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Golfing Like Gilmore

by Robbie Gillies

Before Semi-Pro, Blades of Glory, Balls of Fury, Talladega Nights, and DodgeBall, there was Happy Gilmore. It is simply the best sports comedy movie ever. I know many people might argue for Caddyshack, but I’ll take Happy Gilmore any day.

I remember watching Happy Gilmore and thinking about his unorthodox swing, "Hmm. That seems to make sense. Why wouldn’t that work?" But then I realized that if it actually worked, people would be doing it. Turns out I should've stuck to my original thought. Sports Science took on Happy’s swing to determine if you could drive a ball further with his approach to the tee. Padraig Harrington, winner of the 2008 British Open and PGA Championship, tried the unique approach (at over seven-minutes long, the video seems like a near eternity in Internet-time, so feel free to jump-ahead to the 2:30 mark):

The results? Harrington drove the ball 30 yards further with the running start. The most amazing part is watching the side-by-side comparison, in which the two swings are nearly identical. So expect golfers nationwide to be changing their approach...or not. Harrington's accuracy suffered too much for him to think about actually switching his approach on the Tour.

And I was so close to becoming a golf fan.

Padraig Does The Happy Gilmore Swing, Crushes Ball - Mouthpiece Sports
Padraig Harrington adds 30 yards with the Happy Gilmore swing - Devil Ball Golf