Sex and Golf/ and other wisdom from Tin Cup

Kevin Costner has made some memorable sports movies, and Tin Cup is a fun and quirky addition to the golf movie pantheon.

Costner plays Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, a down on his luck golfer with a ton of talent but not the best attitude. The excellent cast includes the lovely Rene Russo as Dr Molly Griswold and the fun Cheech Marin as McAvoy’s best friend.

Sex and Golf
Reclaimed wood Golf Sign from The Golf Artist

I’ve added the Sex and Golf (are the two things you can enjoy even if you’re not good at them) quote to my product line because it’s fun, and also it was originally coined by pro golfer Jimmy Demaret, and it’s been repeated often since. It’s an historical golf humor bit. (Link to item in shop)

As an aside, James Newton (Jimmy) Demaret (May 24, 1910 – December 28, 1983) was an American professional golfer. He won 31 PGA Tour events in a long career between 1935 and 1957, and was the first three-time winner of the Masters, with titles in 1940, 1947, and 1950.

In the vein of bawdy golf humor, another favorite funny golf quote of mine from an all-time great comedian, Jack Benny, goes like this: 

“Give me a set of clubs, fresh air, and a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and fresh air.”  I’ve made that one into a sign before, I love it.

And back to Tin Cup, a favorite scene of mine is the one where Roy McAvoy talks about the “nod to the gods”, which I use often on the golf course to remind me to pause at the top of my swing before beginning the downswing. It helps me to have a good transition and a pace that’s smooth.

Actually, his whole little soliloquy on the golf swing as a poem is really nice:

Roy ‘Tin Cup’ McAvoy:
The critical opening phrase of this poem will always be the grip. Which the hands unite to form a single unit by the simple overlap of the little finger. Lowly and slowly the clubhead is led back. Pulled into position not by the hands, but by the body which turns away from the target shifting weight to the right side without shifting balance. Tempo is everything; perfection unobtainable as the body coils down at the top of the swing. Theres a slight hesitation. A little nod to the gods.

Dr. Molly Griswold:
A nod to the gods?

Roy ‘Tin Cup’ McAvoy:
Yeah, to the gods. That he is fallible. That perfection is unobtainable. And now the weight begins shifting back to the left pulled by the powers inside the earth. It’s alive, this swing! A living sculpture and down through contact, always down, striking the ball crisply, with character. A tuning fork goes off in your heart and your balls. Such a pure feeling is the well-struck golf shot. Now the follow through to finish. Always on line. The reverse C of the Golden Bear! The steel workers’ power and brawn of Carl Sandburg’s. Arnold Palmer!

Beautiful, but too many words to fit onto one of my golf signs!

Credit for the writing goes to Ron Shelton (the man behind Bull Durham, also with Costner), and Jim Norville.

Thanks to them for a fun movie and some entertaining and inspiring dialog!


More golf humor, just for kicks:

“A golf ball will always travel farthest when hit in the wrong direction.” -Henry Beard

“One big advantage bowling has over golf is that you seldom lose a bowling ball.”

“Your problem is that you’re standing too close to the ball. After you hit it.” -Sam Snead



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