SANTA BARBARA, California, USA (January 23, 2019) – “Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk” (www.loopersmovie.com, @loopersthemovie), the most thorough feature-length film documentary ever developed on golf’s historic caddie profession, will debut on Saturday night, February 2 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The film is narrated by actor and former caddie Billy Murray, who starred in the 1980 comedy “Caddyshack,” which was written by his brother Brian Doyle-Murray. The six Murray brothers grew up caddying at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka, Illinois.
The debut is scheduled for 7 p.m., PST at the Lobero Theatre, California’s oldest continually operating theatre, in downtown Santa Barbara.
Centuries old and enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, golf is seen by many as more than a sport. Yet, not much is known about the other person walking with them – the man or woman behind the player carrying the bag. “Loopers” explores the deep and rich personal bond which a golfer and a caddie develop through their time together. A caddie’s involvement in the success of golfers, both recreationally and on professional tours, is a multi-faceted dynamic where the caddie must be a cheerleader, coach and course scout all at once.
Crafted in the spirit of documentaries like “20 Feet From Stardom” and “Step into Liquid,” the film is a must-watch for documentary film lovers, avid golfers and anyone interested in the history of sports. The storyline reaches back more than a century to explore how caddies came to be in Scotland and Ireland and then migrated to the United States and went from a disrespected craft into a well-respected occupation.
The film includes interviews with World Golf Hall of Famers Sir Nick Faldo, Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw, Lee Trevino, Curtis Strange and former Masters Tournament and U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller. Professional caddies who participated include Steve Williams (Tiger Woods’ former caddie), Carl Jackson (Crenshaw), Fanny Sunesson (Faldo), Pete Bender (Greg Norman and others), Michael Greller (Jordan Spieth) and Jariah “Jerry” Beard (Zoeller at the 1979 Masters). Longtime golf journalists Rick Reilly, Michael Collins and Ward Clayton are also interviewed.
The unknown stories are revealed, such as Greg Puga, who grew up in East Los Angeles, went on to caddie at Los Angeles’ Bel-Air Country Club and qualified as an amateur to play in the Masters Tournament. Another is the compelling legacy of caddie master Mike Kiely, who has been the caddie organizer at historic Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland for a half-century and guided many caddies toward successful lives. The Evans Scholars Foundation is also featured, highlighting the program which has given college scholarships to more than 10,000 caddies since 1930.
“Loopers” was filmed at some of the more iconic locations in golf such as the Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club, Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, numerous other vaunted courses in Scotland and Ireland such as Carnoustie, Prestwick, Ballybunion and Lahinch and Bandon Dunes (Ore.)
“Loopers” is directed by Southern California filmmaker Jason Baffa, who has directed successful independent films on the global surfing sub-culture, including “Bella Vita,” “One California Day” and “Singlefin: Yellow.” Baffa’s first film on golf harkens back to his days growing up when he played golf with his father and uncle.
“This project has reconnected me with a special time in my life and I feel inspired to tell this unique and relatively unknown story of the caddie,” Baffa said. “I grew up playing golf with my dad and his brother. I have great memories of walking 18 early on a Sunday so we could get home and watch Nicklaus, Faldo or Crenshaw finish.
“The surfing films revealed the visual beauty and authentic portrayal of the surfing experience, and I was eager to take what I had learned from those projects to the world of golf. I saw it as a world steeped in beautiful landscapes, colorful characters and great stories. Set in the middle is the caddie-golfer relationship, something to date never explored in cinema. We really look forward to sharing the well-known and unknown caddies and their lives and importance.”
Screening Date: Saturday, Feb. 2
Screening Time: 7 p.m. PST
Screening Location: Lobero Theatre, 33 E Canon Perdido St, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Tickets: This event is open to the public. https://givebox.com/1035
Directed by Jason Baffa (@jasonbaffafilms)
Produced by David Brookwell, Jim Packer, Chris Brown, Clark Cunningham, Ward Clayton
Written by Carl Cramer (worked with Baffa as film editor on his previous films)
Narrated by Bill Murray
Animation sequence by artist Damian Fulton
Country - USA