Throwback Thursday: The Physics of Happy Gilmore (Synopsis)

“What a shot by Happy Gilmore! <aside> Who the hell is Happy Gilmore?” -Announcer, from Happy Gilmore

After some intense physics earlier this week, it's time to get on to the important stuff: the physics of taking a running start and trying to beat the daylights out of a golf ball.

Image credit: Harold “Doc” Edgerton, of golfer Denny Shute in 1938. Image credit: Harold “Doc” Edgerton, of golfer Denny Shute in 1938.

Sure, it's the fun stuff that slapstick hollywood movies are made for, but does it actually work? The physics will inform you, but the practical results will amaze you!

Image credit: Universal Pictures, Frank Coraci, and Adam Sandler et al. Image credit: Universal Pictures, Frank Coraci, and Adam Sandler et al.

Come learn the physics of Happy Gilmore today.

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I am old enough to remember when Adam Sandler was funny

By david hurn (not verified) on 30 Apr 2015 #permalink

david,

I don't think he's any less funny now. It's just that we've seen the same schtick for 20+ years now, and it's not new any more.

This is definitely fun to try, but Padraig who, in addition to his incredible golf skills, also trained as a dancer when younger, makes it look a lot easier than it is. Even long drive competitors don't use the technique, because it's near impossible to master consistently and they still have to keep the ball in a target grid used to determine legal attempts. For regular play it just doesn't add anything useful. Closer is always better than further.

I am old enough to remember when Adam Sandler was funny

He was funny? I must have missed that day.

because it’s near impossible to master consistently

Yeah, I would guess "consistently" is the real barrier here. We're probably seeing Padraig's best try out of who knows how many, but in a game, the first try that contacts the ball is your official shot. Even if you can hit it well 80% of the time, I doubt you get any net advantage in # of strokes over the course of the game because the fails are going to cost you more strokes than the extra 10% long drives get you.

Still, my corporation runs a "best ball" team competition each year. In a game like that, who cares if they shank the ball or hit over the top 20-40% of the time, they're still someone good to have on the team. :)

#4 Dean Happy Gilmore was quite funny,Jack and Jill was beyond Cruel and unusual punishment!

By david hurn (not verified) on 01 May 2015 #permalink