Thursday, September 25, 2014

Neil Sagebiel's "Draw in the Dunes"

Neil Sagebiel is the founder and editor of Armchair Golf Blog, one of the top golf blogs on the Internet. He is the author of The Longest Shot: Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open.

Here Sagebiel dreamcasts an adaptation of his new book, Draw in the Dunes: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World:
Draw in the Dunes is about golf, and golf movies are tough to pull off. That's usually because the actors playing golfers are unconvincing.

Glenn Ford played Ben Hogan in Follow the Sun, the first Hollywood movie about a golfer. While the 1951 movie was a success at the box office, Hogan, a technical adviser on the film, was displeased with Ford because the leading man was so ungolferlike in his movements.

There are exceptions. Stephen Dillane was wonderful as Harry Vardon in The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005).

I would cast charismatic athletic men for the roles of American Jack Nicklaus and Englishman Tony Jacklin, the stars of my new book about the 1969 Ryder Cup.

A young Sean Connery would be a solid choice for Tony Jacklin. Connery was a good golfer. Interestingly, Connery and Jacklin were also good friends.

For Jack Nicklaus, I might cast a young Jon Voight (Midnight Cowboy era), if Voight had golf ability. Voight's father was described as both a pro golfer and a caddie. Maybe his aptitude for the game was passed along to his movie-star son.

One potential casting problem is that Connery and Voight stand 6' 2" while the men they would play were 5' 10". On the other hand, being the same height, Connery and Voight would look eye to eye, as did Jacklin and Nicklaus. I expect a talented director could make it work.

Speaking of a director, that's an easy choice: Clint Eastwood. There's so much outstanding work, including Million Dollar Baby to name just one Eastwood gem. And Clint knows and loves golf.

Clint, ready to tee it up?
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--Marshal Zeringue