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Theatrical release poster
Directed byHarold Ramis
Written by
Produced byDouglas Kenney
CinematographyStevan Larner
Edited byWilliam C. Carruth
Music byJohnny Mandel
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • July 25, 1980 (1980-07-25)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4.8–6 million[1][2]
Box office$60 million[1]

Caddyshack is a 1980 American sports comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Ramis and Douglas Kenney, and starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe and Bill Murray with supporting roles by Sarah Holcomb, Cindy Morgan, and Doyle-Murray. It tells the story of a caddie, vying for a caddie scholarship, who becomes involved in a feud on the links between one of the country club's founders and a nouveau riche guest. A subplot involves a greenskeeper who uses extreme methods against an elusive gopher.

Caddyshack was Ramis's directorial debut and boosted the career of Dangerfield, who was previously known mostly for his stand-up comedy. Grossing nearly $40 million at the domestic box office (the 17th-highest of the year),[3] it was the first of a series of similar comedies.

The film has a cult following and was described by ESPN as "perhaps the funniest sports movie ever made".[4]

A sequel titled Caddyshack II (1988) followed, although only Chase reprised his role; it was panned by critics and a box-office bomb.


High school student Danny Noonan is anxious about his future, hoping to go to college to avoid being stuck in a menial job with no prospects. Danny works as a caddie at the exclusive Bushwood country club catering to affluent clientele. Though he usually caddies for Ty Webb, a talented golfer and the free-spirited playboy son of the club's co-founder, Danny volunteers to caddie for the arrogant Judge Elihu Smails, the club's other co-founder and director of the caddie college scholarship program. Meanwhile, mentally unstable greenskeeper Carl Spackler is tasked with killing a destructive gopher driven onto the course by work on the adjacent property development owned by Al Czervik.

The fiery and eccentric nouveau riche Czervik attends the club as a guest, but his antics quickly annoy Smails. After one encounter, Smails angrily throws his putter, injuring an elderly guest. Danny takes the blame for the incident to earn respect from Smails. At Bushwood's annual Fourth of July banquet, Danny and his girlfriend Maggie work as wait staff. Danny becomes attracted to Smails's promiscuous niece Lacey Underall who is visiting for the summer; she and Webb begin a brief affair.

Later, Danny wins the Caddie Day golf tournament, earning him an invitation from Smails to attend the christening ceremony for his boat at the nearby Rolling Lakes Yacht Club. There, Lacey seduces Danny and the pair have sex. Smails returns home and catches them, furiously chasing Danny out of the house. Expecting to be fired and have the scholarship revoked, Danny is surprised when Smails only demands that he keeps the misadventure a secret in exchange for receiving the scholarship.

Unable to tolerate the uncouth Czervik's presence any longer, Smails announces that Czervik will never be granted membership. Czervik counters that he would never consider being a member and is only interested in buying the club. After an exchange of insults, Czervik proposes a team golf match with Smails and his regular golfing partner Dr. Beeper against Czervik and Webb. Although Webb is reluctant to play for money, he agrees to join, and antagonizes Smails by saying that Webb's father never liked Smails. Against club rules, they agree to a $20,000 wager on the match, which quickly doubles to $40,000.

During the match the following day, Danny caddies for Smails but becomes frustrated with his constant cheating. Word spreads of the wager drawing a crowd of club members and employees to observe the game. Smails and Beeper take the lead while both Czervik and Webb struggle. Czervik reacts to Smails' heckling by impulsively doubling the wager to $80,000 per team. When his own ricocheting ball strikes his arm, Czervik feigns an injury in hopes of having the contest declared a draw but learns his team will forfeit unless they find a substitute. Webb selects a reluctant Danny and Smails threatens to revoke the scholarship, but after Czervik promises to compensate Danny, he agrees to take Czervik's place.

At the final hole, the score is tied. Judge Smails scores a birdie, requiring Danny to complete a difficult putt to draw even. Czervik raises the bet, offering double or nothing on Danny making the putt, which Smails accepts. Danny's putt leaves the ball teetering over the edge of the hole seemingly costing him the game. At that moment, in his latest attempt to kill the gopher, Carl detonates plastic explosives that he has rigged around the golf course, shaking the ground and causing the ball to drop into the hole, handing Danny, Webb, and Czervik victory. While everyone begins to celebrate, Czervik sends enforcers after Smails to ensure he pays his share of the bet that will cover Danny’s college scholarship. Meanwhile, Carl coyly leaves the area after seeing the destruction his explosives have caused.

