15 Things 'Happy Gilmore' Taught Me About Golf
Happy Gilmore explores the complexities of golf in only a way an Adam Sandler movie can. The comedy shows the highs, the lows, and the knock-down, drag-out Bob Barker fights on the course. In honor of the movie's 20th anniversary, I think it's time to take a look at things you know about golf based on Happy Gilmore . Most of the movie, released during the Golden Age of Sandler (1996), takes place on the golf course and at golf tournaments, where Happy (Sandler) faces off against the snooty Scooter McGavin and even Barker himself. But Happy is doing it all for a good cause — the IRS will seize his beloved grandmother's home if they don't receive $270,000 before whatever deadline. So he temporarily puts his grandma in a nursing home, and the former hockey player uses his newfound golf skills out on the green, joins the pro tour, finds love, and becomes a golf sensation, winning prize money along the way to help save grandma's house. But just as much as Happy Gilmore is an Adam Sandler movie, it's also a golf movie that includes very specific details about the game — I'm slightly kidding, but I'm also not.Here are some things Happy Gilmore taught me about golf.
1. If You're Bad At Hockey, You Might Be Good At Golf
Within the first seconds of the movie, Happy mentions that he grew up loving hockey and not being the greatest skater. But then a hockey puck kills his dad, he develops a temper, and he graduates to the real world — which rejects his passion for hockey. And then he picks up a golf club, hitting a ball 400 yards away. Suddenly, Happy's meh hockey skills were actually killer golf skills.
2. If You're In Debt, You Should Try Paying Your Creditors By Winning Golf Tournaments
In the movie, Happy's grandmother didn't pay her taxes for a decade and the IRS seizes all of her stuff once they catch up with her. They even threaten to take her house unless she pays $270,000, which Happy pledges to get/find/win.
3. You Know A Golf Swing Is Good If It Makes A "Whooshzoom!" Noise
Because every time Happy takes a swing, it makes that sound, so I'm guessing that's what all good golfers hear.
4. 400 Yards Is An Impressive Drive
Because 1. it's the only length Happy seems to be able to drive the ball and, 2. everyone makes a big deal of it.
5. You Can Get Discovered By A Coach During Your Time At A Driving Range
Hey, it happens to Happy.
6. It's All In The Hips
And then you can golf like Happy.
7. If You Win An Open Tournament, You'll Automatically Be On The Pro Tour
Chubbs tells this to Happy to convince him to give golf a try. Golf sounds a lot less complicated in this movie.
8. You Can Show Up To A Tournament Without Any Practice
Happy and Chubbs just show up. Doesn't Happy need a "learning to golf and what all those golf terms are" montage? No? Okay, fine. Let's get right to it. And when Chubbs offers it, Happy turns him down.
9. Putting Is Way Harder Than It Looks
Driving the ball to the hole is one thing, but actually getting the ball in there is another. Just tap it in, right?
10. Golfers Dance With And/Or Strangle Their Caddies
Depends on on Happy's feeling.
11. Don't Mess With Bob Barker On The Golf Course
Or else the above will happen.
12. On The Pro Tour, You Provide Your Own Caddy
And you can select a homeless guy like Happy does, if you want.
14. There's An Alligator Who Has A Taste For Golfers' Hands
But hey, Chubbs got his eye.
15. Golf Has Been Waiting For A Player Like Happy Gilmore
"An emotional working class hero," he's called. Yup, that sounds like our Happy.
Images: Universal Pictures; Giphy (5)