Essential Golf: A passion for the Game

The Real Life Golf Story Behind The Phantom of the Open

phantom of the open


Based on Scott Murray and Simon Farnaby’s 2010 nonfiction book of the same name, The Phantom of the Open features a fantastic performance by Mark Rylance, which grounds what could otherwise have been a totally implausible plot. The screenplay is by Simon Farnaby, writer of the popular Paddington 2. and the direction is by Craig Roberts, a young actor turned filmmaker whose still-slender résumé (Just Jim, Eternal Beauty) belies his stylistic assurance and commitment to emotional truth.

This project reunites Sony Pictures Classics with Sally Hawkins, who previously starred in the 2016 film Maudie and the 2013 drama Blue Jasmine, the latter earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 86th Academy Awards. Sally Hawkins plays Jean Flitcroft, whose support for her husband’s pipe dreams — which continue well after Maurice posts a score of 121, the worst ever recorded in the Open’s history — contributes mightily to a story that isn’t ultimately about golf at all.

The film also marks a continued artistic relationship between Hawkins and Roberts; the pair previously worked together on Roberts’ 2019 directorial debut, Eternal Beauty, and both starred in Richard Ayoade’s 2010 coming-of-age film Submarine.

Craig Roberts’ real life golf comedy drama The Phantom of the Open got its theatrical release in June and is now available on streaming services and on DVD. Watch the official trailer here. For additional information and assets, visit: