Happy Gilmore Swing Ruled Illegal in Canada

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In Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler (who plays the title character) uses an unorthodox golf swing in an attempt to win the Tour Championship so that he can win the money needed to save his grandmother’s home. While it may be against traditional “golf etiquette”, it is actually perfectly legal to use the “Happy Gilmore shot” on the golf course… but you might want to consider the possible civil liability involved.

The Hollywood Reporter’s law blog THR Esq. reports on a 2008 case where a man wasfound liable for injuries caused after he drunkenly used the Gilmore swing, which is described by the court as “running from five to ten feet behind the ball and hitting it on the run.” Apparently, a Supreme Court judge from Nova Scotia Canada ruled that the swing “breaches a duty of care” meaning the swing presents risks to the players that aren’t natural to the game. It is unclear if the swing would not be considered a breach of “duty of care” if the golfer had not been intoxicated.  The plaintiff was awarded $75,000 for lost earning capacity the resulted from the injury sustained for the swing.

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