Elsewhere on the course, the gopher emerges from underground unharmed and dances to the song "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins.


  • Chevy Chase as Ty Webb, the son of one of Bushwood Country Club's founders, and owns several lumberyards.
  • Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik, a nouveau riche golfer and successful real estate developer.
  • Ted Knight as Elihu Smails, a judge who is one of the founders of Bushwood Country Club and who directs the caddy scholarship program.
  • Michael O'Keefe as Danny Noonan, a teenager who caddies for Ty and works under Lou.
  • Bill Murray as Carl Spackler, a mentally unstable greenskeeper at Bushwood Country Club who is charged with the duty of ridding it of the gopher.
  • Sarah Holcomb as Maggie O'Hooligan, Danny's girlfriend and coworker.
  • Cindy Morgan as Lacey Underall, Elihu Smails's niece.
  • Scott Colomby as Tony D'Annunzio, Danny's co-worker and frenemy.
  • Dan Resin as Dr. Beeper, Elihu Smails's regular golfing partner.
  • Henry Wilcoxon as Fred Pickering, an Episcopalian bishop and golfing friend of Elihu Smails.
  • Elaine Aiken as Julie Noonan, the mother of Danny.
  • Albert Salmi as Roy Noonan, the father of Danny.
  • Ann Ryerson as Grace.
  • Brian Doyle-Murray as Lou Loomis, the head of Bushwood Country Club's caddy shack that Danny and Maggie work for and the manager of the caddies.
  • Hamilton Mitchell as Motormouth.
  • Peter Berkrot as Angie D'Annunzio, the brother of Tony who is Danny's co-worker.
  • John F. Barmon Jr. as Spaulding Smails, Elihu Smails's grandson.
  • Lois Kibbee as Mrs. Smails, Elihu Smails's wife.
  • Brian McConnachie as Drew Scott, a friend of Al Czervik who is a member of the Bushwood Country Club.
  • Scott Powell as Gatsby.
  • Jackie Davis as Smoke Porterhouse, a worker at Bushwood Country Club.
  • Thomas A. Carlin as Sandy McFiddish, the Scottish greenskeeper at Bushwood Country Club, and is Carl's direct boss.
  • Ron Frank as Pat Noonan, the brother of Danny.
  • Patricia Wilcox as Nancy Noonan, the sister of Danny.
  • Debi Frank as Kathleen Noonan, the sister of Danny.
  • Mel Pape as Butler.
  • Dennis McCormack as Dennis Noonan, the younger cousin of Danny.
  • Violet Ramis as a Noonan Child.
  • Tim Lawrence as the puppeteer of Mr. Gopher (uncredited)


The film was inspired by writer and co-star Brian Doyle-Murray's memories of working as a caddie at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka, Illinois. His brothers Bill and John Murray (production assistant and a caddy extra) and director Harold Ramis also had worked as caddies when they were teenagers. Many of the characters in the film were based on characters they had encountered through their various experiences at the club, including a young woman upon whom the character of Maggie is based and the Haverkamps, a doddering old couple, John and Ilma, longtime members of the club, who can barely hit the ball out of their shadows. The scene in which Al Czervik hits Judge Smails in the genitals with a struck golf ball happened to Ramis on what he said was the second of his two rounds of golf, on a nine-hole public course.[5]

The film was shot over eleven weeks during the autumn of 1979; Hurricane David in early September delayed production. Golf scenes were filmed at the Rolling Hills Golf Club (now the Grande Oaks Golf Club) in Davie, Florida.[6] According to Ramis, Rolling Hills was chosen because the course did not have any palm trees. He wanted the film to feel that it was in the Midwest, not Florida. The explosions that take place during the climax of the film were reported at the nearby Fort Lauderdale airport by an incoming pilot, who suspected that a plane had crashed.[7] The Fourth of July dinner and dancing scene was filmed at the Boca Raton Hotel and Club in Boca Raton, Florida.

