We think it’s high time we find out who Paige Spiranac really is. Known for being the “hot golfer” on social media, she’s changing what people think an athlete should look like. But as one of the most popular sportswomen today, we wanted to take a closer look at the professional golfer, and how she got to where she is now.
And we have to say, it’s not been easy for Paige. She’s even had a fair share of controversy throughout her career, which we’ll be diving into deeper. There’s no doubt that she’s absolutely gorgeous, but who is she aside from her looks? Read on to find out more about the real Paige Spiranac.
Golfer-Turned-Social Media Personality
Born in Denver, Colorado back in 1993, Paige first started playing golf professionally back in December 2015. In only a few months she had joined the Cactus Tour; i.e. the circuit that helps young professionals develop their game. With golf being a $70 billion industry, there was lots of room for success.
But today, Paige is a hugely influential 27-year-old social media star. Her career has taken a turn away from professional golf and towards another money-making route. Her Instagram account blew up over the years, and she now boasts almost three million followers who want to stay informed on her life.
Paige Had Other Plans
Golf is one of the most popular sports on the planet, but we don’t often hear about young girls looking to get into the sport. But that’s where Paige is different. She developed a love for the club and ball sport after suffering with an injury that held her back from pursuing her first love: gymnastics.
She actually wanted to become a professional gymnast in her youth. And she was working hard in order to try and reach her goal of competing in the Olympics. In fact she was so talented at it that she jumped from level six to Elites, and got herself an offer to join the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at Karolyi Ranch.
Her Dreams Were Shattered
Unfortunately for Paige, her dreams were shattered when she suffered an injury that held back her performance. She was training six days a week for up to seven hours at a time, and eventually it put too much strain on her body. It just wasn’t meant to be.
At only 12 years old she had broken her knee cap more than once, and it majorly affected her training. She was already getting homeschooled in order to focus more energy on gymnastics, so now that she had to give it up everything was changing and it wasn’t for the better. Or so it seemed.
Now that she couldn’t practice gymnastics, she wanted to find something else to fill the void that it had left behind. It wasn’t even a sure thing that she would want to take part in comptetitive sports anymore. For a while. she tried playing tennis, learning from her former professional tennis player aunt.
But tennis didn’t quite do it. Her father was the one who suggested that Paige try out golf. And in no time at all it became her brand new passion. She loved the game, and decided early on that she wanted to pursue it professionally. Her homeschooling continued, while she now spent hours upon hours on the courses.
One thing is clear about Paige today; she’s completely obssessed with golf. “I started playing golf at 12,” she revealed, adding that “It quickly became my whole life.” She credits the sport with helping change her for the better: “It’s shaped me into the person I am today. One thing has stayed consistent through all the extremely difficult failures and the successes and that’s my love for this crazy game.”
Golf also seems to only get better the older you get, at least according to Paige. Perhaps that’s why we see many older players excelling at the sport, even past the age of 50. Paige wrote as a caption for one of her Instagram photos: “My goals have shifted as I’ve gotten older and now my passion is growing the game.”
Once Paige was determined to become a professional golfer, she started showing some serious potential. She began competing in the junior golf circuit in Colorado, winning five tournaments in seven tries. In 2010 she ended up winning the CWGA Junior Stroke play, which saw her become one of the top 20 young players in the world.
Paige was early on in her career, but she was already finding major success. She moved to playing on the Future Collegians World Tour in her teens where she became a top-five college recruit. On top of that, she had won West Region Player of the Year twice as well as a first-team All-American. And every college wanted her on its team.
She’s Given a Scholarship
Now the time had come for Paige to choose which university she wanted to study at. Many of the top institutions across the U.S. wanted to offer her a place, but in the end she chose to go to the University of Arizona. She was a small town girl with a homeschooling background who was about to have the shock of her life.
Her homeschool education meant she hadn’t spent a lot of time around people her own age. And college was tough for her during her freshman year. She only took part in three separate events, and ultimately suffered at the hands of other students. She claims to have been bullied and subjected to “mean girl stuff,” even by other college athletes.
Get Me Out of Here!
Paige had an awful time at the University of Arizona, and chose to transfer out to another college. She moved to San Diego State University and it ended up being the best decision for her. She made friends and was particularly fond of her new coach, Leslie Spalding.
Her happiness at San Diego State came through in her golf. Her sophomore year was particularly good for her as she earned herself First-Team All Mountain West honors for two tournaments. She took part in the NCAA Central Regional Championships and finished 19th place. Finally, she was thriving.
Junior and Senior Year Success
Now that she was enjoying herself at San Diego State and had a coach who believed in her, Paige really started to show everyone what she was made of. In her third college year she accomplished Second-Team All-Mountain West Honors and finished in the top 10 at the Mountain West Championship.
Her final year was equally as rewarding as she now got to be the captain of her college golf team. Paige’s college coach, Leslie, admits that “Paige had a profound impact on changing the culture of the team.” According to Leslie, she was extremely disciplined with a strong work ethic.
Winning the First Championship in School History
The San Diego State University Aztecs (SDSU Aztecs) had never taken home a championship in all its years. That was until Paige was captain of the team. In her senior year, the SDSU Aztecs took part in the Mountain West Conference Championship, where they would end up making history.
Paige was leading the team for the Mountain West tournament in 2015. Things weren’t looking great for her at the start, and her team members were beginning to have their doubts. But Paige turned things around in the back nine where she finished with an even-par 36. Without Paige, the SDSU Aztecs wouldn’t have won the championships.
The Happiest Day of Her Life
Paige was ecstatic when the SDSU Aztects walked away with their first big win. The whole team had a big celebration that ended with everyone jumping into Poppy’s Pond next to the 18th green on the course. She remembers this moment as “one of the absolute happiest moments of my life.”
Unfortunately, this joyful moment was only short-lived. As more challenges were about to rear their ugly heads and make things difficult once again for Paige. She had a personal Instagram account at the time, and it was about to blow up like she would have never expected.
Things Turn Sour
Paige was on cloud nine until people found out about her Instagram. In her senior year at San Diego State, the Aztecs posted a trick-shot video of Paige and it got a lot of attention. It wasn’t long before her Instagram was spammed with lots of hateful comments about her looks and how she plays. People thought she looked too superficial to really be talented.
The hate she was receiving on the internet was a horrible reminder of the time she was bullied back at the University of Arizona. But Paige started to catch on to the possibilities of having a strong social media presence. It wasn’t long before she’d start using the unwanted attention to her advantage.
Using It to Her Advantage
Paige was smart, and decided to start using the attention to her advantage. She began making her own trick-shot videos and posting them on Facebook and Instagram. Her content was more light-hearted than the world of professional golf, and she was gaining more and more followers.
In her professional life, she found that getting a spot on tour was becoming more challenging. But social media actually gave her a platform to advertise herself and get noticed as a pro. But she did have a little help along the way.
It wasn’t just the trick-shot videos that got her to the huge platform she has today. A friend of hers is actually responsible for making her become an internet sensation. Her friend sent a photo of Paige to one of the writers who worked at Total Frat Move (TFM), a popular sports blog.
TFM showed Paige’s picture on their website and Paige suddenly went viral. Paige was at around 10,000 followers before TFM posted her photo, and within two days of it spreading around Paige was on a 100,000 follower count. With a wider audience, offers started pouring in.
An Unexpected DM
Here’s where things started to get real interesting for Paige. She was quickly rising in popularity and influence, and suddenly tons of brands were throwing themselves at her. Everything from equipment companies to clothing brands wanted her promotion. Even tournament organizers were trying to get her attention.
And before she knew it she had received a very interesting offer via a direct message on Twitter. A golfing executive based in Dubai invited her to compete in a professional tournament. They had been having trouble effectively promoting their competition, so they chose to reach out to rising golf star Paige. It was the first time they’d ever messaged someone like this through social media!
An Offer She Couldn’t Refuse
Paige may have been gaining hundreds of followers a day, but she still wasn’t earning all that much. Her ultimate goal was to be able to play golf professionally, but she wasn’t there yet. To top it all off, it was very costly to keep jet-setting around the world for all her tournaments.
In this case however, the tournament in Dubai was willing to cover her costs. It was an amazing opportunity with international sponsorship, and Paige would have had to be crazy not to take it up. Luckily she did, and she made her professional debut in December of 2015.
