THE SHORT GAME follows the lives of eight of the best 7-year-old golfers in the world as they train for and compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf. The annual tournament held at golfing mecca Pinehurst, North Carolina, brings in 1500 young golfers from 54 different countries and determines who will be crowned golf's next phenom. In its course, the eight stories entwine to form a fascinating and often funny portrait of a group of very young athletes and their families, in which the narrow-focused, peculiar and highly competitive junior golf subculture becomes both a window into contemporary global society and an inspiring reflection of the human condition.
Amari Avery, Jed Dy, Allan Kournikova, Zamokuhle Nxasana, Alexa Pano, Sky Sudberry, Augustin Valery, Yang Kuang, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Don Law, Dan Martin, John Nieporte, Alla Kournikova, Geoff Nxasana, Pumla Nxasana, Sizwe Nxasana, Judy Nxasana
There is a beauty in the possibilities of being a child and The Short Game taps into that in a very real way but it also highlights the aspects of sport that shouldn’t be encouraged, the jealousy and the strive to beat someone else being but a few. While the film shows you the wonder of having a skill nobody can take away from you it also introduces you to a dark side of sport and that is how we are influenced and taught to love something even when we might not like it unless we are pushed.
The Short Game follows nine 7 year old golfers who travel to a prestigious golf tournament to show their mettle to all the other competitors so that one of them can be called the next possible champion of the PGA. While they compete we are shown a different side to golf as well as the kind of commitment required to really shine at something as the film looks at the impact and salvation a gift can have.
Although the film has some interesting thoughts and it somehow makes golf watchable despite the very monotonous nature of the sport it also highlights the dangers of pushing these kids to hard, the idea that they can be pushed into something from such a young age makes it easy to imagine them missing out on the many experiences that life has to offer and while these children don’t seem to realise it, it poses a very real scenario in our minds as we watch.
However these children love what they are doing, they are good at it and the film tidily emphasises the joy that it brings them while at times going too far into the realm of saccharine emotions. The film is smartly filmed but it rarely hits the emotional highs the film is striving for and while it is interesting to look at the good and bad aspects of these kids the film misses perfection thanks to that very same conflict. However thats not to say The Short Game isn’t worth watching, in fact it might just prove more entertaining than you thought.
You rated this film: 4
George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
Videos exempt from classification by the British Board of Film Classification