PAIGE SPIRANAC | ARCHIVE
People think they’ve got Paige Spiranac all figured out. “She’s not a serious golfer,” they say. “She’s just wants to be famous,” they say. They’re so wrong.
She may be a social media sensation, with more than a million followers across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but what people can’t see about Spiranac is her steely determination to become the best golfer she can be.
"I’ve read a lot of stuff about me on social media that’s not true" - Paige Spiranac
Taking selfies might be what she’s known for but making birdies is what motivates her. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mistaken. Simple as that.
“I’ve read a lot of stuff about me on social media that’s not true,” she says. “But I’ve come to realise that there’s not a lot I can do about that.”
We met in the clubhouse at Dundonald Links during her visit to the home of golf for the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies’ Scottish Open.
First impressions? She’s very smiley, very cheerful, very chatty. She’s also very attractive. There’s no point pretending otherwise or choosing not to acknowledge it. She looks like a model.
"I’ve learned a lot and dealt with a lot but it’s all good"
Strangely, some people - strange, jealous, vindictive people - have attempted to use her good looks against her, as if she is has an obligation to play well to ‘atone’ for being pretty.
Heaven forbid, she should be a mere mortal with a bit of savvy and bags of entrepreneurial spirit.
“This last year has been a real eye-opener,” she admits. “I’ve learned a lot and dealt with a lot but it’s all good.”
Spiranac was born in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, on March 26, 1993. Her father, Dan, was a talented American football player who played on the 1976 Pittsburgh National Championship football team, whilst her mum, Annette, was a professional ballet dancer.
It was, therefore, inevitable that sport would play a big part in Paige’s childhood. Only it wasn’t golf she showed an early talent for but gymnastics.
She performed competitively up until the age of 12 when she twice fractured her kneecap. It was then that her dad suggested she try golf.
“He said, ‘I think you’d like it, I think you’d be good at it and it’s easier on your body than gymnastics’,” explains Paige. She gave it a go and ‘loved it straight away’.
“I think having a background in gymnastics helped me massively in terms of flexibility and also in terms of being disciplined and having a really strong work ethic,” she adds. “I was already used to working really hard for hours on end by the time I came to golf."
"I was already used to working really hard for hours on end" - Paige Spiranac
Before long, she became a seriously accomplished young player, qualifying on three separate occasions for the US Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship.
She also competed as a member of the Junior America’s Cup and the Colorado Junior All-Star teams.