The scene that begins when Ty Webb's golf ball crashes into Carl Spackler's shack was not in the original script. It was added by director Harold Ramis after realizing that two of his biggest stars, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray, did not appear in a scene together. The three met for lunch and wrote the scene. While there were some worries about how Chase and Murray would act around one another, due to their rivalry while working together on Saturday Night Live, the two remained friendly and professional with one another throughout the whole writing and filming of the scene. This is the only film in which Chase and Murray have appeared together.[8]

Murray improvised much of the "Cinderella story" scene based on two lines of stage direction. Ramis gave him direction to act as a child. Murray hit flowers with a grass whip while fantasizing aloud about winning the Masters Tournament; a major golf tournament.[8] Murray was with the production only six days, and his lines were largely unscripted.[5] Murray was working on Saturday Night Live at the time, and was not intended to have a large role but his part "mushroomed" and he was repeatedly recalled from New York to film additional scenes as production continued.[9]

Cindy Morgan said that a massage scene with Chevy Chase was improvised, and her reaction to Chase dousing her back with the massage oil, where she exclaimed "You're crazy!" was genuine.[10] A scene in which her character dove into the pool was acted by a professional diver. Before the diver took over, she was led to the diving board by the crew and carefully directed up the ladder since she could not wear her contact lenses near the pool and was legally blind without them.[11]

A deal was made with John Dykstra's[8] effects company for visual effects, including lightning, stormy sky effects, flying golf balls and disappearing greens' flags. The gopher was part of the effects package. Dykstra's technicians added hydraulic animation to the puppet, including ear movement, and built the tunnels through which it moved.

The production became infamous for the amount of drug usage which occurred on-set, with supporting actor Peter Berkrot describing cocaine as "the fuel that kept the film running."[12]


  • Noonan house – 232 North Avenue 54, Los Angeles
  • Bushwood gates – West Gate, Bel Air
  • Bushwood Country Club – Rolling Hills Golf Club, Davie, Florida (now Grande Oaks Golf Club)
  • Bushwood pool – Plantation Preserve Golf Course, Plantation, Florida
  • Czervik Condominiums – Century Hill Condominiums, Los Angeles (from Galaxy Way)
  • Rolling Lake Yacht Club – Rusty Pelican restaurant, Miami
  • Smails house – 4531 NE 25th Street, Fort Lauderdale[13][14]


Critical response[edit]

Caddyshack was released on July 25, 1980,[15] in 656 theaters, and grossed $3.1 million during its opening weekend; it went on to make $39,846,344 in North America,[16] and $60 million worldwide.[1]

The film was met with underwhelming reviews in its original release,[17] with criticism towards the disorganized plot, though Dangerfield's, Chase's, and Murray's comic performances were well received. Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote, "Caddyshack feels more like a movie that was written rather loosely, so that when shooting began there was freedom—too much freedom—for it to wander off in all directions in search of comic inspiration."[18] Gene Siskel gave the film three out of four stars, saying it was "funny about half of the time it tries to be, which is a pretty good average for a comedy."[19] Dave Kehr, in his review for the Chicago Reader, wrote, "The first-time director, Harold Ramis, can't hold it together: the picture lurches from style to style (including some ill-placed whimsy with a gopher puppet) and collapses somewhere between sitcom and sketch farce."[20] Vincent Canby gave it a mixed review in The New York Times, describing it as "A pleasantly loose-limbed sort of movie with some comic moments, most of them belonging to Mr. Dangerfield."[21]

Nevertheless, the film has gained a cult following in the years after its release and has been positively reappraised by many film critics.[22] On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 72% based on 61 reviews, with an average score of 6.60/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though unabashedly crude and juvenile, Caddyshack nevertheless scores with its classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue."[23] On Metacritic, the film received a score of 48 based on 12 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[24]

Christopher Null gave the film four stars out of five in his 2005 review, and wrote, "They don't make 'em like this anymore … The plot wanders around the golf course and involves a half-dozen elements, but if you simply dig the gopher, the caddy, and the Dangerfield, you're not going to be doing half bad."[25]

