Tin Cup

1996 US film by Ron Shelton

Tin Cup is a 1996 film about a washed-up golf pro working at a driving range who tries to qualify for the US Open in order to win the heart of his successful rival's girlfriend.

Directed by Ron Shelton. Written by John Norville and Ron Shelton.
Golf pro. Love amateur.

Roy McAvoy

  • [to Molly] "Fuck." "Shit." These are highly technical golf terms; You're using them on your first lesson. This is promising.
  • Does my inner child need a spanking?
  • [to Boone, who doesn't want to wager against Roy's car] That's because you think of it as transportation, Boone. Think of it as bragging rights. Think of yourself sitting around the bar, crowing to your cronies about the Cadillac you won from me. They'll forget all about the Winnebago you lost to me.
  • [to Molly] I'm going to qualify for the U.S. Open and kick your boyfriend's ass. Whatever you think of me, you should know he hates old people, children, and dogs.
  • Way I'm swinging today, nothing bugs me except insufficient applause.
  • You know someone once said that golf and sex are the only two things you don't have to be good at to enjoy.
  • Well, what the hell? You ride her until she bucks you or don't ride at all.
  • Such a pure feeling is a well struck golf shot.

Dr. Molly Griswold

  • I can always tell when someone's lying to himself. But I am quite susceptible and frequently wrong when that person lies to me!
  • Why do men always insist on measuring their dicks?
  • I find him... mildly attractive when he's obnoxious and arrogant like this.

Romeo Posar

  • Look, boss, I only got one rule. And that's never bet money that you don't have on a dog race with an ex-girlfriend who happens to be a stripper.
  • [to Roy] You won't listen to me, will you? Even when I'm trying to help you, man. After all these years you think I'm full of shit?
  • [to Roy] You're a head case. You always have been, always will be.


  • Clint: [about Molly] How can such a pretty girl have such an ugly swing.
  • Earl: [about Roy] The word normal and him don't often collide in the same sentence.
  • David Simms: Can you people not see that I'm busy? I'm working. This is my office. Do I come to your office and ask for an autograph? I don't think so. Jesus. What an ugly dog.
  • TV Director: Another driving range pro, it's all we needed. It's heroes that I need. Not obscure driving range pros.
  • Jim Nantz: Unbelievable. McAvoy has done it. You just saw the greatest round in U.S. Open history. The all-time lowest round in a major doesn't belong to a Jack Nicklaus or an Arnold Palmer, Hogan, Nelson or Snead. It's been shot by the most improbable artist of all. Roy McAvoy has his signature on golf's all-time masterpiece round.
  • Doreen: [to Molly] You're not one of those women who tries to fix men, I hope. I mean, men cannot be fixed, and especially him.


Roy: Any of you shitheads ever get bored? You ever get bored? 'Cause I got a riddle. Takes about 2 ounces of brains to figure it out. Anybody think they got a brain with 2 ounces of brains in it?
Romeo: There's a rumor Earl does.
Roy: For chrissakes, fellas, come on, a little self-confidence from the players' gallery. We ain't talkin long division.

Molly: I take it you're a feminist.
Roy: I've been called many things, never been saddled with that one.
Molly: You might try being saddled sometime. Smell of leather, sting of a whip.
Roy: I'm just a humble golf pro, can I help you?

Roy: First thing you must learn is this game ain't about hitting a little ball in some yonder hole. It's about inner demons, self-doubt, human frailty and overcoming that shit. What kind of doctor did you say you were?
Molly: Psychologist. A neo-Jungian, post-modern Freudian, holistic secularist.
Roy: Okay.
Molly: I mean, inner demons, human frailty, that's my life's work.

