Bushwood Country Club would like to keep its membership pure, according to Judge Smails, played by Ted Knight. Affluent new people such as Al Czervik, played by Rodney Dangerfield, would like to see the stiff-upper-lip snobs taken down a couple pegs. To that end, a golf game is proposed, with the snobs on one side and the partying new people on the other.
The golf course is kept trim and neat by Carl Spakler, played by Bill Murray. A gopher has tunneled under his precious green, though, and Carl has come up with an ingenious way to get rid of the dancing rodent. He's going to blow him up.
Members of the country club caught in the middle of the tug of war just want to play golf. One such member is Ty Webb, played by Chevy Chase. He thinks Carl is too manic for his job.
The teenagers who caddy at the country club are trying to get through school, avoid parental knowledge of their marijuana use, save money for a convertible, avoid pregnancy, and just generally be kids. They get sucked into the middle of the golf game. Some are caddies, while Danny Noonan, played by Michael O'Keefe, gets tapped to represent the finest of the snobs. Hoping to get a scholarship, Danny agrees.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the golf course, the judge's boat gets whacked as it's being christened by the affluent newcomer. Danny finds himself romancing two girls, while the judge's wife gives him a suggestive wink. The judge can't dance, but the affluent newcomer gives the dance floor a new look. Ty attempts to teach Danny the rudiments of golf, while trying his own hand at romancing the ladies. He succeeds in both endeavors.
The gopher, meanwhile, escapes Carl using a tunnel system that criss-crosses the golf course. Carl carefully plants his animal-shaped explosives and pushes the plunger.