Paige Spiranac

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Paige Spiranac
Paige Spiranac.jpg
Spiranac in June 2018
Personal information
Full name Paige Renee Spiranac
Born (1993-03-26) March 26, 1993 (age 25)
Denver, Colorado
Height 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Nationality  United States
Residence Arizona
Career
College San Diego State University
Turned professional 2015
Former tour(s) Cactus Tour
Professional wins 1

Paige Spiranac (born March 26, 1993) is an American social media personality and golfer. She played college golf at both the University of Arizona and San Diego State University, winning All-Mountain West honors during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons and leading the Aztecs to their first Mountain West Conference Championship.[1]

Spiranac went on to play professionally on the Cactus Tour, earning her first and only win at Scottsdale's Orange Tree Country Club.[2]

After initially creating her social media accounts to post trick-shot videos,[2] Spiranac now has nearly 1.5 million followers on Instagram.[3] She currently has signed deals with PXG, 18Birdies, and Cybersmile, and she has been featured in magazines such as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and Golf Digest.

Early life[edit]

Spiranac was born in Wheat Ridge, Colorado to an athletic family. Her father, Dan, was a member of the 1976 Pittsburgh Panthers national championship football team and her mother, Annette, was a professional ballerina.[4] Her older sister Lexie also received a college athletic scholarship, competing on Stanford's track team.[4]

Spiranac grew up in Monument, Colorado, where she practiced gymnastics in hopes of competing in the Olympics.[1] Her talent allowed her to skip from level six to Elites, earning an invitation from Karolyi Ranch.[1] At 12 a twice-broken kneecap derailed her gymnastics dreams and pushed her towards golf.[1] A victim of bullying among other gymnasts due to a hair condition,[5] she sought sanctuary in golf's isolation. Spiranac split time between Scottsdale, Arizona, and Monument, Colorado, as a home-schooled student so that she would have time to train.[4]

Golf career[edit]

Amateur[edit]

Junior golf[edit]

In her early golf career, Spiranac won five tournaments in seven tries on Colorado's junior golf circuit, including the 2010 CWGA Junior Stroke Play,[6] en route to becoming a top-20 junior player in the world, a top-5 college recruit, and a two-time West Region Player of the Year and first-team All-American as a member of the Future Collegians World Tour.[2] This earned her a golf scholarship from the University of Arizona.

University of Arizona[edit]

Spiranac's freshmen year only saw her compete in three events for the Wildcats during the 2011–2012 season, including the Windy City Intercollegiate, the Pac-12/SEC Challenge, and the Wildcat Invitational.[7] Her best score of the year was a 73, reached twice during the Windy City Intercollegiate.

San Diego State University[edit]

Spiranac transferred to San Diego State for her sophomore year, seeking a change of environment. Improved success followed in the 2012–2013 season, with First-Team All-Mountain West honors, a fifth place finish at the Cal Classic, a sixth at the Mountain West Championship, and nineteenth at the NCAA Central Regional Championships.[8] Her 2013–2014 junior season resulted in Second-Team All-Mountain West Honors, along with one top ten finish at the Mountain West Championship.[8] Her senior season ended with the Aztec's first Mountain West Conference Championship in school history, which she described as "one of the absolute happiest moments of my life."[1]

Post-college[edit]

CWGA Match Play[edit]

In July 2015 the Colorado Golf Association hosted the 100th Colorado Women's Golf Association Match Play Championship at Raccoon Creek Golf Course. In a 35-hole title match against Brittany Fan of the University of Colorado Boulder, Spiranac finished nine holes under par to secure the win.[6]

Colorado Women's Open[edit]

Spiranac competed in the 2016 CoBank Colorado Women's Open,[9] placing ninth at one-under-par[9] and earning $1,750.[9]

Professional[edit]

In 2015 a Total Frat Move[clarification needed] article encouraging people to check Spiranac out online resulted in her Instagram following jumping from under 10,000 to over 100,000 in just two days.[10] This explosion in social media led her to being invited to play in the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic in 2015. She missed the cut, but the online attention resulted in many sponsors and endorsement deals. Her 2016 golfing season saw her play on the Cactus Tour, finishing the season with $8,010 in winnings and another invite to Dubai.[11]

Cactus Tour[edit]

Spiranac debuted on the Cactus Tour at the Las Colinas club in Queen Creek, Arizona. A five-under-par final round earned her a tie for 14th place[12] and a prize of only $100 out of the $12,080 purse, a small figure even amongst women's professional golf tournaments. Another strong final round showing at her second event at Lookout Mountain, a day's best three-under-par, resulted in a third place tie at one-under with Hannah Arnold,[13] good for $950.