Ramis noted in the DVD documentary that TV Guide had originally given the film two stars (out of four) when it began showing on cable television in the early 1980s, but over time the rating had gone up to three stars. In 2009, he said, "I can barely watch it. All I see are a bunch of compromises and things that could have been better," such as the poor swings of everyone, except for O'Keefe.[26]

Denmark was the only place outside the United States where Caddyshack was initially a hit. The distributor had cut 20 minutes to emphasize Bill Murray's role.[27]


This film is also second on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies."[28]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


In anticipation of the movie, the Kenny Loggins single "I'm Alright" was released nearly three weeks before the movie opened and became a top ten hit the last week of September 1980.[32] CBS Records also issued a soundtrack to Caddyshack later that year. It included ten songs, four of which were performed by Kenny Loggins, including "I'm Alright."


There was a sequel called Caddyshack II (1988) which performed poorly at the box office and is considered one of the worst sequels of all time.[33] Only Chevy Chase reprised his role.


In 2007, Taylor Trade Publishing released The Book of Caddyshack, an illustrated paperback retrospective of the movie, with cast and crew Q&A interviews. The book was written by Scott Martin.[34][better source needed]

In April 2018, Flatiron Books published Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty, detailing the making of the film.[35]

Caddyshack restaurants[edit]

On June 7, 2001, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and their brothers opened a themed restaurant inspired by the film at the World Golf Village, near St. Augustine, Florida. The restaurant is meant to resemble the fictional Bushwood Country Club, and serves primarily American cuisine. The brothers are all active partners and make occasional appearances at the restaurant. Three more Caddyshack restaurants were opened, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Orlando; and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. These are now closed, leaving the original in St. Augustine their flagship location, open to fans and diners.[36]

Bill Murray and two of his brothers, Andy and Joel, were in attendance when another venue opened in Rosemont, Illinois, in April 2018.[37]

Popular culture[edit]

Many of the film's quotes are part of popular culture,[38] and merchandise is still licensed and sold by several companies as of 2024.[39][40] FunkoPop produced several figures in 2019, as well as a set exclusive to Target.[41]

Tiger Woods said[42] that he liked the film, and played Spackler in an American Express commercial based on the film.[43]

The University of Minnesota uses part of the film as a dance sport ritual for athletics, encouraging fans at collegiate sports games to "Do the Gopher" and imitate the dancing gopher,[44] referenced because of mascot Goldy Gopher.

In 2016, Bret Baier in a Fox News interview asked the Dalai Lama whether he had seen the movie, referencing a scene where the Dalai Lama is mentioned in comical story told by assistant groundkeeper Carl Spackler. The Dalai Lama responded he had not seen the movie, and while he had played badminton, he had never played golf.[45]

A 2023 Super Bowl commercial for alcohol brand Michelob featured modern athletes recreating scenes from the film.[46]


