DAVIE, Fla. – If you’ve been to a golf course, you’ve either said, heard or beat to death a quote from the movie “Caddyshack.”
The comedy starring Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray was released 40 years ago Saturday, and locals may remember that much of the movie was filmed here in South Florida.
The golf scenes were shot at what is now Grande Oaks Golf Club in Davie, which had been called Rolling Hills, during the fall of 1979. Legend has it that director Harold Ramis wanted the movie to appear set in the Midwest, so they picked a course that didn’t feature palm trees to serve as the fictional Bushwood Country Club.
Ramis later said in an interview with Sports Illustrated that “We kind of picked it by default. We visited a lot of really nice country clubs, and they didn’t want us because what club wants to shut down for a movie and have hundreds of people trampling on the golf course?”
That Sports Illustrated oral history details an atmosphere around set that you might expect for the time.
“We shot the movie in 1979. It was a pretty debauched country at the time. The cocaine business in South Florida was mammoth, and everyone was doing everything,” Ramis recalled. Chase added: “It was pretty f------ nuts on that set. At night, we would race golf carts down the fairways, people whacked out having a good time.”
At the risk of spoiling a 40-year-old movie, there’s an explosion on the course at the end which, according to a story on PGATour.com, was not approved by the owners of the club.
The explosions were so dramatic, according to the story, that a pilot landing at the nearby Fort Lauderdale airport reported them to the tower, fearing a plane had crashed.
Scenes were also filmed in Fort Lauderdale, at what was then Plantation Country Club, and at Boca Raton Resort & Club, Key Biscayne Yacht Club and the Rusty Pelican Restaurant in Key Biscayne, according to the movie’s IMDB entry. Some scenes were also shot in California.