Tom Morris (Peter Mullan) is a resourceful father who supports his family of six as the greens keeper and golf instructor at Scotland's St. Andrews links. Although working much of the time as a caddy, he also has a fine reputation as a player who excels in long shots. But his son Tommy (Jack Lowden) soon proves himself to be a better golfer than his father.
Old Tom enjoys making golf clubs and designing courses and tolerates the occasional insults coming from the wealthy and very class conscious members of St. Andrews. Young Tommy believes the members owe him and his father a larger cut of any high stakes matches the Morrises play in. Lugging clubs and teeing up balls is not enough for young Tom who rises above his station and becomes one of golf's first professional stars.
Director Jason Connery seems to be having a ball mapping the early history of the sport but manages to also include some of the challenges the Morris family faces. The father-son clash revolves around Tom's refusal to follow tradition. And when this ardent young man falls in love with an older woman (Ophelia Lovibond) with a scandalous past, he is ordered by his religious mother to leave her. Tom marries her anyway, and the family, recognizing his deep love, eventually embraces her.
One of the surprising things about Tommy's Honour is the decision of screenplay writers Pamela Marin and Kevin Cook to depict the incivility of ill-mannered people attending the games who upset the play by kicking the golf balls during a match or assaulting those they want to lose. Equally attention-getting is the film's realistic treatment of a championship game played in the snow. Although this era marks the beginning of professional golf, the game has come a long way since then.
Tommy's Honour delivers a spunky portrait of two pioneers of golf. Young Tom died at age 24 but still holds the title as the youngest major champion of all time at the age of 17. Old Tom designed nearly 70 courses, including Prestwick, Muirfield, Carnoustie, Royal Dornoch, and Royal County Down. Both father and son were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.