A sudden-death win at Scottsdale’s Orange Tree Country Club over Hannah O’Sullivan, the then top-ranked amateur in the world,[14] earned Spiranac her first tour win, in just her third start.

She next finished ninth at Stallion Mountain, earning an $800 prize.[15] At the Aliante Golf Club, Spiranac finished 17th out of 52 golfers,[16] her twelve-over-par score netting a $575 prize.[16] She finished eight-over-par for a seventh place finish at Walnut Creek in Mansfield, Texas, earning $600.[17]

After a two-month layoff, Spiranac bounced back to a three-way second-place tie at Legacy in Phoenix, Arizona, with Jane Rah and Caroline Inglis.[18] Her second best finish of the year earned $935.[18] A two-under-par final round produced another top-five finish at Trilogy[19] and $800. The final event of the season was the 2016 Arizona Women's Open in Sun City, Arizona. Spiranac shot an opening round 78 and finished 30th.[20]

Seeking to concentrate on growing her social media presence and influence, Spiranac changed her agent to Jeremy Aisenberg of Octagon after the season.[11] After missing the cut once again at Dubai in 2016, she has not played professional golf since, and has instead concentrated on growing her brand.

In business[edit]

Spiranac has signed deals with PXG, 18Birdies, Cybersmile, Octagon, Descente, Golf Digest, and Barracuda Networks.[citation needed]

Parsons Xtreme Golf[edit]

In 2017, Spiranac signed with PXG (Parsons Xtreme Golf), to represent its golf clubs in social media and television ads.[21] Her four areas of focus with PXG are Growing the Game, Inspiring Women, Healthy Living, and Promoting Anti-Bullying.[21]

18Birdies[edit]

In 2017, Spiranac became a brand ambassador for 18Birdies to help market its golf app nationwide.[22] The app, designed for increased social interaction and competitions among golfers, has statistic and score tracking capability, and a GPS system with over 30,000 courses in its database.[23]

Cybersmile Foundation[edit]

In 2017, Spiranac became an ambassador for Cybersmile, a non-profit which provides global support and educational programs to help combat cyber-bullying. Spiranac was bullied in her youth over a medical condition that impaired the growth of her hair, giving her personal insight into the challenge when addressing groups of school children.[5]

Fitness website[edit]

Spiranac collaborated with a trainer to develop a workout program called the Six Week Peak Fitness Challenge, which is featured a the Six Zero Six Fitness website. Offered for a fee, the program can be tailored to either sex.[24]

In social media[edit]

Spiranac's social media following compares to golf's elite like Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler.[citation needed] Spiranac's self-promotion has, however, brought criticism, and raised the question of what she brings to golf.[25] Spiranac's appearance on the cover of Golf Digest sparked controversy. In its nearly seven decades of publication, the magazine only featured a woman on its cover twenty-three times, just eleven of them being professional female golfers.[25] This begged the question of what she had actually accomplished on the golf course to warrant such attention.[26] Sports commentator Sarah Spain of ESPN raised the obvious by arguing that the only reason Spiranac was chosen was her appearance and type of clothes she wore.[27][28] Spiranac has received criticism for "sexualizing women's golf,"[29] and even though she has mentioned the ways people's comments have hurt her,[29] she has continued to promote herself on social media and highlight her sexy figure and costumes.

Criticism on these grounds did not diminish when Spiranac was featured in suggestive bikini poses in the February 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Spiranac sought to use the exposure to promote her anti-bullying campaign and continue to fight for a woman's right to feel comfortable in her own skin.[30] Spiranac has raised in both the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and Golf Digest accounts of random internet users harassing her online,[28] and how she uses the experiences as motivation for her fight against online mistreatment.[28]

Seeking to address the distraction of revealing attire among tour pros, the LPGA introducing a stricter dress code in July of 2017, restricting plunging necklines, leggings, and short skirts. This triggered immediate criticism, characterized by the inflammatory Fox Sports headline "LPGA slammed for 'slut-shaming' its own players after new dress code restrictions revealed".[31] Spiranac spoke against a Fortune magazine op-ed piece, The Progression of Women's Golf is Plunging Further than Our Necklines, which appeared just days after the LPGA announcement.[32]

