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Happy Gilmore talks about signing with Ball State, NIL and his name

Landon Gilmore signed to play gold with Ball State last week, and the high school standout known as ‘Happy’ couldn’t be happier for the next step in his golf career. Or for that matter, to be known as Happy Gilmore.

From Indiana, Gilmore is one of the top high school golfers in the nation. His nickname, after the famed Adam Sandler movie, seems natural given he plays the game of golf.

Now, the future college golfer is hoping to step into his own notoriety while at the same time, embracing his nickname.

In Happy Gilmore (the movie), Sandler plays a hockey player (who can’t skate very well) who transitions to playing professional golf. His charismatic (and unorthodox style) earned him many fans, especially for his long drives off the tee, but not much respect on the professional golf tour.

Thankfully, this Happy Gilmore (the person) seems far more liked. He even got the nickname organically.

“In my first ever golf tournament – the Pepsi Little People’s in Quincy, Illinois,” Gilmore told USA TODAY High School Sports.

“I competed in their long driving contest and won. Couple of the parents starting calling me ‘Happy’ and from there it stuck.”

Just think of the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) possibilities for this golfer.


Scroll down and check out this interview with Happy Gilmore where he touches on signing with Ball State, his nickname and if he can ice skate.

“Very excited. I was obviously excited when I committed verbally but now that I’m officially signed it’s way more exciting.”

“Since I can’t do anything NIL-related in high school, we haven’t had to worry about it too much. We are talking to some people about it, trying to get more information on how it works and things like that. So when that time comes, we’ll be prepared.”

“Absolutely. I love everything that comes with it. For the most part, it’s all good jokes and positivity. The one bad part is everyone is watching my name on the leaderboards so if I play badly a lot of people will still see it.”

“I love the move. If I’m being honest, I can pretty much recite every line.”

“No, I just think of Happy as my name. Sometimes I won’t respond to Landon right away because I’m used to Happy.”

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