Why From the Rough is a great film for the golfing community

Without noteworthy golf footage, the film is anchored firmly in portraying the sociology of golf, which the TSU athletes confront. Country clubs, as private associations, have excluded women and people of color, but in an increasingly diverse country, they are losing golf memberships. Moreover, golf is losing favor because of how expensive its equipment, greens fee, and clothing have become, and because of the combination of its complex rules and customs (both written and unwritten.)

Thematically, the film also introduces a different approach to training and preparing athletes for high-level golf competition. Seve Ballesteros co-authored a book entitled Trouble-Shooting, which presents a different approach to training golfers: master the most difficult shots from the most difficult lies and locations, and everything else becomes easier. Golfers who can hit shots from roughs, bunkers, marshes and woods do not feel pressure to hit perfect tee and long iron shots.

Central Theme

To a much greater degree than other sports-themed films, From the Rough’s message is that success in golf and in life is heavily shaped by believing in others and in one’s own potential, focusing on a personalized development program, bouncing back from adversity, and working with a team and a support team. The team portrayed in the film was not the most talented or credentialed, but, thanks to its Coach, Catana Starks, it practiced these principles and won as a result.

Use of the Film

The film is an excellent tool for two distinct, but overlapping stakeholders:

  • For those who believe in the economic, social and cultural value of golf as a sport, it is well-tailored to being a catalyst for a deep and thoughtful discussion on how to engage with women, people of color, and less economically-privileged people with the sport.
  • For anyone trying to teach, coach or learn the sport, it focuses on two important and overlapping learning foundational principles:
    • The importance of the inner psychological and mental game; and
    • The value of learning to excel at the most difficult shots first, in order to build confidence in the overall game.