In one of my earlier columns, I expressed my passion for sports in the cinema area. The classics like “Raging Bull,” “Hoosiers” and “Miracle.”
But when I signed up for Netflix, I discovered a very good documentary about a middle aged man trying to pursue a profession in golf by the name of Jon Fitzgerald.
The documentary is called “The Back Nine.”
Jon Fitzgerald, even before trying golf, was a very successful man in general. Fitzgerald founded CineCause, part of Back Nine Studios, and now is an amateur golfer.
When he turned 40, Fitzgerald decided to try something new in his busy life and become an amateur golfer. As he took this new frontier in his life, being the film maker that he is, he wanted to document it. I was intrigued right from the beginning.
As he soon realizes, the odds of him making it are against him greatly. Even Tiger Woods started at a very young age to get where he is today. But that would not stop Fitzgerald from trying his dream.
He would enter the Golf Channel’s Amateur Tour. But Fitzgerald was not in this alone. He would get help from a whole training staff with fitness, technique and nutrition.
The challenge was not just to make it as a golfer, but trying to train and juggle work, family and film festivals at the same time.
Even though the editing could be a little better in some spots, this shows that anything is possible in sports. Fitzgerald does not just find a new life in sports, but connects with everyone around him, including his father and step-father.
Jon Fitzgerald didn’t care about not making it and the odds against him, but just wanted to find another thing to love in life.
In the process of making the film, he accomplished his goal of being an amateur golfer and also had a new baby boy. Also, lowering his handicap in the course of one year by eleven strokes.
So, this sports movie not only shows that anything is possible, but through incredible odds you should always try your best, and I believe that is a life lesson that all people should learn.
“The Back Nine” is available on Netflix and on DVD.