Pat Boone Discusses His New Movie, ‘The Mulligan:’ ‘How About If You Can Have a Do-Over in Your Life?’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | April 15, 2022 | 1:15pm EDT
(Screen Capture)
(Screen Capture)

(CNSNews.com) - Legendary singer and actor Pat Boone has a new movie coming out on Monday that tells the story of a man who gets a second chance and makes a moral comeback in his life.

The film is called “The Mulligan: A Parable of Second Chances.”

“If you can have a do-over on a golf shot, how about if you could have a do-over in your life and erase mistakes that you’ve made, terrible mistakes?” Boone said in an interview with CNSNews.com.

“Because Jesus will give you a scorecard with His name on it--no, your name on it, but with His score,” said Boone. “If you let him erase – you know, give you mulligans and do-overs, second chances, which He does--then you can have a fresh slate to play from.” 

“It’s a Gospel theme, but a real secular film,” said Boone. “It’s possible to have a secular film, which this is, about golf, and millions of people love golf, but there’s almost no golf movies.

(Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for The Mulligan Movie)
(Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for The Mulligan Movie)

“So it’s going to appeal,” said Boone. “It’s going to open in a thousand theaters on April 18th and 19th in what they call a fathom release. That is, it will only be there for two days, but if the audience comes, sort of demands that it stays, they will keep it in the theater as long as they need to or want to.

“These are the top chains, top distribution theaters. So, it’s going to be widely available the 18th and the 19th,” said Boone. “And if enough people show up to see it and bring people to see the film, then it will stay on for more days and wind up being a big secular release, which it deserves because it is a great film about golf, but with the underlying subtext of also applying to life.”

Here is a transcript of Pat Boone’s conversation with CNSNews.com about “The Mulligan:”

Terry Jeffrey: “Hi and welcome to this edition of ‘Online With Terry Jeffrey.’ Our guest today is the great Pat Boone. Pat Boone was born in Jacksonville, Fla. and grew up in Nashville, Tenn. He had his first number one hit song in 1955, ‘Ain’t That a Shame.’ Over the course of his career, Boone has sold 45 million records and starred in 15 movies. Today, we’re going to talk about his latest movie, which will be in theaters starting April 18th. It is ‘The Mulligan: A Parable of Second Chances.’

“Pat, one of the things that people are going to notice from the beginning of this movie and many scenes throughout it, among other things, but it’s there, is the incredible beauty of this golf course that is the backdrop for a lot of the scenes. Tell me about that golf course. Where is this?”

Pat Boone: “It is in Toccoa, Ga.

“You know, I’d never heard of it and a lot of people haven’t. It’s an unkept--It’s a secret actually. It’s an unknown thing because it’s a beautiful golf course, a great country club built around it and there are those who do know about it. But Tekoa is also in the Bible, the name Tekoa, and I only noticed that after I was in Toccoa, Ga. filming. I don’t know why it’s that. I thought it was an Indian name. I just assumed it was because so many things, you know, in the East are named after Indian tribes that used to inhabit that area. Anyway, it’s beautiful and I want to go back just to enjoy it more. I want to go back and just stay there a week and play that golf course.”

Jeffrey: “So, it’s actually not too far from where you grew up in Tennessee?”

Boone: “Nashville, yeah it’s not that far. I mean, it’s driveable, of course. But it is about almost a two-hour drive, going south to Atlanta.”

Jeffrey: “Okay.”

Boone: “North, really north Georgia.”

Jeffrey: “Northeast Georgia.”

Boone: “Yeah.”

Jeffrey: “Very beautiful place.”

Boone: “There’s one point on that course where you can stand and look into four states.”

Jeffrey: “Wow.”

Boone: “Amazing. I mean it’s breathtaking, really. And it’s curvy and it’s through hills and woods and my claim to fame is I’m not a great golfer--I was a good golfer before, I’m just okay now--but my claim to fame when I played it twice is I only lost two balls.”

Jeffrey: “Well done. You didn’t hit any into the water?”

Boone: “Or the woods. I just kept it in the fairway.”

Jeffrey: “Well done. Given that the title of this movie is ‘The Mulligan,’ which is a term that is often used in the film. What is a mulligan?”

