The Greatest Game Ever Played Movie Guide

Youth Specialties
October 16th, 2005


Optional Activity #1:

This one is sort of a given.  Set up a miniature golf course in your church building.  Use the whole building if you can.  The 18th hole is right under the Senior Pastor’s desk.  If you don’t have golf supplies you can use a croquet set.  A few pieces of clay will hold a wicket in place nicely.

Optional Activity #2:

Buy a roll or two of sugar cookie dough. Sprinkle with flour and roll out flat with rolling pin.  Cut out shapes of putting greens. Bake these and frost with green frosting.  With a white gumball for a ball and a plastic spoon for a club you can play a round of golf and then eat the course.

The Scriptures:

Isaiah 40:29-31

Matthew 20:1-16

Romans 12:6

James 1:1-11

The Questions:


1. The advertisements for this movie used the following lines:

He was born with nothing except a dream

He was given no opportunities except the ones he made

But sometimes it takes an outsider to change the rules

He was a long shot but he changed the game in ways no one could imagine


Take a moment and talk about how these lines could apply to the life of Jesus.


2. Francis’ dad teaches him the family work motto.  “Work hard. Bring home the money.” Does your family have a motto?  Do you?  Who taught it to you?

3. Francis’ dad chides his wife “All you did was encourage him.”  Her response is “Of course!”  Who is your biggest fan?  Who encourages you?

4. Whose “biggest fan” are you?

5. Who is your “Eddie”?

6. What about the opposite?  Who are the high hat detractors in your life? Do you ever feel like these “specters” are with you wherever you go?  What did Harry Vardon do about it?

7. Do you know someone who has been carrying around “specters” all of their life? (Without names…talk about it)

8. Why is it so easy to believe the people who put us down and make us feel small?

9. The point is made over and over again in this film that some people believe everyone has a place and there is no moving from one level to another.  Even Francis father believes this. Why do you think some people still go along with this?  Why do people whose “place” is pretty low on the scale believe this is the way it’s meant to be?  How does this system play out in your high school?

10. The club owner said the word “Caddie” like it left a bad taste in his mouth.  When was the last time you experienced some sort of prejudice?

11. Do you get nervous when people stand over your should to watch you work?  When was the last time this happened?

12.  Read Isaiah 40:29-31 (MsgB) 


What did God do for Francis?  Who or what does God put in your life to energize you?


13. When do you most feel like you have to be “approved”?  Why do you feel this way?

14. When Francis doubts his ability he is told, “You don’t know if you can (do it) until you’re in it”.   What was the last thing you found out you could do because you were in the middle of it?  Did you think you could before that?

15. The Pharisees were a group of men that held themselves in great esteem because they knew the rules and everything had to be approved by them.  (Mike Yaconelli used to call these people dream-stealers)   Where are the Pharisees in this movie?  Where are they in our culture today?  How about in your life? Does anyone have the right to steal your dream? Even if its for your own good?

16. Is there anything wrong with having an exclusive club?  If some like-minded people want to have a club with other like-minded people…isn’t that okay as long as they are paying for it and not hurting anyone? Should “mens only” clubs be forced to allow women?  Should stores that cater exclusively to women be forced to hire men?

17. Is heaven exclusive?  Read Matthew 20:1-16.  Put yourself in the place of the people who worked all day. Would you be angry?  If you get to heaven and see Osama Bin Laden at Christ’s lunch table…would that bother you?  (Ask again–is heaven exclusive?)

18. Some people say the church is exclusive. Why do some people feel this way?

19. Who is your hero?  Have you ever gotten the opportunity to meet or work with them?  How did it go?

20. Read James 1:1-1.   What was the worst thing you ever went through and what were the results? 

21. Do you remember Joseph and his coat of many colors?  Joseph had a dream that he would be a great leader yet there was no way he could have been when he was that person.  He had to go through being beaten, sold, enslaved, accused, and imprisoned before he could be what he dreamed.  What are you willing to go through to achieve your dream?  What have you gone through so far?  Have you ever known someone who has completely given up on his or her dreams?

22. Read Romans 12:6.  Who exemplifies this in the film?  Who does not?  What happens to these characters?

23. Do believe God gives everyone gifts?  Do some get more than others?

24. Is beauty a gift?  Why or why not?

25. Are there any gifts that someone else has that you find yourself envious of?  Do you think God would ever take his gifts back?

26. McNair Wilson (the noted speaker) says: Talent is like a brand new car but you don’t get the keys.”   What do you think this means?  What is the key?

27. The first time Michael Jordan got his hands on a basketball he did not run down the court, leap into the air, hang there for two minutes, and stuff the basket.  How did Michael Jordan get to be MICHAEL JORDAN?

28. Harry talked about the singer at the theater.  He said it was like “the music was coming through her.”  Is there any talent you have that seems to come “through” you? 

29. What are your gifts?  What are you doing when you feel the most alive?  Saint Ignatius said that’s where God is.  Where is God in your life? 


BONUS QUESTION: Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”  Is this true?  How do you know?  What do you do to keep from “giving someone your permission”?


Closing Prayer:

God thank you for the gifts you have given us.  The sunshine and the rain and our families. Thank you for the gifts that you have given just to us.  Help us to use them wisely. Let us use them to bring others into your arms. Let us say ‘thank you’ by using them for your glory. Amen.

Youth Specialties

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