From the depths of the Great Depression appears a mystical, fictional caddie named "Bagger Vance." Who is he?
As Steven Pressfield (author of The Legend of Bagger Vance) has acknowledged, Bagger Vance, and the story of his legend, are based on the Hindu epic and scriptural poem, the Bhagavad-Gita. (Follow the link for a summary describing "the great epic of India, which, from its popularity and extent, would seem to correspond with the Iliad among the Greeks.") In the epic, Bhagavan is the "Supreme Personality" who helps his follower, Arjuna, understand much about war and about life.
What did Pressfield have in mind when he created the character of Bagger Vance?
Well, I certainly didn’t create Bagger. He just kind of came along on his own. Of course his original incarnation, as you know, was Bhagavan (Lord) Krishna, hence "Bagger Vance."
Knowing that Bagger Vance is a fictional character based on Hindu scriptures, the National Council of Hindu Temples is "extremely concerned" about how Bagger Vance will be portrayed on screen. In a statement, the Council indicated:
The name Bagger Vance is a distortion of the Hindu word for god.
In the story, Bagger Vance, the mystical caddie, helps Rannulph Junah, the Word War I veteran, find his "authentic" golf swing. But before he gets the help, Junah must agree to the match of his life: 36 holes on the Links at Krewe Island with two of the greatest golfers in modern times: Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones.