Today's 'Bushwood' Country Club? It's hardly the same

July 26, 2010
Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer

The name is different. So is the golf course.

Grande Oaks Golf Club in Davie, Fla., bears little resemblance to "Bushwood" and there's only a slight reference on the club's web site to it being the location of golf's most famous -- and funniest -- movie.

RANKING THE CHARACTERS: Who are the movie's five biggest heroes? Five baddest villains? Five favorite bit characters? Click here
UNDERRATED QUOTES: You've heard the obvious quotes from the movie. Here are some that are just as good. Click here
THE REAL BUSHWOOD: The movie was filmed at a course in Florida. Here's the reason why. Click here
READERS REACT: We've gathered some of our reader comments about the movie. Click here | Video
BUY THE DVD: In case you don't already have a copy. Click here

If you look closely, though, you can figure out where Bill Murray, as assistant greenskeeper Carl Spackler, did his famously improvised monologue in Caddyshack.

"Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac...It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!"

Thirty years later, the quote and the film still resonates, even if the course, known then as Rolling Hills Golf Club, has gone through redesigns and ownership changes.

Caddyshack was filmed during 11 weeks there during the autumn of 1979, mostly because of what the course didn't have: Palm trees. According to director Harold Ramis, he wanted the movie to resemble a Midwest location. That's where writer Brian Doyle-Murray spent his youth as a caddie at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka, Ill., and what spawned the idea for the movie.

If you've ever been to golf courses in Illinois and Florida, you know about the only similarity they share is grass and sand. Rolling Hills, however, did have one other distinct similarity: Oak trees. Lots of them (hence the current name of the course, obviously).

Perhaps the most famous connection to the golf course, however, is the explosion scene during the climax of the movie when Murray's Spackler attempts to destroy his nemesis, the gopher, by blowing up the gopher holes throughout the course.

As the story goes, the explosions were not approved by the owners of the club, who were constantly lurking in the background to make sure the course was not damaged. The producers of the movie managed to convince the owners to attend an off-site meeting, however, and while they were gone ... boom went the golf course.

The explosions were so dramatic that a pilot landing at nearby Fort Lauderdale Airport reported them to the tower, suspecting a plane had crashed.

Naturally, other scenes in the movie were filmed nearby as well. The pool scene was filmed at Plantation Country Club in Plantation, while the dinner and dancing scene was shot at Boca Raton Hotel and Club. The marina scene was filmed in Biscayne Bay, further south in Miami.

As for Grande Oaks, it stands today as a private club that measures 6,680 yards from the tips and plays to a par 71. The clubhouse and locker room also look dramatically different.

But if you stand outside and close your eyes, you can still hear Carl Spackler and his Cinderella story. "It's in the hole!"