Pat Boone in 1979 with his wife, Shirley, and his daughters, Laury, Linda, Debby and Cherry. (Photo by Jim Britt/American Broadcasting Companies via Getty Images)
Pat Boone in 1979 with his wife, Shirley, and his daughters, Laury, Linda, Debby and Cherry. (Photo by Jim Britt/American Broadcasting Companies via Getty Images)

Boone: “A do-over, a second chance and that’s why, we have a–It’s a Gospel theme, but a real secular film. It’s possible to have a secular film, which this is, about golf, and millions of people love golf, but there’s almost no golf movies.

“So it’s going to appeal. It’s going to open in a thousand theaters on April 18th and 19th in what they call a fathom release. That is, it will only be there for two days, but if the audience comes, sort of demands that it stays, they will keep it in the theater as long as they need to or want to. These are the top chains, top distribution theaters. So, it’s going to be widely available the 18th and the 19th and they have--go on the Internet and find out which theater closest to you, and it’s going to be close to everybody in the sound of our voices right now. But on those two days. And if enough people show up to see it and bring people to see the film, then it will stay on for more days and wind up being a big secular release, which it deserves because it is a great film about golf, but with the underlying subtext of also applying to life.

“If you can have a do-over on a golf shot, how about if you could have a do-over in your life and erase mistakes that you’ve made, terrible mistakes, because Jesus will give you a scorecard with His name on it--no, your name on it, but with His score. If you let him erase – you know, give you mulligans and do-overs, second chances, which He does--then you can have a fresh slate to play from.”

Jeffrey: “You play a mentor-like character in this movie, who not only teaches golf, but also teaches people about life. What made you want to play this part?”

(Photo by Fred Sabine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
(Photo by Fred Sabine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Boone: “That’s what appealed to me the most. I love golf anyway. I’ve been playing since my college days. I was once a 15-handicap, now I’m maybe 30-handicap. I just don’t play enough. Just like anything else. I’m about a 10-handicap singer but a 30-handicap golfer because I do a lot more singing than golf.

“But when I was given the opportunity, asked to do it. In fact, the producer Rick Eldridge, who also did the great movie about Bobby Jones, which has been seen often on the golf channel, starring Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus, you know, when he asked me, he said: You were the first guy that popped in my mind. And I wanted to play this old pro who has become a mentor to younger golfers and he mentors them in their lifestyle, as it affects their golf.

“And so I get to play this very interesting character. I wear Payne Stewart clothes throughout. I think you’ve seen it, so you see the plus-fours, which I already had twenty outfits of because when I play in golf tournaments still, celebrity golf tournaments, celebrity, pro celebrity tournaments--the Sinatra, the Crosby, all of them, in fact, I hosted a few of them--I always wear the knickers, we call them, or plus-fours because I feel more like a golfer. It’s more historically accurate. Bobby Jones, Jean Serres, and Payne Stewart. And Payne, he and I played together in a tournament or two, in which we were both wearing those plus-fours. The two of us really stood out from the crowd, but he was a wonderful guy and a very strong Christian.”

Jeffrey: “So, did you play in Bing Crosby’s pro-am back in the day?”

Boone: “Oh, 18 times, 18 years and the Sinatra and the Bob Hope and Perry Como’s tournament in North Carolina. And then I hosted a number of tournaments for Easter Seals and for a charity in Chattanooga for 30 years–Bethel orphanage and school. It’s a wonderful school. I finally quit doing it after 30-something years when my wife said: ‘Do you have to do that every year, Pat? Can’t I just keep you home a little more?’ And so I turned over hosting of that tournament, which still goes on. A guy named Lovelace, Kelley Lovelace, now took my place hosting the tournament. But it was a charity for a wonderful place called Bethel House of God, which takes in children who are wards of the court, whose parents are in prison. In some cases, one parent killed the other, and these kids become wards of the court and they come in anywhere from 3 or 4 years old into their early teens and they’re given a second chance, a mulligan, you can call it, at a better life, at a better life.”

Jeffrey: “Eighteen times you went to Carmel and you played at Pebble Beach with Bing Crosby’s tournament. What was the culture like there?”

