I was fairly impressionable as a kid when it came to movies. After seeing “Jurassic Park”, I saw no reason why we couldn’t start cloning dinosaurs right away. I guess Padraig Harrington was impressionable, too, because he’s been experimenting with a new shot straight out of “Happy Gilmore”.
All golfers must have thought about it at one point: How far would the ball go if you got a running start? We have our answer. The 8th-ranked Harrington added an average of 30 yards to to his tee shot. So, is this golf’s Fosbury Flop? Is it just a matter of years before all golfers are using the running stroke?
Video after the jump.
“The best player in the world always tends to be the longest hitter or close to it - he always has a length advantage. Because I plant a little bit like a javelin thrower in my Happy Gilmore, I get a much better stretch and then my left hip stops much quicker so I get that acceleration.”
Harrington tried out the shot at the behest of “Sport Science”, the best nerdiest sports show there is. But he’s still been playing around with the Happy Gilmore shot on the links, as seen in this clip with an inexplicable Elvis soundtrack.
What’s the cost for those extra 30 yards of distance, besides having “Viva Las Vegas” stuck in your head for the rest of the morning? Naturally, control. Harrington says he won’t break out the running swing in competition because he can’t really control where the ball goes.
A spokesman for St. Andrews said they would discourage the swing, for fear of damage to the course — and the player — if the ball is missed.
Of course, I’m sure the Happy Gilmore shot will be outlawed just as soon as the muckity-mucks realize that it might actually count as getting a little exercise.