Paige Spiranac is a professional golfer and is now one of the most popular athletes on social media. With millions of followers on her social media pages, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, there is so much more to her story. So, let's dive in and read more about one of the most unique athletes in golf.
The Truth behind the Social Media Personality
Today, we know Spiranac as a professional golfer, as well as a social media personality. But it took a lot of hard work for Paige to get there. According to The Chive, she is 'a sexy, athletic, smart, nerd.'
Apart from using her influence to show how much fun golf can be, Paige is also trying to make the world a better place. For instance, she promotes anti-bullying by telling her personal stories from when she was younger. Even so, she tries to keep her content fun and inspirational to encourage her followers.
The Story of Paige Spiranac
Apart from a huge fan base with millions of followers across different social media platforms, Paige has also graced the front pages of many magazines. However, it was not always so glamorous for her. Over the years, Paige has faced a number of challenges, or all ups and downs one can possibly go through.
Born in Denver, Colorado on March 26, 1993, Spiranac grew up as an athlete. However, she discovered golf almost by accident. Undoubtedly, her career has always been surrounded by controversy. But in the end, she became one of the most famous golfers in the entire world.
When Sports Run In the Family
Considering Paige was born into an athletic family, we can say that sports are in her DNA. Her father played football in college, at the University of Pittsburgh, where he won an NCAA championship in 1976. Paige's mom, on the other hand, was a professional ballerina.
What's more, Paige's older sister Lexie won an athletic scholarship for the Stanford University, where she competed on both the track and field team. Hence, Paige has faced some pressure coming from such a family. Even so, she always dreamt of becoming an Olympic athlete.
It All Began With an Olympic Dream
Paige never knew that she would become one of the best golfers worldwide because at first, she dreamt of becoming a gymnast. To realize her goals, she trained six days per week, sometimes for up to seven hours at a time. She was so determined that she immediately began to dominate in the field.
Her specialty was the vault, as well as the floor routines. To be more specific, she could jump from level six to Elites. And it comes as no surprise that Paige was a star! She was even invited to the Karoli camp, which was an indicator that she was on the right track to compete in the Olympics in the future.
When the Dreams Got Crushed
A gym in Colorado Springs produced some of the biggest names in gymnastics including Kerri Strug. And Spiranac was so persistent in competing in the Olympics that she decided to move there. Even more, she switched to homeschooling, to free more time for training and her career in general.
However, her hard work didn't pay off, as Paige fractured her kneecap on multiple occasions when she was 12. She got so seriously injured that she could no longer compete as a gymnast. To add to the disaster, she had already left her school. And is there a worse welcome to the teenage world?
Paige Was a Target for the Bullies
Apart from her career, Spiranac also preferred homeschooling because she was bullied at school. Because of her problems, she felt like a weird kid. The other children despised her so much that they even threw rocks at her during recess. But what was the reason behind these events?
Paige had a rare scalp condition which caused the fallout of her hair. So, she had to wear her hair in a bowl cut. Furthermore, she had a severe case of asthma. Thus, she couldn't sleepover at her friend's houses. Her life was just like a movie, but it was probably a horror or a teen drama.
Paige's Beginnings in Golf
Because of her injuries, Paige could no longer practice gymnastics. So, Paige had to decide whether she wants to compete in another sport. She started off with tennis and took lessons from her aunt, who was a former pro. However, Paige didn't feel as involved as she was in gymnastics.
So, when her father suggested for Paige to start golfing, she decided to give it a shot. What's more, she instantly fell in love with it. And that's how simple it was for Spiranac to commit to becoming a professional golfer. Evidently, some things are truly meant to be!
She Was Born To Be a Star
Paige began competing on Colorado's junior golf circuit and found success right away. She has won five tournaments out of seven tries. Her early success made Paige a hot commodity in the golfing community. So, let's see what else she has accomplished!
Spiranac won the 2010 CWGA Junior Stroke play, which made her a top-20 junior player worldwide. She also became a top-five college recruit while playing on the Future Collegians World Tour, two-time West Region Player of the Year, and even a first-team All-American. Pretty impressive, isn't it?
The First College Experience
Considering her huge success in golfing, the only question for Paige was where she would go to college. At the time, many top college programs were interested in Spiranac, but in the end, she accepted the scholarship offer of the University of Arizona. Still, attending college was a huge culture shock for Paige!
As a golfer and homeschool student, she quickly became the victim of 'mean girl stuff', as other female athletes spread rumors about her. Even more, during her freshman year, she only competed in three different events, with the highest score being 73. Undeniably, Arizona didn't feel right for Spiranac.
