Paige Spiranac: Not just a pretty face

2016 07 Paige Spiranac To Play In Aam Ladies Scottish Open 2 After leaving high school in 2011, she attended San Diego University, where she combined a degree in communications with playing competitive golf.

She was part of the university team that won the Mountain West Conference Golf Championship.
"People don’t usually believe this because of my online presence but I’m really shy"

However, it was when her college golf team’s trick shots went viral, amassing more than 1.5 million views on YouTube, that she first shot to prominence.

After that, things moved quickly. Within a matter of months, Spiranac’s personal Instagram following had grown into the hundreds of thousands.

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“Initially, I didn’t like it,” she says. “The whole idea of all of these people I didn’t know following me on social media worried me a little bit. People don’t usually believe this because of my online presence but I’m really shy, so I found it a little bit scary at first.”

Her initial reservations soon subsided when she realised she could use her profile to make some money from media activity to fund an attempt to cut it as a pro.

“After leaving college in the summer of 2015, I went back and forth trying to decide about playing golf professionally or not,” she adds.

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“I didn’t have the financial support to do it at that point and, to be honest, that was the biggest thing holding me back. I had the desire to be a pro golfer; I just didn’t have the funds.

“So, when it became clear I could maybe make some extra income from media stuff, I started to look at it a bit more seriously. I knew I was going to take a second job to fund playing golf, so I figured this might as well be it.”

Spiranac subsequently turned professional in August last year and, in the December, she played in her first Ladies European Tour event, the season-ending Dubai Ladies’ Masters.

It should have been the best experience of her life. Instead, it almost broke her.

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