GRAND RAPIDS – Want to see a feel-good movie and also help out junior golf?
That’s the question posed by Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) Governor and Michigan Golf Hall of Fame writer Terry Moore of Grand Rapids, and the movie in question is The Phantom of the Open, based on a book by the same name that debuted last year at the London Film Festival and is just hitting theatres this spring in time for golf season.
Mark down the date, June 15, the time, 7 p.m., and the place, Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids.
The Michigan debut of the movie is being presented by the GAM Foundation for the benefit of Youth on Course across the state and the First Tee of West Michigan.
Get tickets Here!
Moore, former editor of Michigan Golfer Magazine, said seldom does a 34-year-old golf story have a second act like this one.
“It’s been amazing to relive the story of Maurice Flitcroft and how I not only got to know him but play golf with him,” Moore said. “It’s a feel good movie that hits all the right notes. People will like it including non-golfers. I’m incredibly pleased the beneficiaries of the film benefit will be Youth on Course and the First Tee of West Michigan, two leading junior golf initiatives.”
The movie, as previously announced includes a back-story involving Moore, and is the surreal story of Flitcroft, who became famous or notorious, your pick, after entering a 1976 British Open qualifier and shooting a 121, the highest score recorded in any round associated with the Open and earning him the media tags of the world’s worst golfer and the Walter Mitty of golf.
The then 46-year-old shipyard crane operator in Barrow-in-Furness became a hoaxer and regularly attempted to enter the Open and other golf tournaments. He went as far as wearing disguises and using pseudonyms.
Terry’s brother Tim, a member at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids paying homage to the 121 score named the annual member-guest tournament after Flitcroft, and Terry 10 years later invites the real Flitcroft to play in the tournament named for him. He makes the trip with his wife Jean and plays.
Flitcroft died in 2007 at the age of 77, but the story has lived on. The movie brings his story and the love story with his wife Jean to light, and Moore is portrayed by actor Michael Capozzola for the coming to Michigan part.
Rotten Tomatoes has given the movie a 92% Fresh Rating and Golf Digest recently asked: “Is this the greatest golf movie ever?”
“The movie is going to appeal to non-golfers, too,” Moore said. “It’s a feel-good movie, a love story and a unique golf movie at the same time.”