"The Back Nine" Returns to Orange County
The 1 hour 40 minute film trails Jon Fitzgerald, who is credited with co-directing The Back Nine with another Los Angeles-based independent filmmaker, Ron Vignone. Now 42, Fitzgerald started working on the project a year before turning the big 4-0, when the above-average golfer was overcome with a burning desire to make himself good enough to play with the pros within one-year's time.
Fitzgerald assembled a team to work on his swing, fitness, nutrition and
mental approach. He conducted research, interviewed experts and developed a strategy to attain his goal. After shaving 11 strokes off his 15 handicap, he won
the first tournament he entered on the Golf Channel's Amateur Tour.
But as the film shows, Fitzgerald's success on the course is complicated by the needs of his wife and two young children, one of whom was born halfway through shooting The Back Nine. Balancing life and golf while still trying to pay the bills is part of the story. Also playing a role is the conflicting advice he received about pursuing golf full-time from his biological father and stepfather.