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‘That's my pro!’

Golf instructor reveals jaw-dropping putting performance in front of Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese

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The Aviator, 2004

Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator” won five Oscars, featured Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett at the peak of their powers and made just under $214 million, and yet the most remarkable story from its set centers on a golf instructor having the most impressive (and nerve-wracking) putting day of his life. The golfer in question is Jim Venetos, a pro and renowned golf instructor, and he finally told the story of his unbelievable day for all of social media.

As a short-game and long-game coach for DiCaprio and Blanchett, Venetos was asked to make and miss a few putts for close-up shots in the film. He then proceeded to go unconscious from the green. He (literally) was not able to miss.

“There was a point during the day of filming where they needed to get some footage of a ball rolling into the hole on the putting green and then a ball rolling right up to the lip and sitting on the edge,” Venetos explained. “So one of the crew members was a golfer, volunteers to do it. They got him set up three feet from the hole. The cameraman's got the camera right behind the hole. The guy's trying to hit three footers and he can't make it. So Leo yells out, ‘Hey, why don't you use my pro?’ And they asked me, so you want to do it? I said, 'Sure, I'll do it.'

“He backs me all the way up to 20 feet and says, ‘Okay, perfect.’ Now the thing was, was the sun was going down and they didn't have much time left in the day. And I was aware of that. So I was feeling the pressure of just the time. I didn't have all day to make these putts.

“I had to make them quickly. And they all think that this is easy. Like I'm supposed to be able to just knock it out. So the camera’s behind the hole. Martin Scorsese's in a tent watching the monitor. I got this 20-footer and I'm thinking to myself, they don't realize that this is not an automatic thing. So I hit the first putt, make it. Hit the second putt, make it. Hit the third putt, make it.

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“And then I hear Martin Scorsese yell out from the tent. 'Perfect. Now roll camera.' And I look at the cameraman. I say, ‘You weren't rolling camera?’ He says, 'No, don't worry about it. You'll be fine. You'll make them.' So I'm thinking to myself, they don't realize what's really going on. What it takes to be able to make those putts over and over again.

So now I set up to hit the fourth putt cameras rolling, make it. Hit a fifth putt, make it. I'm thinking to myself, man, this is crazy. I've made a lot of important putts in my life and this is going in like I'm hitting short putts and I'm 20 feet out. Well then at that point, Scorsese says, ‘Okay, now I need you to roll one right up to the edge of the cup and get it to stop on the lip.’

And I'm thinking, okay, well, what I'm going to do is I'm going to try to make it. And chances are here since I've made so many, I'll probably just have human error and hopefully leave it right up on the lip. So I hit the next part, trying to make it, hoping that it would sit up on the lip. I make it. I'm thinking to myself, this is crazy.

At this point, the entire crew's gathered around the green. They're kind of cheering and clapping for it. Leo actually yells out, ‘That's my pro!’ Well, then eventually I get one to roll right up to the edge and sit on the lip. and they're able to take the shot and cut and move on to the next scenes.”

That’s a hell of a showing for Venetos and deserves an Oscar of some sort. Good acting is impressive and all, but let’s see a Best Actor winner sink putt after putt in a high-pressure situation. If anything, they should’ve dropped the movie and just put Venetos’ high-wire act on the big screens. Preferably IMAX.