Image of the 19th Century manuscript depicting the Bhagavad Gita. Online courtesy the U.S. Library of Congress.
Bagger Vance, a caddie who helps World War I hero Rannulph Junah find his “authentic” swing on a Savannah golf course in 1931, is one of a kind. More than a helper with a few words of great golf advice, Bagger Vance is a fictionalized version of Bhagavan, the supreme Hindu god.
And Rannulph Junah isn’t just a golfer from Savannah, Georgia. He is a fictionalized version of Arjuna (scroll down 30%), the mortal whom Bhagavan assists in the Hindu scriptural epic, the Bhagavad-Gita.
The 1931 golf match at the Links at Krewe Island between the fictional Junah and two of golf’s greatest legends, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, never happened, of course. But the backdrop of The Legend of Bagger Vance is very real.
A sensational golf match would have provided folks with a much-needed diversion from the daily grind of Depression-wracked America.