Sean Connery

In one of the greatest James Bond scenes of all time (maybe not for non-golfers), Bond takes on the villain Auric Goldfinger in a golf match at Royal St. George’s Golf Club.

The monkey business starts when Oddjob, Goldfinger’s caddie, drops a ball down his pant legs and claims it’s the ball Goldfinger had pulled into deep rough.

Bond’s caddie then says, “If that’s his original ball, I’m Arnold Palmer.”

Even though Bond played from a nine handicap (as did the author Ian Flemming), Sean Connery, who played Bond, wasn’t a keen or accomplished player at the time he started working on the movie.

“It wasn’t until I was taught enough golf to look as though I could outwit the accomplished golfer Gert Frobe [who played Goldfinger] in ‘Goldfinger’ that I got the bug. I began to take lessons on a course near Pinewood film studios and was immediately hooked on the game,” Connery wrote in his 2008 autobiography. “Soon it would nearly take over my life.

“I began to see golf as a metaphor for living, for in golf you are basically on your own, competing against yourself and always trying to do better. If you cheat, you will be the loser, because you are cheating yourself,” he added. “When Ian Fleming portrayed Auric Goldfinger as a smooth cheater, James Bond had no regrets when he switched his golf balls, since to be cheated is the just reward of the cheater.”

  • Nick

    This brilliant scene was filmed at Stoke Park Golf Club, in Buckinghamshire, a tree-lined parkland course.

    Royal St Georges is, as we know, a links course, and is some 170km away in Sandwich, Kent…
    The course in the story was Royal St Mark’s – a fictional course, of course :-)

  • Nick

    Love the line “golf is not yet the national game of Korea” – how times have changed!