[Editor's Note: The following article was written by Todd Casabella, Director of Instruction at Grey Hawk Golf Club in Lagrange. Todd is a member of the Professional Golfers' Association of America and a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor.]
I was fortunate to go to an advanced screening of the movie, “Seven Days in Utopia” starring Lucas Black and Robert Duvall. I’m not a movie critic by any means, so I will spare you my amateur review of the quality of the film. But reviewing it as a golfer, as golf movies go it’s pretty believable.
The movie is based on the book “Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia” by David Cook. Lucas Black plays Luke Chisolm. Luke suffers a serious meltdown on the final hole of an important tournament in his life. Upset, he leaves the tournament with no where to go. He comes to a crossroads, turns right and finds himself in Utopia where he meets Johnny Crawford. Johnny sees the meltdown on TV. Being an ex-tour player, he takes Luke under his wing to help him find his game.
I won’t go into much more detail. For those who haven’t read the book, I don’t want to ruin the movie. The movie probably won’t win any academy awards but the premise of the movie is very refreshing. In a world that pursues success and achievement at all costs this is a great story on what really defines success. Luke’s identity is wrapped up into how well he plays golf. When he has his meltdown, he feels as though his world is going to come to an end. That’s because his number one priority is his golf game. He has sacrificed everything in order to play his best golf and when he fails it’s devastating. Johnny helps him prioritize his life and put things in the proper perspective. This allows him to not only play better golf but lead a more fulfilling life. His mantra of SFT (again, I don’t want to ruin the movie) helps turn Luke on to a different path where success isn’t measured by a golf score.
It’s a good movie that I would definitely recommend but it does fall short of the influence of the book. I first read the book a few years ago and have since read it at least 6 times. For a competitive or even just avid golfer it’s a must read. The book provides more detail to the training Luke receives in the movie, and therefore, it’s much easier to incorporate the concepts into your life and golf game. This isn’t just a fictitious tale. David Cook has a PhD in psychology. He has worked with over 100 professional golfers, the San Antonio Spurs and many U.S. Olympians. He has given us an entertaining way to change our minds to get the most not only out of golf but life.