Roy: "What Is The Golf Swing," by Roy McAvoy? Well, I tend to think of the golf swing as a poem.
Romeo: Ooh, he's doing that poetry thing again.
Roy: The critical opening phrase of this poem will always be the grip. The hands unite to form a single unit by the simple overlap of the little finger.
Molly: Right.
Roy: Lowly and slowly, the clubhead is led back, pulled into position not by the hands, but by the body, which turns away from the target, shifting weight to the right side without shifting balance. Tempo is everything; perfection unobtainable as the body coils down at the top of the swing. There's a slight hesitation. A little nod to the gods...
Molly: A, a nod to the gods?
Roy: Yeah, to the gods. That he is fallible. That perfection is unobtainable. And now the weight begins shifting back to the left pulled by the powers inside the earth, it's alive, this swing! A living sculpture and down through contact, always down, striking the ball crisply, with character. A tuning fork goes off in your loins. Such a pure feeling is the well-struck golf shot. And then the follow through to finish. Always on line. The reverse C of the Golden Bear! The steel workers' power and brawn of Carl Sandburg's Arnold Palmer!
Romeo: Ohh, he's doing that Arnold Palmer thing.
Roy: And then the unfinished symphony of Roy McAvoy.
Molly: What's unfinished?
Roy: Well, I have a short follow-through. It has an unfinished look...
Molly: Why?
Roy: Well, some say it's the easiest way to play in the winds of west Texas...some say it's because I never finish anything in my life. You can decide. But the point is...every finishing position is unique. That's what the golf swing's about. It's about gaining control of your life and...letting go at the same time.
Molly: Jeez Louise.
Roy: There's only one other acceptable theory about how to hit the ball.
Molly: Oh, boy, well, I'm afraid to ask. What is it?
Roy: Grip it and rip it.

Roy: Waggle it and let the big dog eat.
Molly: What big dog?
Roy: The driver, the #1-wood.
Molly: Oh this is metal.
Roy: Woods are metal, the driver's known as the big dog. I'm just saying let him loose, let it rip, let the big dog eat.

Molly takes a swing and crashes the club into the ground

Molly: You know, this is without a doubt the stupidest, silliest...most idiotic, grotesquely masquerading game ever invented.
Roy: Yes ma'am and that's why I love it. Now if you hit one good shot, just one, and that tuning fork rings in your loins and you can't wait to get back...and do it again.

Molly: Can I ask you a question? If you're such a legendary striker of the golf ball, as everyone says...why are you, at your age, out here in the middle of nowhere...operating a barely-solvent establishment, ducking the I.R.S...collecting a few pathetic dollars to buy your next sixpack when you're capable of so much more?
Roy: Perhaps I'm chock-full of inner demons.
Molly: No. You're chock-full of bullshit.

Roy: Thirteen years on the tour an' you're still a pussy.
Simms: Thirteen years on the driving range and you still think this game is about your testosterone count.

Roy: You know why I still hit that shot?
Romeo: Cuz that's the only way you could beat Dave Simms.
Roy: No.
Romeo: 'Cause it was that look in your face...
Roy: I hit it again because that shot was a defining moment, and when a defining moment comes along, you define the moment or the moment defines you. I did not shrink from the challenge, I rose to it. If I had it to do all over again, I'd still hit that shot.

Romeo: 1981 Fort Washington Golf Club, Fresno, California- Ring a bell? Final round of the Tour qualifing school? Tried to hit that same impossible cut 3-wood into the wind from a hilly lie- 5 in a row out of bounds. Until you finaly pulled it off and tapped it in for a crowd-pleasing 13... when a 12 would have got you on the Tour. Now that was a defining moment. And the definition was "shit."
Roy: Greatness courts failure, Romeo.
Romeo: You may be right boss, but you know what? Sometimes par is good enough to win.

Molly: Mr. McAvoy, I can appreciate that you have a fairly laid-back, relaxed lifestyle--but I have hours to keep.
Roy: All right. A former paramour once ascribed my fluid sense of time to being born under the sign of Pisces. Something about floating through the universe.
Molly: You amuse me, Roy. But I'm the only woman in America born after World War II who thinks astrology's a crock of shit.

