Rannulph Junnah is the best golfer in Savannah. He's living well and has a girl, Adele Invergordon, who's the daughter of a wealthy landowner. The First World War starts, though, and Junnah goes to Europe to fight. The only survivor of a dangerous mission, Junnah doesn't return to Savannah for 15 years. In 1930, he returns, and Adele's father has already committed suicide during the Depression. Pressured by tax collectors to sell the golf course her father built to pay off debts, Adele, now older, vows to bring to Savannah the greatest match ever played on the greatest golf course, her late father's. She's able to round up the 2 greatest golfers of their time, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen to play for $10,000. The townspeople insist on having "one of their own" compete also, and Rannulph Junnah is rounded up. Junnah now hangs out with bums and is an alcoholic, as he has lost his authentic swing from 15 years ago. At first he turns down the offer. He gets his old clubs and balls and starts practicing. He has lost his ability. Suddenly, Bagger Vance shows up. He offers to be Junnahs's caddy and help him regain his "authentic swing". He does, and Junnah agrees to play in the big match.