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Life imitating art

Happy Gilmore commits to college and rightfully gets a shout-out from Adam Sandler

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Editor's note: This story originally ran in June when Landon "Happy" Gilmore committed to Ball State University. Earlier this week he officially signed his letter of intent with the school.

If you are a golfer and choose to call yourself Happy Gilmore, there are at least two absolute requirements, and, no, one of them is not a running start for your swing. You have to be good, and you have to have a sense of humor. Fortunately, Landon “Happy” Gilmore possesses those qualities, and for the last dozen years he’s lived with the laughs as the Bloomington, Ind., native worked his way up through the junior ranks.

On Friday, he got the ultimate validation when Gilmore announced that he had committed to play on the men’s golf team at Ball State.

It gets better. Who was among the first to congratulate him? The original “Happy,” actor Adam Sandler, who tweeted, “Go get em Happy. Pulling for you.”

He also got a shout-out from Shooter McGavin, aka actor Christopher McDonald:

The real Happy, a rising senior at the Bloomington South High School, is ranked 481st in the Golfweek Boys Junior Rankings. He has played on the U.S. Kids Tour events, as well as competing in the Hurricane National Championships, where he was named the Player of the Year in 2020.

Of embracing the whimsical name, Landon Gilmore told the Indianapolis Star, “I don’t think it adds any pressure to me. But I do know that whatever I do is going to be seen. Especially as far as leaderboards when people are scrolling down and see ‘Happy Gilmore’ they are going to look at it, obviously. So, I do know that, but I don’t let it get in my head or that I have to play good because of it. I just go out and do my thing.”

Good luck with that, kid.