I hate golf. I think it is one of the dumbest games ever invented. It’s a game for geezers. I’ll never play it. Watching it live or on TV is a complete waste. It’s a sport for people with too much time on their hands. With all of this being said, I was more than a bit teed off when I was asked to go see “Tin Cup,” the new romantic comedy about a bunch of slacker golfers. But after the film was over, guess who was seen driving towards the local chip and putt course?
Kevin Costner stars as Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, a never-was golfer who runs a driving range in West Texas. It seems that Roy was a great player when he was young, yet his temper and gambling ways kept him from the “big tour.” He hangs out all day with his cronies, led by his personal caddie Romeo, played by Cheech Marin, formerly of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong. Hitting balls, drinking beer, placing bets -- the old boys have it easy until a beautiful psychologist named Molly, played by Rene Russo, happens by one day for some golf lessons. Before you can say “fore!” Roy is smitten with Molly, who just so happens to be the girlfriend of his longtime rival and professional golfer, David Simms, played by Don Johnson. Molly thinks it’s fair play to offer Roy some shrink advice in exchange for golf tips, and old Tin, macho sports dude that he is, figures that the only way he can win over Molly is by winning the U.S. Open golf tournament. With a dramatic finish that will have you cheering every putt, “Tin Cup” goes for one last shot at the big time as he plays the games of his career, competing for more than just a trophy.
Directed by Ron Shelton, who together with Costner made the baseball film “Bull Durham” a few years back, “Tin Cup” is handicapped by its subject matter -- golf! Yet Costner and company manage to pull off a winner, as the writing and performances are good, and there are lots of funny moments. Real golf announcers and players are used in the tournament scenes, adding a sense of realism to the film. Don Johnson does the smarmy golf pro to a tee, and Cheech Marin is in fine form as Costner’s caddie and confidant.
While not quite a hole-in-one, Kevin Costner is back in the swing of things after being sand-trapped in his previous film, “Waterworld.” “Tin Cup” shoots about par for a Hollywood summer romantic comedy, and you golf fans will love it. Instead of taking your date to play miniature golf this weekend, assemble a foursome and go see “Tin Cup.”
© 2003 - Larry Carlin - Air Date: 8/14/96
USA / 1996