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Real-life Happy Gilmore says people think his name is 'a joke' but he's actually trying to turn pro
Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures / @indianagolf/Instagram

Real-life Happy Gilmore says people think his name is 'a joke' but he's actually trying to turn pro

Happy Gilmore - not the one from the Adam Sandler movie - is actually trying to make his way into the professional golf world

A real life Happy Gilmore is currently trying to find his way into the professional golf world, just like Adam Sandler’s character in the famous golf movie. Here is the younger Gilmore winding up for one of those iconic tee-shots:

Now, Happy Gilmore is a cult classic. Adam Sandler’s 1996 comedy about a hockey player who turns into a golfer to make money in order to save his grandma’s house didn’t receive the best reviews ever, but retains a place in many people’s hearts to this day.

Well, now there’s a 17-year-old golfer bearing the same name that is trying to make his own way onto the professional tour, but he’s less likely to smash up a putter, get involved in a brawl with celebrity host Bob Barker, or take off his hockey skate and try to stab someone.

Born Landon Gilmore, the Indiana-born youngster was nicknamed ‘Happy’ when he won a long-drive competition as a child, and it has stuck.

He's even learned to master the famous Happy Gilmore drive with a big run-up to the ball.

Here's the 'real' Happy Gilmore.

A golfer his whole life, he’s known primarily by that nickname these days, although he admits ‘I’d say I’ve got a little bit better anger management’ and says he hasn’t ‘punched anybody or broken any rakes’ in the recent past.

Gilmore got his first set of clubs at his first birthday, and has taken his hobby very seriously, even if his name is a bit of a laugh.

It certainly raises a few eyebrows.

He said: “They’ll think it’s funny or they’ll think it’s a joke. Then I’ll point and say, ‘Look, my name’s on the bag. I’m not joking with you.”

Despite the movie showing Happy famously get riled by hecklers from the crowd, this one has a bit more temperament and can deal with it without losing his cool.

When one fan shouted ‘go get ‘em Shooter!’ – a reference to Happy’s movie nemesis Shooter McGavin – during a tournament, it ‘made me laugh and helped me get a little at ease’, he said. “I hear stuff like that all the time.”

Still, much like Sandler’s character, golf has definitely become his ‘happy place’.

Young Happy said: “If I’ve ever been mad at something, I can just go play golf by myself and relax. I’d like to think I’m a better putter than he is.

“We both can’t skate that well in hockey though, we do have that (in common).”

He’s good at golf, though.

Adam Sandler in the 1996 movie.
Universal Pictures

Having made it on the Kids’ Tour, Gilmore has played on a number of youth tours, as well as making the Indiana All-State team.

This July, he’ll play in the IMG World Golf Academy Junior World Golf Championships at the iconic Torrey Pines course, and he’ll go for qualification to the US Open – one of pro-golf’s four major tournaments – in April.

Last year, despite being the youngest there – he thinks – he still finished tied 50th overall, despite a few disaster holes.

Now, he’s hopeful for his second attempt.

“When you’re going into it for the first time, it’s weird because you don’t know how the setup is going to be, you don’t know how people act, you really don’t know anything that’s going on besides the golf part,” he explained.

“This year, without having any of that new, I’ll be more comfortable. I think I have a pretty good shot at it.”

We’ll have to see whether he emulates his movie namesake to carve out a successful golf ing career for himself, but you’d have to say he’s given himself a good chance.

Topics: US News, Weird, Sport, Adam Sandler, Film and TV, Celebrity