your spoon out there... with Jones and Hagen, play this thing smart ?

I'm gonna hug the left, get there in two and close the door on these guys.

Get ahold of yourself now. We got four more holes to go. You settle down a little bit.

I never been more settled. An eagle, and this thing is over.

Oh, that's 300 or more yards if it's an inch.

Looks like the longest drive of the day, Mr. Junuh.

I'm gettin' there in two.

Two twenty-five into the wind, out of the bunker.

Geez. The lip's too high. So much for an eagle.

Says who ?

Where's that drivin' iron, Bagger ?

Well, there's a time to hit that shot, and there's a time to leave it in the bag.

Which one of them times you feel this is ?

Tell him. Tell him, Bagger.

Tell him it's a mashie, so he can have one easy shot to--

That's amazing. The man's gonna go for the green with that cleeky lookin' thing ?

He's got the guts of a Greek god.

I don't care if he's Apollo, son of Zeus.

That ball won't clear the water.

I hope you're all payin' customers.


Junuh ! Junuh, don't-- Shh. Hush yourself, Hardy.

If first you don't succeed.


Which would make your spot... right here, Junuh.

Give it to him.


When Junuh dropped that ball, it was as if every heart in Savannah dropped with it, none landing harder than his own.


You gonna be wantin' a different club there, Junuh ?

I can't do this. Well--

Why don't you just loose your grip up a smidge ?

A man's grip on his club is-- That's not what I'm talkin' about.

I know. No, you don't.

What I'm talkin' about is a game.

Game that can't be won. Only played.

You don't understand.

I don't need to understand.

Ain't a soul on this entire earth ain't got a burden to carry he don't understand.

You ain't alone in that.

But you been carryin' this one long enough.

Time to go on. Lay it down.

I don't know how.

You got a choice. You can stop.

Or you can start. Start ?

- Walkin'. Where ?

Right back to where you always been.

And then stand there.

Still. Real still.

And remember. It's too long ago.

Oh, no, sir. It was just a moment ago.

Time for you to come on out the shadows, Junuh.

Time for you to choose.

I can't. Yes, you can.

But you ain't alone.

I'm right here with ya.

I been here all along.

Now, play the game.

Your game. The one that only you was meant to play.

The one that was given to you when you come into this world.

You ready ?

Take your stance.

Strike that ball, Junuh. Don't hold nothin' back. Give it everything.

Now's the time.

Let yourself remember. Rememberyour swing.

That's right, Junuh. Settle yourself. Let's go.

Now is the time, Junuh.


Let's go, Hardy.

Hey, Bagger ? Yeah ?

You are one hell of a caddie.

Well, I do the best with what I got to work with. We ain't done yet.

By the 17th, Junuh got his swing back.

You have the right to call the game on account of darkness.

That crowd'll string us up by our thumbs if we don't finish.

All right ! Play will continue !

Oh !

This is when a man needs pals in the mermaids' union.


Cars ! Get your cars, boys !

I want every car on this property lined up with lights blazin' !

I don't care if you're kitchen help or Savannah police.

If you got a car, get it in gear !

What's his mark ? It was out of bounds.

Does he have a shot ?

Then Hagen came back from the dead.

Can I get a smoke ?

I want you to tell Spec to hold the flag in case I make it. He'll love that.

I want a three iron.

Get my shoes, will ya ?

Hey, what's goin' on ?

Hagen wants Spec to hold the flag for him in case he sinks it.

I'm gonna miss playing Walter.


Don't hold nothin' back.

The ball moved. No.

It moved.

I have to call a stroke on myself.

No !

No. Don't do it. Please don't do it.

Only you and me seen it, and I won't tell a soul.

Cross my heart. Ain't nobody gonna know.

I will, Hardy.

And so will you.

You've got to tell him not to do it, Bagger !

It's just a stupid rule that don't mean nothin'.

That's a choice for Mr. Junuh, Hardy.

No one wanted the penalty assessed, not even Jones and Hagen.

This was no way to win a match.

Maybe you're mistaken, Junuh. Maybe it moved before you touched the impediment.

Might not have moved at all. The light plays funny tricks this time of day.

"A ball is deemed to have moved if it leaves its original position in the least degree, but not if it merely oscillates and comes to rest in its original position."

Is she different ?

Can you be certain ? Sometimes a ball will shudder...

and then settle back again, Junuh.

The ball was here, and it rolled to here.

Hit it quick, old boy, before you have time to think about it.


You're leaving.

Yes, sir. Yes, I am.

I need you.

No. No, you don't.

Not no more.

There is a small matter. Round about five dollars.

It was guaranteed.

Yes, it was. 'Spect you won't be needin' these shoes back, now that I done broke 'em into my foot and all, you know.

Thank you, sir.

This man is yours, Hardy.

Take him on in.

Y-You want me... to take over for you ?

You leavin' me ? Oh, only for a little while.

You pick up Mr. Junuh bag.

You tote it real straight, now, you hear ?

But what if something comes up... and I don't know what to do ?

I got a feeling you'll figure it out.

But I'll be seein' ya.

Whoa, wait a minute. What's going on here ?

You can't leave him now. He needs you, Bagger.

You're the only chance he's got. You have to stay.

You walk out of here like this, you'll never caddie in Georgia again, I'll personally see to it ! Ya hear ?

Where's Junuh lie ?

Two with a penalty. Could be hittin' three.

Man. I can't hit it any better than that.

Yes, sir.

Judging from the sound, I think I just knocked your ball in the cup.

Interesting match.

I always thought so.

All right, everybody. Comin' through. Out of the way.

Hagen and Jones both lay two, a shot ahead of Junuh.

If either of them sank their putts, Junuh would lose.

What do you think, Hardy ?

Well, the night air has gotten colder.

My guess is it's put a layer of dew on the warmer grass, which is gonna slow your ball down.

Why don't you go on over and stand with your father ?

Are you sure ? Go ahead.

Go on.

That is one tough shot.

Make it.


Yeah !


Rannulph Junuh from Savannah, Georgia... tied Mr. Bobby Jones and Mr. Walter Hagen... in the greatest golf match the world has ever seen !


That was the last match in competition...

Bobby Jones ever played.

From that time on, Walter Hagen played only exhibition matches.

As for Captain Rannulph Junuh and Adele Invergordon, they did have that dance.

And me ?

Well, it seems like yesterday I used to see old guys like me, wonder why they still bothered with this crazy game.

But it doesn't matter.

As Bagger once said, it's a game that can't be won, only played.

So, I play. I play on.

I play for the moments yet to come, lookin' for my place in the field.