  1. ^ a b c PETER H. BROWN (January 20, 1985). "WE'RE TALKING GROSS, TACKY AND DUMB". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ "Caddyshack (1980) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  3. ^ 1980 Yearly Box Office Results. Archived July 15, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  4. ^ "ESPN.com - Page2 - Page 2's Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time". Espn.com. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2019. Perhaps the funniest sports movie ever made, and 22 years later, it still ranks as definitely the most 'quotable' sports film.
  5. ^ a b Caddyshack: The Inside Story Archived June 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Bio.HD December 13, 2009.
  6. ^ Grande Oaks Golf Club Archived January 12, 2021, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Caddyshack: Reel Life from "ESPN.com Page 2"". Espn.go.com. Archived from the original on August 14, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Mark Canton, Chevy Chase, Scott Colomby, Hamilton Mitchell, Cindy Morgan, Jon Peters, Harold Ramis, Ann Ryerson (1999). Caddyshack: The 19th Hole, Special Feature (DVD). Warner Bros.
  9. ^ Chris Nashawaty (August 2, 2010). "Caddyshack". Sports Illustrated. p. 3. Archived from the original on July 31, 2010.
  10. ^ KIMBERLY REBMAN (May 7, 2015). "Actress Cindy Morgan: Dancing Gophers, Computer Graphics, and Everything in Between". The AME Magazine. Archived from the original on June 20, 2015.
  11. ^ Hinson, Mark (August 7, 2009). "'Caddyshack' siren joins the fun for film school's 20th". Tallahassee Democrat. p. 14D. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  12. ^ Sorokach, Josh (April 18, 2018). "'Caddyshack' Was Fueled By Rampant Cocaine Use, New Book Reveals". Decider. Archived from the original on April 18, 2018.
  13. ^ On Location: Caddyshack filming locations Archived January 11, 2020, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Filming Locations for Caddyshack (1980), in Florida and Los Angeles". The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations. Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  15. ^ "Caddyshack". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (advertisement). July 25, 1980. p. 10A.
  16. ^ "Caddyshack (1980)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  17. ^ Paseman, Lloyd (August 7, 1980). "Light movie funny, but tasteless". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (review). p. 5D.
  18. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1980). "Caddyshack". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  19. ^ Siskel, Gene (July 1980). "Caddyshack". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  20. ^ Kehr, Dave. "Caddyshack". Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on April 18, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  21. ^ Canby, Vincent (July 1980). "Caddyshack". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  22. ^ Tom Hoffarth (February 20, 2007). "'Caddyshack' former hottie in revival mode". Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on February 2, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  23. ^ "Caddyshack (1980)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on May 11, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  24. ^ "Caddyshack (1980)". Metacritic. Retrieved January 28, 2023.
  25. ^ [1] Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine at Filmcritic.com's
  26. ^ Martin, Brett (July 2009). "Harold Ramis Gets the Last Laugh". GQ: 64–67, 124–25. Archived from the original on August 6, 2015. Retrieved June 22, 2009. Like, it bothers me that nobody except Michael O'Keefe can swing a golf club. A movie about golf with the worst bunch of golf swings you've ever seen! It doesn't bother golfers, though.
  27. ^ Iben Albinus Sabroe (2008). Jeg vil vinde en Oscar (I Want to Win an Oscar).
  28. ^ "Bravo's 100 funniest movies list". Listsofbests.com. June 2, 2006. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  29. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  30. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes" (PDF). American Film Institute. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 7, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  31. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10: Top 10 Sports". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  32. ^ "Billboard's Hot 100 for the week of 27 Sep 1980". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 22, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2019.. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  33. ^ Nashawaty, Chris (July 24, 2020). "The Inside Story of Caddyshack II". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  34. ^ Martin, Scott (2007). The Book of Caddyshack: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Greatest Movie Ever Made. ISBN 978-1589793583.
  35. ^ Ryan, Patrick (April 24, 2018). "'Caddyshack': 5 wild things we learn about the Bill Murray comedy in new tell-all book". USA Today. Archived from the original on September 20, 2019. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  36. ^ "Murray Bros. Caddyshack home page". Murraybroscaddyshack. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  37. ^ Kindelsperger, Nick (April 17, 2018). "Bill Murray visits his Caddyshack restaurant in Chicago and doesn't disappoint". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 22, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  38. ^ Ben Craw and Dan Abramson (May 30, 2010). "All The Best 'Caddyshack' Quotes In One Video: Pick Your Favorite!". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on October 21, 2020. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  39. ^ "Gifts - CaddyShack". ReadyGOLF LLC. Retrieved May 15, 2024.
  40. ^ "Caddyshack Movie T-Shirts, Apparel & Accessories | Buy Now". www.tvstoreonline.com. Retrieved May 15, 2024.
  41. ^ Anderson, Ashley (June 3, 2019). "AVAILABLE NOW: TARGET EXCLUSIVE CADDYSHACK POP! COLLECTORS BOX!". Funko. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  42. ^ "Tiger Woods Talks...To His Twitter Followers". Radar Online. November 30, 2010. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  43. ^ "Tiger meets gopher". GolfBusinessNews.com. February 27, 2004. Retrieved May 15, 2024.
  44. ^ "Goldy Gopher | Office of Admissions". admissions.tc.umn.edu. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  45. ^ Bret Baier Asks the Dalai Lama If He Has Ever Seen 'Caddyshack'. Retrieved May 15, 2024 – via www.youtube.com.
  46. ^ "Succession's Brian Cox to Serena: Michelob Ultra drops A-list Caddyshack Super Bowl ad". The Drum. Retrieved May 15, 2024.

External links[edit]