The comedy of golf: Part two
- Credit: IMDb
The latest in our series from Kyle Phillpots, retired global director of the PGA and now active member of Axe Cliff Golf Club.
Many of us fell in love with golf through Happy Gilmore, the film about a former ice hockey player who had only one skill, to hit a slapshot and who needs money to save his Grandmother from losing her house.
Happy, played by Adam Sandler, is challenged to a long hitting golf contest by two golfers re-possessing furniture from his Grandmother’s home, who sneer at the fact he is having to use his Grandfathers old clubs.
Using an unorthodox run up before hitting the teed-up ball, Happy easily wins the wager with a 400-yard drive and gets some of the furniture back. This inspires him to enter a qualifying tournament to get on to the PGA Tour so he can win enough money to save the house.
Inevitably he scrapes through despite the fact that his shots are wayward and he cannot putt and he finds himself playing in the PGA Tournaments.
This is where he finds he just doesn’t fit in. He wears his old ice hockey shirts, hires a homeless guy to be his caddy and hits everything as hard as he can. He gains an enemy in a leading player, Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald), who sneers at the gauche, always smiling Happy.
But the crowds love his freshness and the fact that instead of keeping quiet when he is swinging, Happy wants them to make as much noise as possible. This results in the PR Executive of the Tour fighting to keep Happy and offering to mentor him.
Happy manages to stay on the Tour and wins some money and also starts to have some respect for golf. However, he needs to win the Tour Championship to save the house, so once again we have a final round shoot-out between the hero and the villain. This time we have Happy utilising his miniature golf skills to find his way past a fallen tower to win the tournament, frustrate the bad guys, save his Grandmother’s home, and win the heart of the PR Executive.
Golf at its best.