As a golfer myself, I can relate to Kevin Costner’s character in this 1996 golf classic as this washed-up West Texas golf pro rises from the dust to play on professional golf’s biggest stage.


If any of you golf fans have not seen the film, “Tin Cup,” you my friends have been missing out.

“Tin Cup,” a 1996 romantic comedy directed by Ron Shelton (“Bull Durham” and “White Men Can’t Jump”), tells a story of hardships on the golf course, in relationships and on the financial side of life.

Kevin Costner plays the lead role of Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy, a stubborn, washed-up golf professional who sets out to make it on the PGA Tour. He lives with little ambition to reach his full potential and works at a run-down driving range in West Texas.

Just from knowing the plot of this story, a serious golfer can already relate. Going through the tough times in the game can be enough to make you want to throw in the towel and give up.

For McAvoy, it all starts when he meets Dr. Molly Griswold (Rene Russo), a psychologist who seeks him out for a golf lesson. McAvoy is instantly attracted to her and decides to get off his rear end and start practicing to show her he can be successful … Oh the power a woman can have over a man.

I think most men can relate and agree with me when I say that a woman can have a pretty strong effect on a man.

After continuous nights of working on his game, McAvoy qualifies for the U.S. Open in hopes of showing himself, along with Dr. Griswold, that he is capable of achieving greatness.

Coming down to the final day of the U.S. Open, McAvoy only needs a par to take the victory but lets his ego get in the way when he decides to go for the last par 5 in two shots.

He will not let his stubbornness go and proceeds to hit five balls in the water in front of the green.

On his sixth shot, the ball goes in the hole from 200 yards for a 6-over-par 12. He lost the tournament due to his own ego getting in the way.

I know that sometimes it is hard for me to put my ego aside on and off the golf course, but it is important to remind myself to view things more objectively.

Though in the end he gets the girl, this story is about a man who was at the lowest point in his life and decided to pick himself for the woman he loved and make a name for himself despite previous setbacks and misfortunes.

I think if you understand the big picture of the story there are a few valuable lessons to be learned.

The first lesson being, even if you’re at a low point in life, you can always get it back. All it takes is a goal and a bit of hard work.

The second lesson being, do not let yourself get in your own way. If it comes to something like pride, or your ego keeping you from achieving greatness, step back and take a look at the big picture and do what is necessary to succeed.

Lastly, if you truly love something, fight for it and never give up, the same way McAvoy did not give up on his pursuit for Dr. Griswold.

I believe this movie is more than just another golf movie, I think it is well written and I know that I am not the only one who thinks this.

“Tin Cup” is a classic flick. Whenever I watch it, I can always relate so much. From the girl problems to the golf course, the entire movie is motivating, encouraging, along with a great story,” said Steven Tanner, Missouri Baptist University alumnus, ex-collegiate golfer and movie enthusiast.

Most people who are familiar with golf know or have heard about this movie, but even the ones who do not play golf talk about the movie positively.

“Now, I am not much of a golfer, but I do love McAvoy’s sense of humor. I feel like I am the same way at times. Besides, who wouldn’t have the hots for Dr. Griswold,” said Missouri Baptist alumnus and movie enthusiast, Brett Schneider.

“Tin Cup” is an inspirational film with a talented cast that can be enjoyed by anyone — I would recommend this movie to all, both golfer and non.

By David Long

David Long is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. He is a junior who is majoring in General Communications Studies. Long is the captain of the MBU Mens Golf Team and has been a member of it for 3 years. Born and raised in Goshen, Ind., Long now lives just south of Asheville in Rutherford County, N.C.. He plans on pursuing a career as a golf professional after he graduates. Long will be the president and founder of Phi Lambda Phi, the first men's fraternity at MBU.