Paige Has to Figure Things Out For Herself
Unfortunately for Paige, she got a less-than-welcome reception when she made her professional debut. Accomplished female golfer Laura Davies said upon seeing Paige that she didn’t know her “from a bar of soap.” A paper at the time even wrote: “with more selfies than birdies, golf shouldn’t need Paige Spiranac.”
Paige also noticed that the papers only chose to print photos of her where she was wearing something tight or revealing. She didn’t feel as though people were going to take her seriously as a pro or see her as more than just a pretty face. Since the golfing community didn’t really have a huge online presence, Paige couldn’t look to other golfers before her for advice.
Looks Will Get You Anywhere
Paige eventually competed in the tournament in Dubai. But it wasn’t such a smooth experience for her. First of all, she threw up upon arriving in the country out of nerves, not plane sickness. And she didn’t perform her best as she came 101st out of 107 other golfers.
Despite her disappointing result, both Paige and the tournament received a huge amount of exposure. TV crews were flocking to the site and press conferences were being held – and it was all because of Paige. The organizers and other pros started to understand the power she had in getting people’s attention.
It’s Not About the Money
So in the end, something good did come from the tournament. But Paige was still feeling disappointed with how she performed during the competition and came home feeling unconfident. She even considered giving up on her dream of playing professionally, until she started receiving training from a friend.
Paige resolved not to give up just yet. She wanted to work harder and with more determination than she had before, even if it meant passing up on other tournament opportunities. She began playing on the Cactus Tour, which paid her significantly less than she would have had with other offers.
A Surprising Victory
For her first game as part of the Cactus Tour Paige tied with another player for 14th place. She took home only $100 out of the $12,000 prize money, which was barely a drop in the ocean for professional golf. But she followed that by performing much better in her second competition, finishing tied in third place.
She then played at Scottsdale Orange Tree Country Club where she got more than she bargained for; she won the tournament. She was competing against the then-highest ranking amateur golfer in the world, Hannah O’Sullivan.
Rethinking Her Career
Interestingly, her win at Scottsdale Orange Tree Country Club in May 2016 has been the peak of her professional career. She hasn’t since managed to win another tournament like she did then, but she did scoop in more top-five finishes in other games. It led to her decision to step away from professional golf.
She has not officially retired from golf, but she hasn’t been enthused about it since she returned to Dubai for a second tournament. There, she also failed to make the cut, and instead she turned her sights towards social media. After all, there was and still is a lot more money to be made through sponsorships.
The thing about Paige’s unusual career trajectory was that it was basically unchartered territory. No female golfer had been given as much publicity as she had and in today’s digital age, no one really knows what the opportunities would be. Paige was choosing to become a social media personality but she’d have to figure it out for herself.
Paige’s agent ended up introducing her to Swedish female golfing superstar Annike Sorenstam. Considered to be one of the best golfers in history, she is an eight-time Player of the Year who has walked away from 72 LGPA tournaments. In the meeting, Annike told Paige how she was best known for the one weekend she played against top male golfers. And Annike saw how Paige could be a great promoter of women in the sport.
Her Secret Struggle
Despite the way Paige advertises herself on Instagram, her life can be far from ideal. She suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, having dealt with them her whole life. “I’m actually really introverted, I have social anxiety, I’m sensitive, and a perfectionist,” Paige revealed to her followers on Instagram.
With three million followers today, a lot of people jump to big assumptions about the social media personality. But she reminds everyone to “Remember we all have our battles we are fighting everyday. Not everything is what it appears to be! But I never give up on myself and always try to be better and make decisions that make me happy.”
Sponsors, Sponsors, Sponsors
Paige was tapping into that influencer money on Instagram. By working with brands through promotion and sponsorships, the money started rolling in. But she wasn’t doing things only for selfish gain. She teamed up with Parsons Xtreme Golf, where she got to encourage the growth of the world of women’s golf.
With Paige’s first-hand experience with bullying, she felt inspired to collaborate with Cybersmile Foundation. Their mission is to provide support and educational programs to help combat cyberbullying around the world.
Matters Close To Her Heart
Paige was very interested in using her platform for good, as well as for making quick bucks. Her experience being bullied as a kid encouraged her to speak out about the realities of children being bullied. She now raises awareness of it’s negative impact, sometimes visiting children’s clubs to talk about it with them.