Pat Boone with former President Gerald Ford and Jack Nicklaus during the 1981 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, Calif. (Photo by Brian Morgan/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
Pat Boone with former President Gerald Ford and Jack Nicklaus during the 1981 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, Calif. (Photo by Brian Morgan/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

Boone: “Oh, it was varied, of course. It was fun. I mean everybody--It was all about golf, but joking, but everybody still had strongly intent–including the pro golfers. And that tournament, you know, you always get to play with a pro, and I got to play with [Jack] Nicklaus, Gary Player, some of the others that--a great black golfer, whose name is slipped my mind at the moment, but one of the first pro golfers that were black.

“I got to play with—oh gosh, I’ve got too many names floating through my head now, but just many of the pro golfers. And I could learn from them. And, of course, we amateurs had the handicaps they gave us, so sometimes if we made a par, it was the equivalent of a birdie. If you ever made a birdie, which was very unlikely, it would be an eagle. I don’t remember ever making birdies, but I made a number of pars that were then attributed as birdies in our score. So, I helped my pro partner and, boy, was that a great feeling to have the pro be glad that you actually made a good shot and helped his score.”

Jeffrey: “So, you literally got to golf at Pebble Beach alongside Jack Nicklaus?”

Boone: “Yeah, and, oh gosh, I’m still thinking of Sam Snead. Sam Snead was one of the names. I mean, one of the all-time greats. And then, of course, I played along in foursomes with Clint Eastwood and some of the other guys who were sometimes in our same foursome, me, and a pro, and he and another pro. But, yeah, it was a fantastic thrill. Jack, oh gosh, I’m losing names now–who was there many years and never made the cut. I never made the cut, in my force. I never got to play on Sunday, which was one of the most-watched golf days of the year. Bill Murray’s been on it a number of times and he’s a better golfer than he acts like he is.

“But Jack Lemmon was the guy I was trying to think of. He tried year after year after year and I tried to get him with a golf pro who would teach him in the early part of the year, how to play better, so that he could make the cut on Sunday. But he didn’t do it. He was too busy making his movies, I guess. And I just played the 16th at Cypress recently and I parred the 16th at Cypress. I didn’t go over the mass of the ocean. I took the shorter route. So, I was on the fairway, but I parred the hole on Sixteenth at Cypress, which I’m very proud of.”

Jeffrey: “That is excellent. So, this character that you play in the movie, who’s a mentor and a golf teacher, do you identify with that character to some degree?”

Boone: “I really do because even though I’m not one to teach young kids golf–I mean I’d be happy to give them what little I know–but I play this pro who is actually teaching in a Payne Stewart golf camp, which exists and is part of the film and teaching them not just to keep their head still and their left arm firm and not to keep too tight of a grip and to follow through and all these things that you have to do, you have to learn, but also to, by the way, do you go to church? Do you know who Jesus is? And what’s your relationship with your family? That would be with other golfers, as it was in the movie. Oh, you’re going through divorce? Oh and your son can’t stand you? You didn’t pay enough attention. You’re doing good with your business? Sounds like you need a mulligan in your personal life.

“And, so, I’m not that blunt, maybe, in the foursomes that I play with, but it is a time. I have often said if Elvis [Presley] had taken up golf or tennis instead of martial arts, he would be with us today, because he never had a social life. He never got out of high school, socially. When I shook hands with him, the first time we met–he opened for me at a sock hop in Cleveland, the first time Elvis and I met. In ‘55, October of ’55.

“And I held out my hand to shake his hand and he let me shake his hand, but he hadn’t been taught to give a firm grip back. I mean, that’s because he came from a poor-circumstance family and I don’t think he ever played–I know he never played golf or tennis. I don’t think he ever played baseball or football. I did play touch or flag football with him and Ricky Nelson and others, but he had to learn how to do it.”

Jeffrey: “So, you think he would’ve had a better social life if he’d have been a golfer?”

