It doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid golfer or whether you’ve never set foot on a green. You’re sure to find “The Phantom of the Open” a winning choice.

This is one of those subdued British comedies that doesn’t make you chortle – rather, it makes you chuckle, and always with sympathy for its quirky main character. This gentle film is based on the real-life story of Maurice Flitcroft (how I love that name!) who really was a  crane operator in a shipyard who made up his mind he would play in the British Open in 1976.

He did not let the fact he never played before deter him from his goal. And even after he earned the worst score – 121, if you’re curious – in the history of the British open, he never slowed down and continued to compete.

If you haven’t discovered the magnificent actor Mark Rylance, it’s high time you did. He stars in the stellar “The Outfit,” which also is currently streaming (you should see it too.) He has earned an Oscar and three Tony Awards, among many other accolades, for his top-notch performances.

Here, as Maurice, he is a cheerfully odd duck who figures he can play golf as well as anybody, and that lack of experience shouldn’t keep him from the course. It’s not just Maurice’s personality that’s endearing, but also how people – particularly those who love and understand the world of golf – react to him.

Even his family – including his dancing twin sons and his supportive wife (the wonderful Sally Hawkins) – provide some fun as they make their sometimes-awkward way through life beside Maurice.  

There’s a pro at work here, and I’m not referring to the character. Rylance is a chameleon who deftly embraces every role he’s assigned, much like his fellow Brit Gary Oldman.

Hit those (streaming) links and enjoy this winning film about a real-life lovable misfit.

4 stars

Rated: PG-13 for foul language and other adult themes.

Running time: One hour and 42 minutes.

Watch the trailer here.

Streaming on various platforms, including Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, and DirectTV.