She knows that she’s puts a target on her back with every seductive picture she posts online and that she is going against the grain of most people’s old-fashioned expectations of what a golfer should and shouldn’t be.
She knows that and accepts it.
"I actually think I keep it pretty tame"
“I’ve heard a lot of people say that I show a lot of skin or whatever but, for someone my age, I actually think I keep it pretty tame,” she counters. “There are a lot of other people out - fitness models and so on - who post pictures of themselves in their underwear. Nothing wrong with that but it’s just not something I choose to do.”
That, she says, is to do with her religious upbringing. “There are certain values I live by,” she adds, “but people don’t see that side of things.
“They look at me, they see a golfer and they immediately want to hold me to a higher standard. You know, “It’s a gentleman’s game” and all that. So, seeing me wearing more athletic clothes probably threw a lot of people off at first.
"I guess I had the notoriety without the results"
“When I first turned pro, I think a lot of people thought I was going to be so much better than I was because of my social media profile.
“They see somebody posting lots of pictures, getting into the public eye, attracting a following and they assume I’m going to be a great player.
“I guess I had the notoriety without the results but golf’s a game where you lose more than you win. It’s a cliché but it’s true. It just doesn’t make it any easier to stand in front of a lot of people and have them watch you fail.”
Of everything she has learned in her first year as a professional, perhaps the most important thing she can take from it is that she is, without question, doing what she wants to do.
Her resolve may have been tested by envious, sneering and malicious trolls, and her confidence dented by Dubai, but she hasn’t been broken.
“I feel like I now know exactly what I need to do to get better,” she says. “There are going to be a lot more bumps in the road before I get where I want to go but I need to stay strong, keep working hard and not be afraid to make myself uncomfortable.
“If I do that and keep believing in myself, then, hopefully, it’ll all work out.”
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Paige Spiranac in bunkered
This interview with Paige Spiranac first appeared in Issue 150 of bunkered (September 2016).