In April of 2018 Golfweek aired a video of Spiranac PGA golfer Tony Finau, and a sports trainer, Steve Tinoco, attempting to break a Guiness World Record for a golf trick-shot.[33] The challenge required them to catch hit[further explanation needed] golf balls from 100 meters away over the course of one minute. the threesome successfully raised the world record of 11 catches in one minute to 12.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Shipnuck, Alan (February 1, 2017). "Paige Spiranac is trying to make peace with her place in the game". Golf.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Woods, Alden (February 8, 2018). "Paige Spiranac: Bullied her entire life, Instagram star changes professional golf world". azcentral.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Paige Spiranac (@_paige.renee) • Instagram photos and videos". www.instagram.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Stephens, Bob (July 18, 2009). "Vaulting to the top". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Moody, Darrell (July 11, 2017). "Paige Spiranac talks to Tahoe youth about overcoming cyberbullying". Tahoe Daily Tribune. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Baines, Gary (April 21, 2016). "Cover Paige - Colorado Women's Golf Association". coloradowomensgolf.org. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  7. ^ "Paige Spiranac – 2011–12 Women's Golf Roster". University of Arizona Athletics. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Paige Spiranac". GoAztecs.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "2016 CoBank Colorado Women's Open". cogf.bluegolf.com. September 2, 2016. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  10. ^ Woods, Alden (2018-02-08). "Paige Spiranac: Bullied her entire life, Instagram star changes professional golf world". azcentral. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  11. ^ a b Woods, Alden (February 8, 2018). "Paige Spiranac: Bullied her entire life, Instagram star changes professional golf world". azcentral. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  12. ^ "2016 Event #14 Las Colinas". thecactustour.com. 2016-05-11. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  13. ^ "2016 Event #15 Lookout Mountain". thecactustour.com. 2016-05-23. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  14. ^ Team, Grill Room (2016-06-06). "Paige Spiranac gets first pro win on Cactus Tour | Golf Channel". Golf Channel. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  15. ^ "2016 Event #17 Stallion Mountain-Vegas". thecactustour.com. 2016-06-10. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "2016 Event #18 Aliante Golf Course-Vegas". thecactustour.com. 2016-06-15. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  17. ^ "2016 Event #19 Walnut Creek". thecactustour.com. 2016-07-02. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "2016 Event #25 Legacy". thecactustour.com. 2016-09-29. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  19. ^ "2016 Event #26 Trilogy". thecactustour.com. 2016-10-05. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  20. ^ "2016 Arizona Women's Open". thecactustour.com. 2016-11-09. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Paige Spiranac". PXG.com. 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  22. ^ Matuszewski, Erik (March 27, 2017). "Paige Spiranac Teams With Golf Technology Startup 18Birdies For First TV Commercials". Forbes. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  23. ^ Johnson, Alana (June 20, 2017). "18Birdies app offers users a chance to play 18 with Paige Spiranac". Golf.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  24. ^ "Fitness Programs from Paige Spiranac & Steven Tinoco". 606 Fitness-US. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  25. ^ a b Alvarez, Anya (April 28, 2016). "Is Paige Spiranac an 'innovator' for women's golf?". espnW. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  26. ^ Corrigan, James (December 9, 2015). "Instagram sensation Paige Spiranac rejects claims she does not deserve Ladies Masters invite". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  27. ^ Glasspiegel, Ryan (April 22, 2016). "A Conversation With Sarah Spain". The Big Lead. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  28. ^ a b c Weinman, Sam (October 24, 2017). "Speaking from experience, Paige Spiranac opens up about sexual harassment". Golf Digest. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  29. ^ a b Gray, Andy (February 6, 2018). "Paige Spiranac gets personal on topic of bullying". SI.com. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  30. ^ Mandell, Nina (February 6, 2018). "Paige Spiranac talks about appearance in SI Swimsuit". USA Today. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  31. ^ "US LPGA slammed for 'slut-shaming' its own players after new dress code restrictions revealed". Fox News. July 17, 2017. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  32. ^ "The Progression of Women's Golf Is Plunging Further Than Our Necklines". Fortune. July 20, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  33. ^ Romine, Brentley (March 28, 2018). "Tony Finau, Paige Spiranac's fiance Steven Tinoco team up to break Guinness World Record". Golfweek. Retrieved May 15, 2018.

External links[edit]