Caddyshack Golf Course

Moviefone sent editorial assistant Gaby Dunn's father, Marc Dunn, a longtime resident of -- and golfer in -- South Florida, to Grande Oaks Golf Course, where the movie 'Caddyshack' was filmed, to write about his experiences on the course. This is his story.

The explosion of sand obscured the ball briefly as it floated through the air and landed gently five feet from the hole. It paused, and then it rolled slowly toward the hole, teetered on the edge of the cup and fell in. It's the famous scene from 'Caddyshack' where Bill Murray says, "A Cinderella story. Outta nowhere ... It looks like a miracle ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!" Caddyshack Golf Course

Moviefone sent editorial assistant Gaby Dunn's father, Marc Dunn, a longtime resident of -- and golfer in -- South Florida, to Grande Oaks Golf Course, where the movie 'Caddyshack' was filmed, to write about his experiences on the course. This is his story.


The explosion of sand obscured the ball briefly as it floated through the air and landed gently five feet from the hole. It paused, and then it rolled slowly toward the hole, teetered on the edge of the cup and fell in. It's the famous scene from 'Caddyshack' where Bill Murray says, "A Cinderella story. Outta nowhere ... It looks like a miracle ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!"

The quote is in my head now because I am back visiting that very course, Rolling Hills. I grew up in South Florida and played golf where 'Caddyshack' was filmed regularly beginning in 1978, a year before the film was shot there.

My first time playing there was because I was invited by my friend, then-owner of Rolling Hills, Butch Whales.

"Marc, can you join us for a round tomorrow at about 9?" Butch said. I loved playing that course, even though it had become more conservative recently -- gambling and cursing were not allowed, but drinking beer at every hole was.

"Sure," I said. "Who are you bringing?"

Butch hesitated and then he said, "I have invited my pastor, Rick. He is a good golfer, enjoys the camaraderie of respectful men and a good clean afternoon of fun."

I thought for a minute and said, "Butch, you better warn him, not me."

Location as Character: The course is called "Bushwood Country Club" in the movie, and when it was filmed, it was a public course. The course is home to most of the Harold Ramis-directed comedy, where Danny Noonan, Carl Spackler and the rest of the caddies work.

In the film, the course is also infested with a pesky gopher.

Carl (Bill Murray) Prepares to Battle the Gopher

The hole pictured above is from the scene where Chevy Chase's character Ty Webb hits the ball blindfolded.

Historical Significance: Rolling Hills Golf Course, renamed Grande Oaks, is located in Davie, Florida, in southwestern Broward County, about 15 miles from Ft. Lauderdale. As Grande Oaks, the golf course is now private and members-only. The town of Davie has always been a cowboy place, with many horse owners and ranches. At the time the golf course opened, in 1959, it was on the edge of the Everglades, and the attraction was that it looked like a northern course with its slopes and hills. It also did not have any palm trees, which made it attractive to the directors of 'Caddyshack,' who wanted their movie to look like it took place in the Midwest.

The movie was filmed in 1979, a year after I first played golf there, and the South Florida area had marinas, country clubs with swimming pools and tennis courts, and resorts with luxury bars and restaurants, which made it perfect for filming the movie. Multiple sets were used, such as the Boca Raton Resort, Ft. Lauderdale Marina and the Plantation Country Club. Rolling Hills' advantage was that it not only looked like a Midwestern setting but it also had a stylish clubhouse, a swimming pool and tennis courts.

Growing up in this area and playing on a high school golf team allowed me to play on this course from its inception. It was considered a top-notch course, and it was a privilege to play there.

Directions: Take I-95 to 595 and go west to University Drive. Go south about 1 mile and the entrance to the course is on your right, on SW 33rd Street.

Visitor Info: Grande Oaks is now a private, members-only club. A visitor can only go inside if he or she is the guest of a member. However, you can drive up to the gate if you'd like and take a gander at the oak trees outside the modern colonial club house. If you do get inside, the club's pro shop has a bunch of 'Caddyshack' gear for purchase -- including a gopher-like stuffed animal and a replica of Rodney Dangerfield's golf bag. Visitors are not allowed to wear blue jeans on the course.

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