If you haven't had the pleasure of watching the 1996 comedy movie Happy Gilmore, let me give you a quick synopsis. Happy Gilmore (played by Adam Sandler) is a washed-up minor league hockey player who's still chasing his dream of making the NHL. One day, he picks up a golf club and crushes the ball a country mile. He then uses his newly discovered talent to become a pro golfer and chase prize money. Hilarity ensues.
The easiest way to describe Jamie Sadlowski is as a real-life version of Happy Gilmore.
The 27-year-old Canadian grew up as a hockey player with a wicked slap shot. He played in the Alberta Junior Hockey League as a defenseman for three seasons and was a team captain for the Bonnyville Pontiacs. In his early teens, he discovered his ability to pulverize golf balls off the tee. "The only difference between me and Happy Gilmore is I can skate a whole lot better than he can," Sadlowski recently told VICE Sports.
While hockey remained his main focus, Sadlowski began entering long-drive competitions and performed remarkably well. So well, in fact, that he ended up winning the 2008 World Long Drive Championship with a drive of 418 yards. The prize money was a cool $250,000, which motivated him to hang up the skates and make long driving his full-time career.
VICE profiled Sadlowski in a recent video:
Sadlowski's all-time best competition drive is 445 yards, and the fastest he's ever hit a ball is 223 mph. His lean, muscular frame plays a big role in allowing him to launch balls into orbit. Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 170 pounds, he's able to whip the club head through a wide range of motion ridiculously fast. During his days on the ice, he built a ton of fast-twitch muscles, and he still hits the weight room hard. Here he is deadlifting what looks like more than 400 pounds:
You might be thinking that Sadlowski is a one-trick pony, but he's a good enough golfer to compete on the Web.com Tour, the PGA's developmental tour. His hockey skills are also impressive—he ripped off a 99-mph slap shot just a few weeks ago. I'm not sure how good Sadlowski's putting is, but if he ever needs to work on his skills, I know just the place.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock