Golf Chicago!
Golf Chicago!

Bill Murray
Finding the Sweet Spot on Comedy Central

By Bill Daniels

It’s a sunny day in October; but very cool. The Grand Geneva Resort courses literally shine like diamonds in the blinding sun, but it’s cold like a said. How cold? Well, I just saw an ice fisherman pull a perch out of the cup on the sixth hole. It’s true. It was all part of Bill Murray and his brothers’ filming of their new TV golf comedy show, The Sweet Spot, debuting on Comedy Central this month. The ice fisherman was just one of the hi-jinks, schtick, call it what you want that the Murray brothers, John, Joel, Bill and Brian had worked up for this segment. And from what I saw I think it’s all going to work.

The good folks at the Grand Geneva Resort had invited me up their spread to take in the shooting somewhat on the q.t., i.e. Golf Chicago! Magazine was the only media present. And I enjoyed every minute of being the proverbial mouse in the corner; only it didn’t last for very long. Within a few minutes Bill sauntered over and basically introduced himself to me. To say the least I was just a little bit astounded. First, who doesn’t know Bill Murray, and second, amidst all the hubbub and tension that goes on when filming a pilot TV shows most actors/ producers don’t see much beyond the set. Well, Bill Murray isn’t like that. He’s approachable, though always a little guarded and also quick to strike up a conversation with some stranger walking down the fairway.

And so walking down the fairway with Bill Murray we exchanged old caddy war stories. I told Murray with great appreciation that just about every incident from Caddy Shack also occurred to me at the private club where I caddied as a kid. He chuckled low in his throat, and related how he, Brian and another brother, Ed, wrote the screenplay from their experiences at the Indian Hill Golf Club in Winnetka. The Murrays grew up in nearby Wilmette. That movie has now become part of the national consciousness, or at least for the golfing population.

The Sweet Spot is not so much taken from the annals of Caddy Shack, as it is a slice of comedic life from the golfing Murray brothers. In other words a whole lotta shaking going on. This is what their promotional materials says about the Sweet Spot,”...[it would] take the usual boring golf show and remedy it for the new century...with the occasional Mexican wrestler thrown in for no apparent reason...part Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, part Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, part MTV.” Hmm.

On the rolling set at Grand Geneva where the gorgeous golf course served at backdrop for the fun what I saw was some serious brotherly golf with the plenty of funny stuff thrown in. Bill related all the golf games he and his brother played as kids in Wilmette and let it be know that no quarter was ever shown in those games, and it still shows today. On the other hand the funny stuff was still present. Murray will never be mistaken for a fashion plate on the golf course and the pattern holds true for the Sweet Spot. In one scene the brothers search for a ball in the deep rough and come through to the other side to discover - ooops! - I promised not to tell. In another scene Bill meets a beer cart girl, in real life a former Playboy model, and they bond in a beautiful Murry-esque moment. And of course there’s ice fishing on the sixth green. Well, that’s just a little taste of what the Murrays have to offer. Naturally you’ll want to see all five segments of the Sweet Spot series on Comedy Central. They begin Tuesday, April 9th at 10pm Central Time (check your local listings) and continue for five consecutive weeks. Fore!

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Last Updated: 5/5/02