Boone: “He’d have had a social life and more outdoors. You know, he lived like a hermit. He lived like public enemy number one instead of the top entertainer in the world. He hid from the public. He hid from social interaction. On stage, that was his milieu. He loved that. He was very much at home on stage because his audience let him know that there was a big difference in that and in social interaction. He was not comfortable, nor did he want to be, in situations talking to people he didn't know. But you learn to do that, you learn to come out of yourself. He was so inward and learning martial arts, in case he was ever attacked by somebody, which he never was. And since everybody knew he knew martial arts, he wouldn’t be attacked. However, his wife Priscilla left him for his martial arts teacher.”

Jeffrey: “Oh, wow.”

Boone: “Because he stayed teaching her martial arts, while Elvis was gone on the road and I sometimes, just privately, made what I thought was a joke: Nobody’s ever going to bother Elvis or try to take Priscilla from him because who's going to mess with this guy who knows martial arts? Well, the guy that taught him martial arts was not afraid of him.”

Jeffrey: “That’s very sad. Pat, a main theme of this movie is the role that a father plays in the family and how he can succeed or fail in that role. What is the message this movie is delivering about fatherhood?”

Boone: “Oh, it’s so vital. In fact, I don’t want to spoil the movie for you, but you can imagine if it's a faith-based film that maybe it has a happy ending eventually. I can’t tell you exactly what all the happy ending is. One is a surprise, and you’ve seen it. You know what I might be talking about.

“But in healing the relationship with his son–who was hurt in a motocross accident and I’m guiding and trying to help him with that, my character–he learns to demonstrate to his son that he really does love him. He’d never done that much, never told him he loved him. And, with his wife, he may have told her that he loved her, but he demonstrated in many ways that he didn’t love her enough. But as his personal life was crumbling and maybe his golf was getting better, he was coming to realize that there were much more important things even than his billion-dollar business or his golf score, that in his personal life he needed mulligans. He needed to start over. He needed do-overs, which he came to appreciate.

“And, of course, that’s a great lesson to learn, even if you learn it first through golf. There are no mulligans, by the way, in other sports and the one thing I love about golf more than any other sport is that if you’re going to teach kids how to play golf, you teach them honor. You teach them not to cheat. You teach them that every stroke counts.

“I love that about golf because the best golfers of all--even in a tournament, if nobody sees it--if they make a mistake, if they touch a ball in a sand trap, which they’re not supposed to do, they’ll add a score, they’ll add an error or a point to their own score out of honor, out of duty and that’s something no other sport teaches.”

Jeffrey: “Without alluding to how this movie ends, it is correct that the underlying theme is a struggle with fatherhood? This is about a struggle with fatherhood.”

Boone: “It is. It definitely is and marriage, as well--marriage and fatherhood. All my life, the reason I wanted to do this–I’ve not only known it, but I’ve said it countless times--that I know my whole, most important duty in life and my responsibility to God is to be a good husband and father. If I fail in those, then I’ll pay for it later because we cannot escape that if we have a wife, she is joined to us and she is our responsibility forever. If we have children, they are our responsibility and now I’m a grandfather and a great-grandfather and I’m meeting some, little bit of friction with my daughters, as I try to be still a good patriarch to my kids, my grandkids, and my great grandkids. And they’ll say to me: ‘Look, we’re taking care of it, Daddy.’ ‘Yeah, but are you doing this or that?’

“The other thing that the Bible expects, that God expects because I’m still the patriarch in our family and I’m trying, I mean, we did a good job, I must admit, raising my four daughters. They became not only strong Christians themselves, but married four Christian guys. Two of those marriages didn’t last because somehow the Christian bond on the male side was not as strong as on the female side, but then there was remarriage to better, as far as responsibility concerned, better husbands. So we survived divorce twice.

“But the kids, I wanted to try to make sure as their grandfather, are being taught the same way that I taught our daughters. And they benefited from that and then they’re able to also exert influence on their grandkids, the way I’m trying to do in my life.”

Jeffrey: “Pat, we recently reported at CNSNews.com that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.5% of the babies born in this country in 2020 were born to unmarried mothers. And in fact, if you look back, using the CDC data across the last 13 years on record, 2008-2020, during that whole period, a little bit more 40% of the babies born in this country were born to unmarried mothers. What impact do you think that’s having on our country and what are the risks there?”

