Happy Gilmore — yes that's his name — competing for Indiana high school boys golf state title

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Yes, he understands the reaction. Happy Gilmore? It has to be a misprint. Maybe a joke.

Happy Gilmore? No way.

“Sometimes, when I first introduce myself, they will look at me funny,” said Gilmore, a star golfer Bloomington South (Indiana) high school. “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.”

His given name is Landon. But Happy, a 16-year-old sophomore, started to go by “Happy” as a nickname when he was about 6 and started playing in golf tournaments — a golfer with the last name Gilmore is too easy, right?

The golf bag of Landon Gilmore, who goes by the nickname "Happy Gilmore" around his friends and family.

“My mom said it was before this, but I really remember it when I was like 9 years old,” he said. “Then when I was like 13, I started going by ‘Happy’ all the time.”

Gilmore, unlike Adam Sandler’s character in the 1996 movie “Happy Gilmore”, is not a hockey player/turned golfer. “I can’t skate,” he said. But he can golf. In fact, Gilmore tied for eighth in the state last year as a freshman. His Bloomington South team, which finished fourth at the Indiana state championship last year, will be one of the teams to watch when the two-day IHSAA state meet begins Tuesday at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana.

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