Romeo: You know what I think? She's got you by the huevos.
Roy: Your job is to teach me patience and humility. Don't advise me on love-life. Not all my thinking occurs below the belt. I stand for a few things besides my next romantic interlude.
Romeo: You'll have no trouble telling her you can't teach her until after the Open.
Roy: That'd make an issue out of something that's not an issue. Besides, I'm focused. I am! This is my quest! This is my stand for the guys who've had their fill of soulless robots like David Simms.
Romeo: Well, He may be a soulless robot, but he's a rich, happy, soulless robot... with a beautiful doctor-lady girlfriend. Besides, how's getting in the Open going to change what she thinks about you?
Roy: Well, it'll show her that I'm not who she thinks I am.
Romeo: But you are who she thinks you are!

Roy: Here I am, ready to charge forth in pursuit of my destiny and I can't get time off work to do it.
Romeo: I'm no expert here, but it seems to me that the pursuit of destiny isn't something you need to get off a $10 per hour job to do.
Roy: Well, I'm stuck, and I'm buried. I need help, and I need advice. I need counseling, I need a... I need a shrink.
Romeo: You don't know no shrinks.
Roy: I know one!
Romeo: No-ooo, no no no. Not the doctor lady.
Roy: Why not?
Romeo: You can't ask for advice about the woman you're trying to hose FROM the woman you're trying to hose!
Roy: Why not?

Molly: Roy, Roy... why are you here?
Roy: Therapy.
Molly: You've come for therapy? Okay, look, Roy, you know, you really need to make an appointment. Because I have a client in a half an hour.
Roy: That's enough time. Thirty minutes? Hell, I'm not THAT fucked up.

Roy: Okay, so how do I do it? Therapy, I mean, I mean, wh-- how do I start doing it?
Molly: Ooo-kay, Roy. Well, in parlance you might understand, just kick back and let the big dog eat.
Roy: Suppose there's this guy, and he's standing on the shore of a big wide river, and the... river's full of all manner of disaster, you know, piranhas, alligators, eddies, currents, shit like that nobody'll even go down there to dip a toe. And on the other side of the river's a million bucks, and on this side of the river is a rowboat.
Molly: Mm-hmm?
Roy: I guess my question's this: What would possess the guy standing on the shore to swim for it?
Molly: He is an idiot.
Roy: No, see, he's a helluva swimmer. His problem's more like why does he always have to rise to the challenge?
Molly: He is a juvenile idiot.
Roy: You don't understand what I mean by the river.
Molly: Roy, we're talking about you, and what you like to call your inner demons -- that human frailty you like to blather about -- not some mythopoetic metaphor you come up with in a feeble and transparent effort to do yourself credit.
Roy: You mean you're going to make me feel lousy?
Molly: No.
Roy: I came here to feel better. I mean, what kind of therapy is...
Molly: Roy, Roy, Roy, you don't have any inner demons. What you have is inner crapola, inner debris... garbage... loose wires, [laughs] horseshit in staggering amounts.
Roy: I'm not some just jerk driving range pro who drinks too much booze, eats too few vegetables, okay?

Molly: All you have to do is walk up to this, this woman, wherever she is, look her in the eye -- look at me, Roy -- just look her in the eyes, that's right, let down your guard, and don't try to be cool or smooth or whatever; just be honest and take a risk. And you know what, whatever happens, if you act from the heart, you can't make a mistake.
Roy: Dr. Griswold...
Molly: Yes?
Roy: I think I'm in love with you.
Molly: What?
Roy: From the moment I first saw you, I knew I was through with bar girls and... strippers and motorcycle chicks, and... when we first started talking I was smitten with you, and I'm smitten with you more every day I think about you, and the fact that you know I'm full of crapola only makes you more attractive to me. Usually I can bullshit people, but I can't bullshit you, and in addition you got, you got great legs, and most women I'm thinking about how to get in their pants from day one, but with you I'm just I'm just thinking about how to get into your heart. Stunned?
Molly: So...
Roy: So what about dinner and we can talk about us and if we have a future and how to drop that horse's ass boyfriend of yours.

