When Happy Gilmore—a sophomore at Bloomington (Ind.) High School South—arrived on the first tee in the US Open The local playoffs at Old Oakland Golf Course, in Indianapolis, last week, faced a familiar reaction from their playing partners: a double shot.
Come on boy… Happy Gilmore?
It was like a young baseball player jogging for the diamond and introducing himself as Roy Hobbs, or a novice race car driver reaching out and saying, “Nice to meet—I’m Ricky Bobby.” Where is the hidden camera?
The fictional Happy Gilmore, played by Adam Sandler in the 1996 comedy, certainly needs no introduction to most of this audience, but for starters, Sandler’s character was an emotionally volatile former hockey player who rose through the ranks of golf thanks to his cartoonish character’s brutal tee shots crowning The movie with Gilmore (spoiler alert!) taking down his smartest opponent, McGavin . shooter, in the hotly contested Tour Championship. Connection Happy Gilmore The iconography would give it a lot of credit but it is undoubtedly a cult classic.
“Yes, they gave me a little look,” Said Al-Hakiri said a few days ago over the phone. He was talking about his playoff partners. “I had to kind of shake my head and say, ‘It’s crazy but it’s real.'”
Said was not baptized by name; Read his birth certificate Landon James Gilmore. The nickname kind of came through. When he was nine, he won a long-running competition at Pepsi’s Little Peoples, a small event in Quincy, Illinois. Big kid spanking with the last name Gilmore? It will be a crime not to describe it as happiness. So, two of those present did it, then two more, then two more. The name got stuck, because, well… of course it was.
It didn’t hurt that Happy was being played at high-profile junior events across the country. (Carrying that name as a weekend hacker would seem hollow.) In 2020, he was Hurricane Junior Golf Tour Player of the Year. Last year, he tied for eighth in the Indiana High School State Championships. Last week, he entered the US Open qualifiers with hopes of advancing to the divisions, and who knows, maybe a dream start at the US Open, at The County Club, near Boston, next month. (Hi, if Danny Noonan can carry the can in the open match…)
I had to kind of shake my head and say, “It’s crazy but it’s real.”
After a shaky double at first, Happy settled down to play the next five holes on one hole. He wasn’t out of it yet, but it was about to be. Seventh at Old Oakland is a par-4 throttle, with OB right and breech left. Said did something he never would have done: he hit three irons off a tee.
The conservative approach didn’t pay off as he watched his ball fly off limits. Happy reload, this time with the driver. OB again. His third attempt hit a branch near the tee box and fell into a creek. Saeed took a drop and needed four more shots to puncture. The resulting ten on his card – which later fell to a very respectable eight over 80, given the chaos of day seven – was no laughing matter until the pack lightened the mood – what else? – a Happy Gilmore The line: “Well, better luck next year!”
Happy, of course, knows the movie cool. “I’ve probably seen it a thousand times it seems,” he said. “I can read almost everything.”
Start a line, Happy can finish it.
“Just tap on it. Just tap on it. Give it a little…
…taby. Tap, tap, tabaro.”
“You can bother me for…
…warm glass shut the hell up! “
… error, b*tch. “
And yes, he’s also perfected Happy’s patented fantasy hockey tee shot. “You never fail,” he said of the players he met on the junior circuit. “Every tournament, every round, somebody, like, can you do Happy Gilmore?”
The name Happy is so popular locally that his appearance on field rolls or scoreboards rarely causes a big fanfare anymore. But that’s not the case when he’s away from home. “A lot of people will guess [the name] Or look at me funny.” “Sometimes people just don’t believe it.” Happy remembered one tournament he didn’t score, assuming he was doing a prank. “We had to call them and tell them I was a legit,” he said.
Are there any PR benefits when sharing a name with a game cult hero?
“Oh, yes,” Said said. “I don’t think shooting 80 in the US Open qualifier would have had a lot of publicity for me.”
Two golf locations in the United States picked up the story. So did Bunkered, in the UK, even Barstool Sports took part in the event, Run a job with the title, “Some kids named Happy Gilmore (no, seriously) played in the US Open local qualifiers and shot 80.” Happy said the highlight of the blitzkrieg media campaign was getting Shout imitating life From Shooter McGavin’s official Twitter account. “If anyone sees this kid,” Shutter wrote, “tell him I’d like to meet him tonight at nine green at nine.”
Said says embracing the name was never a marketing ploy, even if it helped it make headlines. He has his own website, at TeamHappyGilmore.com, which is run by his fund, Chris Blackmore. But it’s not so much a profitable venture as a blog that keeps family and friends up to date with Happy’s progress. Happy’s long-term golf goals include playing golf in college, and from there, “taking it as far as I can.”
Among his short-term goals: to legally change his name.
“Dad and I want to do it,” Happy said, “but my mom isn’t on the plane yet.”