With over 1.4 million followers on Instagram 24-year-old professional golfer Paige Spiranac is bringing the age old game into the 21st century in more ways than just a few. The real life super woman juggles everything in life from an extremely active social media campaign to running a platform promoting body positivity, a topic near and dear to Spiranac.
However, the story of Spiranac starts when she was just a child. At age 12 she was an elite gymnast with her sights set on the very reachable goal of the Olympics, but after fracturing her kneecap twice, along with other injuries, she was forced into premature retirement. Her competitive drive kept her going though, and after trying her hand at multiple sports, her dad suggested golf, and it was love at first swing.
“I love how it’s an individual sport and tests you both mentally and physically,” Spiranac wrote.
After improving her game for the rest of her childhood and into her adulthood, she landed a spot on the San Diego State University women’s golf team, where she and the rest of her team completed what she regards as the greatest accomplishment of her life.
“My senior year of college, my team won the conference championship. It was the first time in school history the women’s golf team won that tournament.”
It was also in her senior year that the media discovered her Instagram account, and coupled with a viral YouTube video launched her into the spotlight.
Since then, Spiranac has grown her brand exponentially, partnering with PXG, Descente athletic wear, Golf Digest magazine, Cybersmile, Barracuda Networks and the 18 Birdies app to help spread the mutually shared goals of expanding the game and eradicating bullying and cyber bullying. In addition to collaborating with other companies, Spiranac has launched her own web based apparel store within her website at paigespiranac.com
Its this same passion for the game that caused Spiranac to be invited to Washington D.C. for National Golf Day on April 25. Teaming up with We Are Golf, a coalition of organizations dedicated to furthering the game around the world, she spoke in front of congress about the benefit of the sport to society.
This year, Spiranac was shot even more into the spotlight after being invited to be a model on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
“It was such a life changing experience for me.” Spiranac said. She added that, “The issue is all about body positivity. They celebrate women and I’m so proud to be a part of the SI swimsuit family.”
Shooting for the magazine had an added bonus for Spiranac because she also got to work with her role model MJ Day. Working with SI swimsuit director was a dream come true for Spiranac because as she said, “I aspire to be like her… she is so strong and does everything she can to empower other women”
Contrary to many of the celebrities with huge social media followings, Spiranac uses her platform to promote change in topics she feels are worth fighting for.
Spiranac said that, “the message I always try to convey is to be yourself and love who you are!” She does this by standing up against bullying and promoting body positivity. “I was always bullied growing up and it really impacted my life,” Spiranac said.
She also added that she still deals with it daily and that, “People don’t take it that seriously but everyone deals with it daily and it’s horrible.”
This promotion of body positivity/ anti bullying has lead Spiranac around the country speaking to teens and young adults about those very topics. “I want to do everything I can so no one feels the way I once did.”
Perhaps what is so surprising about Spiranac isn’t any one of these things, but all of them put together. The fact that at 24 years old she has already accomplished multiple lifetimes worth of goals and is still reaching for higher, not through having an affluent start but through work ethic and determination. She has herself to where she is by drowning out the noise, grinding, and always doing the right thing.