When She Decided to Transfer
Paige felt miserable in Arizona, so she quickly decided to transfer. And it was the right choice, as she felt welcomed by her peers for the first time in her life at the San Diego State University. The environment truly worked for Paige, and her coach Leslie Spalding believed in her potential.
With all these favorable circumstances, Paige was finally able to turn her raw skills into tournament success. She earned fifth- and sixth-place finishes, as well as First-Team All-Mountain West honors during her sophomore year. What's more, she finished in 19th place at the NCAA Central Regional Championships.
Spiranac Began Working Harder
Things finally began to move in the right direction for Paige. So, in her junior year, she started working even harder to accomplish her golfing goals. She earned Second-Team All-Mountain West Honors, as well as a top-10 placement in the Mountain West Championship.
According to her coach, Leslie Spalding,' Paige had a profound impact on changing the culture of the team', as she was named captain by her senior year in college. In fact, it was her contagious work ethic and personality that had the whole team reforming around Spiranac.
The Championship Season
The SDSU Aztecs had never won a conference in women's golf. Well, not until Paige arrived and instantly dominated in her senior year. Not only did she make them the favorites heading into the Mountain West tournament, but she also earned all-conference honors. And that's not even all!
The season would not be complete without a championship. First, Paige ended up four over par, as she was faced with a tough front nine. However, a dominant back nine brought her a finish with an even-par 36. After all, it was Paige's remarkable contribution that led San Diego State to victory.
A Horrible Change in The Course Of Events
Considering they won the first championship triumph in school history, Paige had a huge celebration with her teammates. More exactly, they went to Poppy's Pond next to the 18th green, which was one of the happiest moments in Spiranac's life. After all, she was heavily bullied in the past.
But who would think that history was going to repeat itself? The golf team decided to make a trick-shot video, which heavily attracted the media. Paige's Instagram feed was unexpectedly filled with harassment, as well as hurtful messages. People suddenly started calling her ugly and a horrible golfer.
A Taste of Internet Fame
The video that Paige posted along with her teammates taught her that Internet fame always comes with lots of unwanted attention. However, this didn't prevent Spiranac from pursuing the field. More exactly, she started posting trick-shot videos on her social media pages.
At the time, she was pursuing her career in hopes of becoming a professional golfer. Anyhow, she also loved playing golf in a more relaxing, enjoyable setting. Luckily, her newfound Internet fame helped Paige to get a spot on the tour, or start her journey towards becoming a professional golfer.
An Internet Famous Golfer
As we all know, golf and social media didn't mix well in the past. Well, at least until Paige came around and changed our minds. To be more specific, she continued posting her trick-shot videos, and eventually got enormous attention. One of her friends even sent her photo to a writer at TFM (Total Frat Move).
This popular sports blog spotlighted Paige on their site, which immediately took her social media pages viral. At the time when TFM shouted her out, Paige had approximately 10,000 followers. And only two days later, the numbers increased to more than 100,000 people. She was truly a golfing sensation!
The Life-Changing Twitter Message
Paige was getting approached by seemingly everyone. Starting from possible agents, to equipment and apparel companies, as well as tournament organizers, the public was massively interested in the star golfer. However, it was not until the summer of 2015, when she forever changed her life.
To be more specific, a golf executive from Dubai sent Paige a direct message on Twitter to invite her to play golf in a professional tournament. It was the first time he had done this. However, the tournament needed an effective promotion, and Paige, one of the biggest influencers, was the perfect way to do so.
Set to Make Her Pro Debut
Even though Spiranac was extremely popular at the time, she, as well as her family, didn't have the resources to pay for her travels on the mini-tours. And she had a long way to go in order to play professionally. So, this invitation was her golden opportunity on her path to success.
The sponsor offered to pay the airfare, as well as other expenses. And it would be stupid to decline such a perfect offer, one that might lead the hungry aspiring professional golfer to stardom. So, Paige accepted the proposal, and made her pro debut in Dubai, in December 2015.
A Huge Wave of Backlash
Even though Paige felt that accepting the invitation was the right thing to do, she was heavily criticized for her decision. One headline stated 'with more selfies than birdies, golf shouldn't need Paige Spiranac', whereas Laura Davies, the Hall of Fame golfer, said she didn't know Spiranac 'from a bar of soap'.
The only thing newspapers printed were selfies of Paige in tight dresses. But there was so much more to her personality and who she was as a golfer. After all, Paige accomplished one of her biggest goals, so she tried to understand the reactions of other players, along with the public.
