Chart-Topping Songs from ‘76 to Appear in Film, Accompany Reflections from: Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Peter Frampton, Lynn Swann, Harry Casey & Rick Dees
Film to Explore the Shift in European Professional Golf that Began Following Ballesteros’ Week at the ’76 Open
As the golf world prepares for the season’s third men’s major at The Open next week, Golf Channel Films is readying to unveil its next project – Summer of ’76 – which will premiere Tuesday, July 18 at 9 p.m. ET following Golf Central Live From The Open.
The film, which centers around an unlikely duel at the 1976 Open between two eventual World Golf Hall of Fame members in Johnny Miller and a 19-year-old old Seve Ballesteros, unfolds on a baked-out Royal Birkdale in abnormally scorching temperatures on the Northwest coast of England. The laid-back mood of Summer of ’76 will blend undertones that embody relevant cultural and societal trends in the groovy mid-70s era, including:
Narration from Emmy-Nominated Actor Tim Matheson
One of the definitive representations when recounting American pop culture in the late 70s is the film National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), with seemingly every dorm room and fraternity house having their own copy. Emmy-nominated actor Tim Matheson played one of the film’s principal characters – Eric “Otter” Stratton – and contributed greatly to the ultimate legacy of the movie. In the spirit of reminiscing to the 70s era, Matheson will lend his voice narration to Summer of ’76, rekindling a vibe that existed for a generation that epitomized and embraced the cars they drove, styles they wore and music they listened to in their formative years.
Iconic Personalities, Music from the 70s
To help further encompass the aura of the mid-70s, Summer of ’76 will utilize several iconic figures who prominently garnered the attention and adulation of American society some 40 years ago:
- Walt “Clyde” Frazier (7-time NBA All-Star, 2-time NBA champion)
- Harry Casey (KC and The Sunshine Band, “Shake Your Booty” released in ‘76)
- Peter Frampton (Rock Musician, Frampton Comes Alive! released in ‘76)
- Lynn Swann (4-time Super Bowl champ, Super Bowl X MVP – ‘76)
- Rick Dees (Radio personality/DJ during disco craze, Disco Duck released in ‘76)
- The film additionally will feature David Bowie’s Golden Years (also released in ‘76)
“Johnny Miller was a great competitor, terrific in the big moment. He seemed a little more relaxed in how he approached
the game and how he played, but still every bit as intense.” – Lynn Swann, Super Bowl X MVP, Pittsburgh Steelers
“The 70s was a time of individuality. You could break away from the pack. You didn’t have to do what everybody else was doing, you’d still be accepted. I would
ride around New York – the mecca for fashion – jamming with my eight track tapes.” – Walt “Clyde” Frazier, 2-time NBA champion, New York Knicks
An Unmistakable Shift in European Golf
As Summer of ’76 reflects on the 1976 Open at Royal Birkdale, one of the themes examined will be the emergence of a new star in a previously anonymous teenager, Ballesteros. The film explores how the young Spaniard’s week would ultimately swing the pendulum of European professional golf from the doldrums of the early 70s to a renascent new peak that centered around the “Famous Five” (Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam). Born within 10 months of one another, four of the five would eventually claim the No. 1 ranking in the world during the course of their respective careers, and collectively they’d play a vital role in the Europeans’ resurgence in the biennial Ryder Cup.
“The golf attire with the collars and the shirts and the white belts, I mean golf almost looked like a disco scene in itself.” – Rick Dees, Radio Personality/DJ
Summer of ‘76 is being produced by Golf Films, led by 13-time Emmy Award-winning coordinating producer Israel DeHerrera, who has served as the lead producer for several critically acclaimed projects, including the three-part Arnie(2014) and Jack (2017) films on Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. In addition to DeHerrera, Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner will serve as a co-producer and writer of the film, and James Ponti also will serve as a co-producer. Other award-winning projects produced by Golf Films include the Emmy-nominated Payne, on the late Payne Stewart; Arnie & Me, a follow-up, fourth installment of Arnie; ’86, a chronicle of Nicklaus’ final major championship win at the 1986 Masters that aired to coincide with the 30th anniversary of his iconic win; and Ben Crenshaw: A Walk Through Augusta, on the two-time Masters champion, and his special relationship with the tournament.