The gift of greatness in golf is among the rarest forms of genius. Depending on the motivation of someone who receives a talent to play such a difficult game, that person could be presented with challenges and opportunities that could change their life.
This conundrum is the basis for the new movie The Squeeze, which stars Jeremy Sumpter as a home grown golf genius who is presented a series increasingly challenging, and financially rewarding opportunities in the world of high stakes golf matches. The stakes grow higher and higher until the game becomes “life or death”, eventually forcing Sumpter’s character to compromise his integrity and his relationships for all the wrong reasons.
“The Squeeze” is based on a true story and was written and directed by Terry Jastrow a long-time producer for ABC Sports who attended the University of Houston on a golf scholarship. Jastrow’s background in golf is extensive, producing or directing 62 major championships for the network. Jastrow also recently directed Tom Watson’s Lessons of a Lifetime instructional DVD set, which was widely recognized as one of the best golf improvement projects of its kind.
For golf fans, one of the most important components of The Squeeze is Jeremy Sumpter’s ability to actually play golf. As the lead character, Augie, Sumpter plays to a handicap index of +1.1 in real life at Moorpark, California Country Club. Having the lead in a golf movie with actual talent for the game is a refreshing treat, considering a dearth of legitimate golf swings on the silver screen.
The on-course realism was appreciated by two legends of the game, Tom Watson and Phil Mickelson. “The Squeeze depicts actors who are truly believable as pro quality golfers,” said Watson. “Director Jastrow’s true understanding of the game — with 22 years directing sports — injects reality into the scenes with a stream of golf humor that golfers will find both familiar and believable, which are sadly lacking in all previous golf movies.”
“The Squeeze is a wonderful golf movie because it’s so authentic,” said Phil Mickelson. “It hooks you in the beginning and stays interesting and entertaining right to the end. I’m looking forward to seeing it again.”
Living in a small rural town, local golf prodigy Augie Baccas pairs up with a shady Southern gambler, Riverboat (Chris McDonald), who convinces Augie to abandon his dream of playing on the Tour and to play for Riverboat in high-stakes gambling matches.
Alienating his long-time girlfriend Natalie (Jillian Murray) and compromising his own integrity, Augie and Riverboat finally get run out of town, heading to Las Vegas for even bigger opportunities. The Squeeze provides an entertaining story of human ambition and the price of success, with the realistic backdrop of high stakes golf. It’s also a great reminder that even the most unique and valuable gifts often come at a huge price.
Available in Theaters, VOD and iTunes: April 17,2015
Cast: Jeremy Sumpter, Christopher McDonald, Jillian Murray, Michael Nouri, Jason Dohring, Katherine LaNasa
Directed by: Terry Jastrow
Written by: Terry Jastrow
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Distributor: ARC Entertainment