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Meet the real life Happy Gilmore who was named after Adam Sandler’s iconic character and has sealed top golf move

HAPPY Gilmore is heading to college – and no, it’s not a prequel to the iconic Adam Sandler golf comedy.

Indiana high school star Landon Gilmore, who goes by the name Happy, has officially signed a national letter of intent to play Division I golf at Ball State University in Muncie.

Indiana high school star Happy Gilmore will play college golf at Ball State University in Muncie

Gilmore, whose first name is Landon, has gone by the name Happy since he was nine

He took the name after the 1996 Adam Sandler movie

Sandler has given his support to the high school star

And thanks to his unusual name, Gilmore is likely to be one of the most high-profile players in college golf next year.

He also has the support of Sandler, who played the eponymous character in the 1996 movie Happy Gilmore.

After Gilmore announced the commitment to Ball State in June, the Hollywood actor wished the star golfer good luck.

“Go get em Happy,” Sandler tweeted. “Pulling for you.” 

Gilmore was gobsmacked by the support from Sandler, whom he has yet to meet.

“When I saw that Adam Sandler retweeted my tweet, my little heart kind of fell apart there,” Gilmore told The Golf Channel.

“I was speechless and didn’t really know what to do with myself for a minute.”

Gilmore started going by the name Happy aged nine after he won a long-drive contest at the Pepsi Little People’s Tournament in Illinois.

A year later, he officially entered tournaments as Happy, dropping Landon. 

Gilmore has become a highly-prized recruit having been named the 2020 Hurricane Junior Tour player of the year, and runner-up at the Indiana State Junior in 2022. 

He has also led Bloomington South High School to a pair of fourth-place finishes, including this year when he finished seventh individually.

Gilmore says he gets weird looks when people find out his name is the same as the iconic character from the Sandler movie.

“Sometimes, when I first introduce myself, they will look at me funny,” Gilmore told the Indianapolis Star.

“But if my golf bag is there and has my name on it, that will kind of help a little bit. But it never fails. 

“At some point they will ask me, ‘Is that your real name?’ or ‘How did you get that name?’ 

“Something along those lines.”

Gilmore says he can recite the movie line by line and reveals his nickname has not held him back.

“Not at all,” Gilmore says. 

“It’d be hard for me to sit here and say it hasn’t [inspired me]. It’s definitely helped me publicity-wise.”