Paige's First Pro Tournament
Despite all hateful comments and media attention, Paige made it to Dubai. However, she was so nervous about her play; that she was sick from anxiety. In the end, she finished in 101st out of 107 places. And even though she didn't make the cut, her presence had an unexpected, huge impact.
As a social media personality, Paige created a media frenzy. For the first time ever, TV crews were hired to pro-am and press conference the event. Eventually, the tournament blew up on social media, and other players developed an appreciation for Paige, as she was the one to expose their skills worldwide.
Ready to Walk Away from Golf
Paige was well aware that she has brought huge media attention, as well as a big audience to other players. However, she questioned whether she was skilled enough to play golf. At one point, she was so frustrated that she was ready to walk away from golf and everything that came with it.
However, soon after this, a friend offered her mentorship and training. So, Paige decided to return to golf better than ever. She completely rebuilt her swing and refined her game. Spiranac worked harder than ever, and continually declined all offers for tournaments. Instead, she played on the Cactus Tour.
A Top Amateur Golfer
The Cactus Tour paid way less than the tournaments that repeatedly sent Paige invitations. Soon enough, she won a prize of just $100 when she finished in a tie for 14th place in her Cactus Tour debut. However, at her next event, Paige finished in a third-place tie, which qualified her for the Scottish Open.
And at Scottsdale's Orange Tree Country Club, Paige had finally won a tournament. To be more specific, she faced Hannah O'Sullivan, the top-ranked amateur worldwide at the time. Unexpectedly enough, Spiranac played a sudden-death victory, making her one of the top-25 amateurs on the globe.
The End of the Golf Career
Time went by and Paige was competing on the Cactus Tour. But even though she managed a couple more top-five finishes, she had never won another tournament. Usually, this brought Paige less than $1,000 in winnings. So, she decided to switch to social media, as a far more profitable source.
A single sponsored post on her social media platforms could bring Paige thousands of dollars. Even so, she returned to Dubai in 2016, where she missed the cut once again. Unofficially, this was the end of her professional golf career. Luckily, Spiranac ended with more time to pursue her social media career.
Paige's Influence on Women's Golf
Over the years, the sport of women's golf has gained media attention. However, it has never earned enough respect. According to Annike Sorenstam, an eight-time Player of the Year and won 72 LGPA tournaments, she was mostly recognized for a weekend in 2003 when she played against men.
So, Paige's agent decided to introduce these two influential women, to grow the sport of female golf. After all, no female athlete in the world saw more followers' engagement than Spiranac. Hence, she was the one whose influence could be used to promote the seriousness of golf.
Inspiration and Anti-Bullying
Ever since Paige retired, she is focused on providing inspirational content, along with a motivation for healthy living and the promotion of anti-bullying. Over the years, she has signed several deals, one of which was to grow the game of women's golf, signed with Parsons Xtreme Golf.
Paige has also teamed up with Cybersmile Foundation, a group that helps combat cyberbullying. After all, she grew up as a target of bullying. So, signing a deal with an organization that provides global support and educational programs for the cause seems like the perfect choice for a sponsor.
The One Who Makes a Difference
Today, we have lots of public persons, along with Instagram influencers. However, it's rare to find one that is determined to make a change in the world. Fortunately, Paige is completely open and willing to share her experience with bullying, and she even spoke to the kids at the Boys and Girls Club about it.
What's more, she returned to Dubai to share her traumatic experience as a professional golfer, including the abuse of her fellow golfers, as well as people online and reporters. And even though she didn't latch on as a professional golfer, we are lucky that Paige still uses her influence to positively impact the world.
Asked Out Over Social Media
Paige had received a number of direct messages. So, she was used to being asked out over social media. However, it was Steven Tinoco, the minor-league baseball player, who managed to convince her to go out on a date. And probably you are wondering how he did it.
First, he ran into her in the lobby of a Top Golf, so he asked her to take a picture. Then, he sent her the photo, or as she calls it 'the nicest DM she had ever received on Instagram. Evidently, she played hard to get for months. However, they finally met up at the Callaway facility in Carlsbad, California.
When Paige Fell in Love
Similar to the end of any fairytale, the ex-pro golfer fell in love with Steven. More exactly, she noticed his old-fashioned manners on their first date. He was different from everyone she has dated before. And she truly appreciated how he took her on a real date, bought her flowers, and opened up doors for her.
After all, he was the refreshing change Paige needed. She described him as a nice, respectful guy with a good heart. To make things even better, Steven proposed to her in Dubai. What a glorious upturn for Paige, the beauty who went through a rough patch to get where she is today!