When Eliezer Paul-Gindiri tried golf for the first time, he noticed that the traditional swing didn’t quite feel right.
Feeling uneasy, he readjusted his grasp. His resolution, quite literally, transformed his life on his own.
“It was an unexpected moment,” said Paul-Gindiri in an interview with CNN. “I held it in one hand and it felt very comfortable and flexible. I thought, ‘Let me give this a try.'”
Upon reflection, I wonder what motivated me to do that. I believe it was God who blessed me with a sudden and unexpected talent.
Flourishing the club over his head, Paul-Gindiri confidently approached the tee and launched a powerful drive into the dark Arizona sky. This left his friends at the driving range in awe, particularly the one who had managed to capture the impressive shot on camera.
Paul-Gindiri didn’t think much about the footage, which was not of professional quality, as he shared it on his newly made TikTok account that evening.
The following day, he was awoken by the sound of his phone constantly ringing with notifications. The video had gained an overnight surge of 1.5 million views.
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In February 2021, Paul-Gindiri became a certified TikTok sensation and a year and a half later, he continues to amaze with his one-handed swing, garnering impressive engagement numbers.
The 22-year-old has gained 1.9 million followers and garnered more than 500 million views by consistently sharing viral videos showcasing his unconventional technique, each one more daring and innovative than the last.
Paul-Gindiri explained that the appeal of this new addition to golf is its distinctiveness and novelty. He believes that constantly seeing the same things in golf can become monotonous, so when people witnessed this new element, they were intrigued and intrigued by it.
The account name, Snappy Gilmore, was born after a friend advised incorporating a run-up into the swing. The moniker is a nod to 1996 comedy “Happy Gilmore,” which sees Adam Sandler star as a failed ice hockey star turned pro golfer – with the help of a booming, radical swing.
Paul-Gindiri had never viewed the cult classic before incorporating its technique into his own work, but this was soon remedied when he met up with Christopher McDonald, who portrayed the antagonist Shooter McGavin in the film, to showcase his abilities.
Paul-Gindiri, who trained McDonald for an impressive one-handed try, described the experience as “awesome.” “He’s a great guy, we had a lot of fun,” he added.
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Meeting the real-life Happy, Sandler, remains on the bucket list, not least so Paul-Gindiri can thank his namesake for the iconic run-up which has increased the distance of his shots. Averaging 250 yards, his best-ever one-handed strike flew 330 yards, he said.
The current average is only 50 yards lower than the 299.6-yard average seen on the PGA Tour this season, with Cameron Champ holding the top spot with an average of 321.4 yards.
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Paul-Gindiri has showcased his technique to several Tour players, including fabled big hitter Bryson DeChambeau. The 2021 Tour’s longest driver looked stunned when the pair met up in May, and Paul-Gindiri said this is a common reaction among pros.
“He mentioned that they were attempting to understand my method. I have encountered a few PGA Tour players who have acknowledged that my technique is incredibly impressive and advise me to continue on my current path.”
Paul-Gindiri used to impressively putt with only one hand, but he has now transitioned to the more traditional two-handed grip in his pursuit to perfect both techniques and surpass his personal record of 76 strokes, which he achieved while using only one hand. This narrowly surpasses his current best score of 77 strokes with a two-handed grip, which he achieved just last week with only one stroke difference.
However, the influencer on social media has aspirations beyond just the golf course. As a passionate soccer player and devoted supporter of Manchester United, Paul-Gindiri aspires to emulate his role model, Cristiano Ronaldo.
In 2017, Paul-Gindiri moved to the San Francisco Bay Area by himself, leaving behind his family in Nigeria. He spent two years playing for Contra Costa College. However, his plans to play semi-professional soccer were disrupted by the pandemic and his soccer aspirations were hindered when he moved to Arizona. Nevertheless, he is determined to resume his pursuits this year.
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Although he may not possess any unconventional techniques like a one-handed swing, he demonstrates his versatility on the soccer field.
“I possess excellent proficiency with both of my feet,” he stated. “My ambidexterity often confuses others, making it my secret weapon.”
However, while balancing his goals for college, he remains dedicated to his unconventional passion for golf. 18 months after the significant event at the golf range, Paul-Gindiri’s determination to encourage others to play the sport remains strong. He particularly hopes to inspire those who may struggle with the traditional swing, such as amputees or individuals with disabilities.
“I have encountered many individuals who believed they were unable to play golf, but witnessing my skills has given them a new outlook on the sport,” he stated. “Moreover, I have introduced people who previously had no interest in golf to the game. After seeing what I am capable of, they have become intrigued and are now willing to give it a try.”
“If I had not gone to the range that night, I would not be the person I am today. This experience motivates me and brings me joy.”