Molly: You've got a beautiful swing.
Roy: I'm a beautiful guy.
Molly: Look, Roy, I came to apologize, okay?
Roy: For what?
Molly: You did what I said and I poured cold water over your efforts. I didn't get it. I'm a terrible shrink, probably. Should've stayed in real estate, shit, actually, I should have never left Ohio for that cowboy in Amarillo, but... Have you ever been to Amarillo?
Roy: Cowboy?
Molly: Yeah. It's not as romantic when you're actually with one, trust me. So, the oil man in Dallas or Houston, I don't know where he was from. Anyway, he looked great. After that, I went to the Gulf and ended up in trailer sales. Then condos in Corpus Christi. The bottom, just, boom, fell right out of the market so I needed a new gig.
Roy: A new gig?
Molly: Yeah, therapy. I took all the classes. I'm legitimate. Legal. Certified. Fuck! I'm certifiable. I'm really sorry.
Roy: Oh, boy.

Roy: Parred the backside with a 7-iron.
Simms: Why?
Molly: Yeah, that's exactly right. That's the question, "Why?"
Romeo: Because he broke his other clubs. Snapped them in two.
Simms: Jesus.
Roy: Not all of them. Romeo broke two.
Simms: I'm on your side here. We go way back. I hope you qualify for the Open. But if you do, you better play with control or you'll get slaughtered. Good players shoot an 80 in the Open. You see it means you just can't go for it.

Earl: You the man, Roy. You are definitely the man.
Clint: The man needs a ride home.

Roy: Look, I love Earl, okay, but... I need you.
Romeo: You don't love me?
Roy: Yeah, yeah, I-I love you too, goddammit.
Romeo: Well, as much as Earl?
Roy: I don't know! I mean, when I was with Earl, I was thinking of you... Yes, uh, as much as Earl. More than Earl. More than Earl.
Romeo: Am I special?
Roy: Well, if you can remove the sexual overtones and add a golf theme, then Romeo, I am your Juliet.
Romeo: In that case, Julieta, I am your caddy.

Roy: A lost and desperate soul stands before you. I assume I have the confidentiality of the doctor/client privilege in regard to this outfit?
Molly: Of course. What happened?
Roy: I got the shanks.
Molly: Are you taking penicillin?
Roy: There's a glitch in my swing.
Molly: That's Romeo's department.
Roy: He thinks it's your department. Says it's a head thing.

Roy: Listen to me...you're with the wrong guy. I'm the right guy. You know how he said my face was screwed up tighter than a drum, well I know that it's because I've been crazy about you. From the moment you came here, when you were wearing all this stupid shit. And the whole damn thing has both inspired me to get here and also caused me to get the shanks, which could humilate me in front of a billion zillion people in a game I used to know how to play pretty good. (smiles) Such is life. (pauses) Dump that phony bastard you're with and come to the Open in my corner, okay? Tell me...tell me you're not just like at least moderately attracted to me.
Molly: You have moments.
Roy: Yeah, well you tell me which ones are my moments and I'll try and duplicate them.

Roy: "Not tonight" means maybe some other night?
Molly: No, I didn't mean it that like that.
Roy: Maybe consciously you didn't mean it that way, but how about unconsciously? Come on, you're the expert... did you mean it unconsciously?
Molly: Roy, unconsciously, I have no idea what I'm talking about.
Roy: Well, I feel we're making progress...
Molly: Well, I do too. I have no idea what it's progress towards, though. None.

Molly: There's no such thing as semi-platonic.
Roy: Well there ought to be.

Roy: You're the Mexican Mac O'Grady. Figure out why I'm shanking...I'm catching it on the hosel? Moving my head? I'm laying it off?
Romeo: That, too.
Roy: I'm pronating.
Romeo: When you're not supinating.
Roy: I'm clearing too early, too late. My swing feels like an unfolding chair!
Romeo: Put your change in your left pocket. Go on, do it. Now, tie your left shoe in a double knot.
Roy: Tie my left shoe?
Romeo: Right now, do it! Turn the hat backwards. Turn your hat around. Do it, Roy! Take this tee and stick it behind your left ear.
Roy: I look like a fool!
Romeo: What do you think you look like shooting chili peppers up Lee Janzen's ass? Do it now or I'm going to quit. I swear to God I'll quit. Good. Take this ball and hit it up the fairway.
[Roy hits the ball straight]
Romeo: You're ready.
Roy: How'd I do that?
Romeo: Because you're not thinking about shanking or Molly. You're not thinking. You're looking like a fool, hitting the ball pure and simple...
Roy: Fuck you.
Romeo: Fuck me, huh? Well, you're cured.
Roy: That's it?
Romeo: That's it. Your brain was getting in the way.
Roy: That's hardly ever been the case.
Romeo: No shit, Sherlock.

Romeo: You're humble now, homes.
Roy: I was hungover.
Romeo: Maybe that was a coaching mistake.
Roy: Yeah, maybe it was. Thanks, amigo.

Roy: Keep shooting pars, asshole!
Simms: I'll take 18 of them, all day long!
Roy: Do it and I'll own you.

Molly: I've got money from the bet. Let's go somewhere fancy and celebrate.
Roy: There's nothing to celebrate. Besides, these are my people. I'm a Waffle House guy. Got to stay in touch with that.

Roy: This is for Venturi who thinks I should lay up.
Romeo: What does he know? He only won this tournament before you were born.

Roy: You don't think I can knock it on from there?
Commentator: Let's just say it's a low-percentage shot.
Roy: Well, so am I! I mean, look at me, all right, what I'm wearing. I mean, I'm playing for Rio Grande Short-Haul Trucking, Briggs and Brown Sanitation, First State Bank of Salome, Woody's Smokehouse... You think a... you think a guy like me bothers to worry about the percentages?

Roy: It won't always be like this, you know.
Molly: What?
Roy: With me surrounded by all these guys, snoring... stripper ex-girlfriend laying across from us... caddy sleeping next to her. It won't always be like this.
Molly: Yes, it will.

Molly: Doreen, how did he get the name Tin Cup?
Doreen: Oh, he was the catcher on the high school baseball team. The star pitcher had a big-league curve... not all of his pitches hit Roy in the mitt, ouch. The team thought Tin Cup was a whole lot better than Clank.

Roy: This is everything, ain't it? This is the choice it comes down to -- this is our immortality.
Romeo: You don't need to be thinking immortality -- you need to be thinking hit the 7 iron!

Doreen: No, no, no. This is what always happens. He's going for it.
Molly: Go for it!
Doreen: Molly, get a grip. He only needs par to tie. Tell him to lay up.
Molly: Go for it, Roy! Just knock it on!
Doreen: This is why we broke up. He always went for it.
Molly: My problem is, I've never been with a man who went for it.
Doreen: Honey, he's your guy.

Roy: I nutted that thing. I mean, I nutted it.
Romeo: I know. You put a hell of a move on it.
Roy: Little gust from the gods cost me.
Romeo: We'll take our drop, tie, and win the playoff.
Roy: I can make that shot!
Romeo: I know! But not now!
Roy: Now! I'm playing it from right here, now.

Romeo: This is the last ball in the bag. This gets wet, we're disqualified.
Roy: I can make it across.
Romeo: Then do it. Quit fucking around.
Doreen: He's crazy.
Molly: Oh, God. He's right. You're right, Roy! Just knock it on! Let her rip!
Doreen: You're losing it.
Molly: I have lost it. But so has he. He's crazy.
Doreen: So are you.

Roy: I didn't come here to play for second.
Romeo: Simms'll always be second. I'll meet you at the Winnebago! I'll fire up the blender!
Roy: I just gave away the U.S. Open.

Molly: That was incredible! That was the shot of the tournament!
Roy: I just gave away the U.S. Open.
Molly: It doesn't matter.
Roy: One time in my life I know the safe play to hit and I still...Shit, I still can't make myself do it.
Molly: It doesn't matter.
Roy: My whole career, my whole life on the line...I just made a 12 on the last hole of the Open!
Molly: You sure did. It was the greatest 12 of all time. No one's going to remember the Open 10 years from now, who won...but they'll remember your 12! My, God, Roy, it was...Well, it's immortal! I am so proud of you!

Roy: When was the last time you took a risk?
Molly: Well, I'm with you, Roy. I'm with you.


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