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Home A new golf movie

LOOKING FOR SOME ACTION? Golf is as much about keeping score as it is about characters and relationships. Caddyshack, for example, was immensely successful thanks to its exploitation of the characters that make up the recreational game. Anyone that has been around golf for any length of time has seen or played with an Al Czervik, Ty Webb or Judge Smails!

A new golf movie is coming that helps to remind us what the game was like not so long ago. THE SQUEEZE, directed and written by Terry Jastrow, stars Jeremy Sumpter (Friday Night Lights, Peter Pan), Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore, Requiem for a Dream, Thelma and Louise), Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign, Alfie), Jillian Murray (Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown), Michael Nouri (Flashdance), and Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars).

squeezeThe plot is about a notorious gambler who discovers a modest young man living in a small rural town that possesses superior golf skills. Seeing his potential, the gambler convinces him to abandon his dreams of winning the US Open and start playing in some high stakes matches that provides him with some fast cash. The stakes grow higher and higher until the game becomes “life or death.” The story is based on actual events. It turns out Terry Jastrow and his wife, Anne Archer, had dinner with Kevin Flatt and his wife, Chris, in Las Vegas. Flatt told his story of how he went from being an unknown golf pro to playing in money matches. Back in the “good old days” it wasn’t uncommon for big money games to happen. The lower the profile of the player the greater the opportunities. For example, there is a famous story about how Raymond Floyd first met Lee Trevino! “I went down to El Paso to play Lee,” Floyd recalled. “He was the club pro, the cart attendant, the bag guy. He was it! I was asked would I go down and play this guy down in Texas for some money. I said what’s his name and they said Lee Trevino. I said I’d pay somebody I never heard of. It took three days and I shot 66 and 65 and lost. Then I shot 63 and won and the end of that story to make it short is that’s the first time I ever spoke Spanish. I said adios!” Keep in mind this was long before weekly PGA TOUR purses featured multi-million dollars or winners pocketed seven figures!

Jastrow and his wife were enthralled by Flatt’s story so much that they decided to make a movie about it. Jastrow spent 24 years of his life with ABC Sports, including covering six Olympic Games. He served as a Producer and or Director with the network including working on 68 of golf's Major Championships. He has received 7 Emmy Awards and been nominated 17 times! For those of us old enough to remember, “Wide World of Sports,” its tagline was the thrill of victory, the agony of squeeze2defeat. As much as THE SQUEEZE is about golf, it’s equally if not more so about the people that are involved in the game. Both the thrill of the pursuit and the agony that sometimes accompanies it.

“THE SQUEEZE is a movie about golf. And also it’s a movie about big-time gambling. Golf has always had a gambling aspect to it,” said Tom Watson, who got involved with the production. “When I grew up I played dollar Nassaus, played for dimes putting against older kids when I was eight years old.”

A week after The Masters is played, THE SQUEEZE will debut in select cities around the country. Jastrow has in place a distribution of the movie with 95% of the ON DEMAND outlets as well as with Groupon to sell it via digital download. It will also be available on DVD on June 9th in advance of Father’s Day and the playing of the U.S. Open. He let a few well know golfers and celebrities enjoy an advanced preview of the movie and here is what some of them had to say:

“I watched THE SQUEEZE and really enjoyed it,” said Jack Nicklaus, Winner of 18 Major Golf Championships. “It’s a fun movie that tells an interesting story, and the golf elements are so real you actually believe it could happen.”

“THE SQUEEZE is a wonderful golf movie because it’s so authentic,” said Five Time Major Championship Winner, Phil Mickelson. “It hooks you in the beginning and stays interesting and entertaining right to the end. I’m looking forward to seeing it again.”

“THE SQUEEZE has the best poker scene I’ve ever seen in a movie,” said Steve Wynn, Chairman of Wynn Resorts. “If you like gambling, golf and Las Vegas, you’ll love this movie.”

Al Michaels, NBC Sports Top Announcer: “THE SQUEEZE and it was very entertaining! The script is wonderful, especially the end which came as a surprise! The setting and shots, just beautiful. Christopher McDonald and Michael Nouri turn in boffo performances. Sign them up for the sequel - now.”

Bob Costas, NBC Sports Host Announcer: “Perfect cast, cleverly written, beautifully shot. I loved it from the first tee to the 18th green.”

Judy Rankin, Top Female Golf Commentator: “I was fascinated by the story from the first time I heard it! You keep saying to yourself "and this is based on a true story!" Incredible. A must see movie.”

Tom Roy, Senior Producer Golf, NBC Sports: "THE SQUEEZE is fabulously shot and edited. It's the first golf movie ever that depicts the game authentically. The actors have tour-quality games, which make us believe the narrative, which by the way has lots of twists and turns. Finally, a thoroughly enjoyable golf-themed drama!"

Greg Maddux, Hall of Fame Baseball Player: "I had almost as much fun watching THE SQUEEZE as I did winning the World Series! The movie is based on the true story of a buddy I've played golf with for decades. So great to see his incredible story turned into a movie. See it, you'll like it!"

If you would like to see a trailer of the movie, click here. Spoiler alert, Flatt’s story as told through the main character of Augie Baccus, has a different ending than what the movie portrays. But that’s Hollywood! What leads up to it is something a lot of golfers can identify with.