Uncomfortable, he adjusted his grip. His solution, literally, single-handedly changed his life.
“It was a moment[that]just came out of nowhere,” Paul-Guindyri told CNN. “I held it in one hand and it felt really comfortable and unsteady. I was like ‘Wait a minute, let me try this.'”
“Now that I think about it, I’m like, ‘What did I do?’ It’s God. God blessed me with a talent that just came out of nowhere.”
Turning the club over his head, Paul-Guindry stepped onto the tee and crushed a disastrous drive into the Arizona night sky. Q made jaws drop among the friends who appeared at the driving range, including the one who captured the moment on camera.
The footage was far from cinema-standard, and Paul-Guindry barely gave it a second thought as he posted the clip that night to his newly created TikTok account.
The next morning, he woke up to the buzz of a phone brimming with notifications. Overnight, the video was viewed 1.5 million times.
That was February 2021. A year and a half later, Paul-Gindiree is a certified TikTok sensation, seeing the number of engagements as eye-watering as the swing of his one hand.
With 1.9 million followers and over half a billion views, the 22-year-old has posted viral hit after viral hit with increasingly audacious and creative variations of her unconventional technique.
“I think it’s just the uniqueness of it and it’s something new for golf,” said Paul-Guindiary. “You’re seeing the same stuff over and over, it gets boring. So once people saw it, they were like, ‘What the hell?’. They’ve never seen anything like that.”
“It was awesome,” said Paul Guindyri, who coached McDonald to an impressive one-handed effort. “Really cool boy, we had a blast.”
Happy to meet real life, Sandler, lives on the bucket list, not least because Paul-Gindiree can owe his name to the iconic run-up that has increased the distance of his shots. He said that his best one-handed strike ever hit 330 yards, averaging 250 yards.
That average sits just 50 yards below the 299.6-yard average on the PGA Tour this season, as the Cameron champ leads with 321.4 yards.
“They were trying to figure out how I do it,” he said. “I’ve met some players on the PGA Tour and they told me that what I do is crazy sick, and that I should keep doing what I’m doing.”
Incredibly, Paul-Guindry also used the put-one-hand, although he has since switched to the traditional two-hand hold as he seeks to master both the grips and improve on his personal-best 76 rounds. Want to do, achieved completely one-handed. He edges out his current two-hand best – 77 cards from six overs last week – by one stroke.
Yet the social media star has her eye on goals beyond the fairway. An avid footballer and a long-suffering Manchester United fan, Paul-Guindiary dreams of following in the footsteps of his idol Cristiano Ronaldo.
After leaving his family in Nigeria to relocate himself to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2017, Paul-Gindiree played for Contra Costa College for two years. Entry into the semi-professional sport was cut short by the pandemic and a move to Arizona to slow football activities, but he is determined to pick up where he left off this year.
And while he may not have a trick up his sleeve as unorthodox as a one-arm swing, his playing flexibility extends to the football pitch.
“I’m really good with both legs,” he said. “People don’t know whether I’m left-footed or right-footed, so I guess it’s my small talk.”
Yet as he fulfills these aspirations with college, his mind-boggling commitment to golf is set to continue. A year and a half after that fateful evening at the range, Paul-Guindry is as determined to inspire people as ever to embrace the sport, especially those for whom traditional swing can be difficult to replicate – such as disabled or people with disabilities, he said.
“There are a lot of people … who think they can’t golf and seeing what I do brings a different approach to the game,” he said. “Not only that, I’m bringing in people who have never been interested in golf. They see what I do and they’re like, ‘Oh, this is really cool, I really want to give it a shot’ Am.’
“If I never went to the range that night, I wouldn’t be who I am today, so it moves me and makes me happy.”