Boone: “Look and pay attention to the news--and by the way, I recommend that they look at, watch CNS and Fox, OAN, because the other media, the liberal media are not reporting the news, but even on those channels, there’s having to report the total breakdown of society. The bonds that used to hold us together, the familial bonds, the neighborhood bonds, the morality bonds that certain things you just didn’t do–they were not acceptable–they’re now, they’re being not only acceptable, but promoted and glamorized in films and on television.

“You know, there’s a new series that is a blast against ministers on television. It’s one of those hatchet jobs. It’s called ‘[The Righteous] Gemstones’ and it’s foul, it’s filthy, it’s dirty, and it makes the minister who has a TV ministry to be a total charlatan and a reprobate and his whole family losers and we’re being subjected to an avalanche now of what I think is demonically inspired, quote, ‘entertainment.’ Our kids are bathed in it and now we wonder why young kids walk into stores and just take stuff and walk out, knowing that if they’re arrested they’ll be let go and even law enforcement, hesitant to enforce the law for fear of being considered racist or something. And instead of law and order being one of the top priorities, over two million people coming across the border illegally. And some of those are drug dealers and cartel members and our whole society is falling apart. A nation cannot-- a nation divided, as the Bible declares, cannot stand.”

Jeffrey: “While the establishment entertainment industry produces movies or shows like you describe that attack Christianity and traditional religion and traditional family, you’re starring in this very well-produced movie that promotes the opposite.”

Boone: “Oh, definitely, the real opposite with happy endings, happy results, going through real-life problems.

“We don’t sugarcoat the real problems or the reasons for those real problems. But there can be happy endings in marriage and family, even in this troubled world where all of our kids, not only do they have to be masked, they have to have guards to guard against guns and drugs in school. And teachers who no longer want to teach morality, they don’t even want to teach patriotism. What’s happening is that our society is poisoned in many ways and, of course, I am a member of the entertainment community, but I've been speaking out about this a long time, writing 250 articles for WorldNetDaily, NewsMax, and you know, but so far I’m still here in Beverly Hills. And, now, the casting directors in Hollywood–I think the word is out–if you have a role for an 80-year-old who can still remember his lines, get Pat Boone.”

Jeffrey: “One last question, Pat, do you have a fun story from the filming of this movie that you can tell us or something that you remember fondly about when you were doing it?”

Boone: “Well, the one that pops into my mind–I don’t know how much fun, but it was sure fun for me–I play an older pro who was teaching this young, hot-shot billionaire not only how to play better golf but how to get his life in order. Well, there were scenes in which I was teaching him and letting him hit the shots. There weren’t many scenes in the film where I’m sorry about that because I have a good swing. You can’t always tell how far it went, but I keep it in the fairway and there was this one scene that called for almost a miracle shot, where he was on a hill and having to hit downhill and once he got on the green, it was going to be a long, curving swoop and try to make it into the hole.

“Well, it took him about–Eric Close is a good golfer, playing the young billionaire--and he hit about 20 shots and it was so hard to get the shot to go where it was supposed to go and then hit the green and loop around to where he could make a short putt for an eagle. And after they got it done, but the cameras were still set up, and they were starting to break them down, I was so itching to try my hand at it. I said ‘Eric, can I have that?’ He was hitting an 8-, a 9-iron. I said ‘Let me have the 8-iron’ because I knew I might not hit it as far and I just took a couple practice swings and hit the ball and it went on the exact line. It hit on the hill side, it curved over, and almost at the exact spot where his ball had landed. I only wished that they had filmed it.”

Jeffrey: “Oh, they didn’t film it?”

Boone: “They didn’t film it.”

Jeffrey: “I was going to say that they should make a highlight film of that.”

Boone: “But, yeah, I’m playing the old pro, teaching him and I and here, Pat Boone, I hit a shot that was what they were hoping he was going to hit and it took him twenty tries. But of course, there was a lot of luck into that, I have to admit.”

Jeffrey: “Well done. Pat Boone, thank you very much.”

Boone: “Hey, thank you. I enjoyed it! Go see ‘The Mulligan’ and take a lot of folks with you because they’re going to be the better for it, their golf and their lives.”

Jeffrey: “Thank you.” 

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