Paige Spiranac Shares the Fore-1-1 on Golf, Anti-Bullying and the Power of Authenticity Locale Magazine Editors February 1, 2020 Spread the loveHow Influencer and Golfer Paige Spiranac Shines Her Authentic, Positive Light to Others Written By: Lauren McCarran Photographed By: Travis McCoy Styled By: Neil Cohen Paige Spiranac Makeup and Hair By: Danielle Brucklacher Paige Spiranac With two million followers on Instagram and over 94,000 subscribers on YouTube, you can’t ignore the endearing vulnerability and the effortless cool-girl vibe of golf influencer Paige Spiranac. She is a stunningly audacious powerhouse of talent, sophistication and brilliance, and she has proven to be a formidable force with more to offer than meets the eye. Her critics have underestimated her impact and have unsuccessfully tried to diminish her accomplishments, but she’s just getting started. Behind the bombshell image is a talented and bright young woman who’s looking to modernize the game of golf and bring optimism to the internet. Spiranac‘s love of golf has led her on a journey she never could have imagined, and it is far from the end. With new business ventures ahead and a legion of dedicated fans, there’s no stopping her from continuing to push boundaries and knock down barriers. Spiranac was born into a family of athletes; her father played college football, and her mother was a professional ballerina. She was bound to thrive in sports, so after sustaining multiple injuries that ended her dream of becoming an Olympic gymnast, her father introduced her to golf. Bullied as a young girl, Spiranac found solace in golf and loved the solitude it provided. But even after bringing a monumental victory to her college team (she took San Diego State University to its first-ever Mountain West Conference Women’s Golf Championship her senior year), continuing to grow a loyal fanbase and beginning to play professionally in 2016, she was disappointed by the culture of the game. “I always felt like a bit of an outcast,” Spiranac says about being a woman in a male-dominated sport. “You don’t feel like you’re respected or that what you do matters.” Being a beautiful woman overshadowed her talent as a golfer. Spiranac was often slut-shamed and criticized for her choices—and still is to this day. Whether it’s for what she’s wearing on the course or a photo she posts on Instagram, the judgment comes regardless. “The people who talk about me don’t really know me,” she explains. “I really had to find a good support group outside of social media and golf. I relied on them heavily.” The criticism still gets to her on occasion, but she aims to stay true to herself. Many critics question whether she deserves her praise as a golfer, and many believe she uses her looks to get attention—an obviously dated opinion on how a woman should act and dress. Spiranac has handled contemptuous comments with poise and humor, and rather than giving in, she is leading a new generation forward with a more powerful message. “Women can be anything they want,” Spiranac says. “I hate comments that question whether I’m a model or golfer. Why can’t I be both? I am so many things. I try to be myself. Everyone feels empowered in different ways.” Her sentiments could not be more truthful, and they set vital precedent for younger generations. Spiranac stopped playing golf professionally after her first year. “I needed a mental break,” she explains. “I don’t think I’m done forever, but I wanted to try something different. Golf was my life for a long time. It’s nice to actually enjoy it now.” Spiranac continues to gain attention for her undeniable beauty and enviable physique, but her upbeat personality and sunny disposition are gaining supporters by the thousands. YouTube has become a powerful platform for the professional-golfer-turned-influencer, and it has allowed her to build a channel where her followers can hear her golf tips, follow along with a quick workout and get to know her on a more personal level. She often films videos off of the course and invites her audience into her own home and heart. Spiranac touches on some heavy subjects, including personal stories of her struggles with being bullied. Her intimate experiences prompted her to become an ambassador for The CyberSmile Foundation, a nonprofit anti-bullying organization. She has devoted exponential hours helping to raise awareness and funds for anti-bullying, a cause that is and will remain very dear to her heart. She also delves into her battle with anxiety and how she manages stress and panic attacks. “CBD oil has been a life changer—even my dog takes it,” Spiranac says. “Working out, eating right and other little changes make such a big difference. I’ve really come to manage it.” In sharing intimate details about her life, she hopes to shine some of her positive light onto those who can relate and might be struggling as well. She wants to give people a place of hope and provide support for anyone that feels alone or isolated. Her affirmation is in being authentic; that’s how she creates her happiness. Although she loves to connect with her fans on a deeper level, Spiranac prefers to keep things light-hearted and fun. Her end goal is to provide a cheerful, sunny-side-up kind of escape for people. “Life is really hard sometimes,” she notes. “I want to be goofy, have fun and make people smile.” Her content inspiration not only comes from her own experiences, but from conversations with friends and suggestions from her subscribers as well. Spiranac curates 100 percent of her social media content herself. She appreciates having complete control over what she’s broadcasting and how open she chooses to be. “I like to be as authentic as possible,” she explains. “When I upload, it’s me who shot it and edited it, and it’s me responding [to comments].” Through vlogging, Spiranac found a new outlet for spreading positivity. In her videos, she’s buzzing with eagerness and always emphasizing the importance of never changing who you are to fit in. “I try to be as open and honest as possible,” she says. “Social media is a highlight reel, so I try to talk about everything—the good and the bad.” Spiranac is currently working in partnership with iHeart Radio on a podcast which will center around lifestyle and golf (much like her YouTube channel), but with more in-depth conversations and a lack of topic restrictions. “A lot of people have misconceptions about who I am or who I want to be,” Spiranac explains. “People will get to know me a lot better [through the podcast].” During her golf career, she always felt like a bit of an outsider and was often mistreated. And yes, she will be telling these stories and dishing out all the juicy details on her podcast. In turn, she will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers, but that honesty is why she is so well-loved. In the past, Spiranac would filter herself and not speak of milestones in fear of being judged, but she’s ready to talk fully uncensored and clear up any false impressions of who people think she is. Also on the agenda: featured guest spots! Listeners will get to hear her riff with some pals from her golf days! Further expanding her influence, Spiranac is teaming up with USA Today Sports to launch a new website where she will write about life, fitness and, of course, golf. All of her content will live together on one site, which means easy access to her golf tips, life advice and fitness inspo. A roaring voice for a new generation, Spiranac is encouraging women to be who they are and not compromise themselves for anyone. She is proof that a woman can be empowered while embracing her sexuality and femininity. Her positivity is infectious, and her dedication to making the internet a better place is inspiring. If there’s one thing you can always count on, it’s that Spiranac will bring a smile to your face—one blog, vlog or podcast at a time.