How far can one hit a golf ball using the legendary run-up-and-strike technique from the movie Happy Gilmore? That’s what a group of European Tour golfers tried to find out during a contest two days ago at the Scottish Open Pro-Am.
Here’s a textbook Gilmore.
Golfers tried several different techniques to harness the most force from their driver. Their varied approaches demand analysis (altho the final distance of most of these attempts isn’t known). This one might be described as a more balanced (if somewhat conservative) form.
The End-of-Swing Knee Spasm didn’t seem to make much difference.
Others tried the Do-si-do Crossover, which works so long as you don’t end up eating the tee box afterward. Notice how the right leg actually moves behind and past the left during the motion. Some deft footwork, sir.
The Casual Sidestep seemed to be a nice compromise between power and keeping one’s footing solidly in place, like a starting pitcher following through on his pitch delivery.
Most golfers seemed to make a pretty good effort at upholding the spirit of the Gilmore while striking the ball at the preferred moment of impact and maximizing drive length. (And if you’ve ever tried it yourself, you know it’s a lot harder than it looks.)
The winner was Padraig Harrington, whose best drive went 328 yards — a good 35 yards more than his average driving distance on the European Tour this season.