Happy Gilmore wants to be an Ice Hockey player. He's got a mean slapshot and the requisite anger problem, but unfortunately, he can't skate to save his life. Worse, he's broke, and Grandma's house is being repossessed. One day he is discovered, quite by accident, to have a golfing drive of 400 yards - which is worth a fortune.
Having exhausted the more obvious national sports of baseball, basketball and American football to kick off the ever popular no-hoper-makes-good movie, Hollywood has now - bizarrely - turned to golf.
As the cheery titular hero whose dreams of professional ice-hockey are hindered by an inability to skate, Sandler discovers a hitherto unknown talent; namely, being able to clout a golf ball some 400 yards. Success in a local tournament catapults him onto the Pro-Tour, where his propensity for hurling both clubs and a stream of expletives, and violent scuffles with scornful spectators, swiftly offends the po-faced establishment.
And that, fundamentally, is the driving force: a working class yob turning the austere gentleman's game into a contact sport, and - here's the crux - upping the ratings as a result. The old guard want him out, but Happy's increasing popularity proves too good to pass up. Along the way, all the usual distractions are thrown in: rivalry with smug champion-elect McGavin (McDonald); romance with the tour PR (Bowen); and Yoda-like guidance from an old pro (Carl Weathers in great form as a one-handed coach).
Sandler becomes more personable as the film progresses, and there's a couple of truly side-splitting scenes. And there's a nice edge to the McEnroe-style histrionics because, at the end of the day, it's exactly what most spectators would really love to see on the fairway.