In 2017, Paige made her way to Dubai for a third time. This time, she didn’t go to compete but instead went to talk and raise awareness of the abuse and bullying she had endured in her pro career. From news reporters to golfers to the wider golfing community, Paige had heard a lot of nasty words aimed at her and her career. Now she had a platform, it was time to speak up about it.
It’s In Her Blood
If you’re wondering where Paige gets her good looks from, you’re not alone. As it turns out, she has Croatian ancestry and hails from a super sporty family. Her dad used to play for the 1976 Pittsburgh Panthers national championship college team – a high level intercollegiate football team.
Paige’s mother, on the other hand, has a professional background as a classically-trained ballerina. On top of that, her older sister Lexie also received a college athletic scholarship, and used to compete for Stanford University’s track team. Looking at her upbringing it’s no surprise she loves sports.
Growing Her Reach
Over the years Paige has been turning her attention towards what she can give back, and has wanted to help people understand golf better. In 2018 she was invited to the 11th National Golf Day in Washington D.C., where she had the opportunity to “be the voice of my generation while speaking to Congress,” she told her followers.
Paige continued: “I’m proud to announce I’m on the millennial task force with We Are Golf and I’m so excited to see how we can make the game more welcoming to everyone.” Golf has had such a positive effect on Paige’s life that she wants others to benefit from it too. “I love this game and forever thankful for everything golf has given me. Now I want to do my part to give back.”
Love Is in the Air
Something big happened to Paige in 2016. And once again, it started through a direct message on social media. Former minor-league baseball player, Steven Tinoco, found Paige’s Instagram account after running in to her in the lobby of sports entertainment company Topgolf. And he thought he shoot her a message.
He slid a photo in her DMs before asking her out on a date, and she agreed to give it a shot. Many people had tried it on with her through Instagram before, but there was something different about Steven. They ended up meeting for the first time in the Callaway facility in California, while she was attending to some golf club maintenance.
Who Is Steven Tinoco?
So, who is Steven? As we mentioned before, he had previously had a career as a minor-league baseball player. But these days he markets himself as a personal trainer, and he sure has the body for it. It’s not surprising that he and Paige should have ended up together, as they’re both equally passionate about sports and athleticism.
As well as posting topless photos of himself, he also makes a living through sponsored Instagram posts. He calls himself a RIVALUS athlete, which basically means that he promotes their company’s workout supplements. Unrelated to his day job, he is a passionate photographer.
Steven Has a Big Heart
It wasn’t long before Paige and Steven were in a full blown relationship and posting about it all over social media. They posted gushing messages about eachother, with Steven often calling Paige his “better half.” Out of the two of them, Steven is definitely more vocal about his relationship online.
Steven also captioned one photo of the pair of them: “Keep being you and putting that smile on my face everyday! Here’s to many many more in the future! Love you!” Paige on the other hand keeps her Instagram more about herself rather than her personal life. But clearly that’s just a business move.
If you’re wondering whether or not Paige and Steven play golf together, the answer is definitely yes. At least, according to Steven’s social media. He called Paige his “Best partner around, even though I have yet to beat you.” Something tells us it might not happen for him in this lifetime.
Paige also takes part in his professonal athletic activites. She’s always at the gym, so it helps that she’s dating a personal trainer. And since it’s his ground, she gets to take a back seat from teaching him golfing techniques by letting him lead the way.
They Want to Tie the knot
The lovebirds got engaged! Steven actually proposed a while back – over four years ago – while the couple was on a visit in Dubai. They both took to social media to announce the happy news, but have yet to set a date for the wedding. And with the current global climate, who knows when it will be.
After four years of being Steven’s fiance, she admitted early in 2020 that they wanted to get married soon. And then the pandemic came about… unfortunately for this young couple, they’re going to have to wait a while longer now!
Her No.1 Fan
Paige also revealed that now both herself and Steven are settled with each other and living together, they live the quiet life. But he’s also a huge supporter of her social media career, even going so far as to tell her to pull down her top. “He will say, ‘Hey show a little more cleavage'” Paige admitted.
Speaking to the New York Post, she said about her relationship with Steven: “I met him at the start of my career, so we have done this entire thing together. He is so understanding and knows this is a business for me.” He sure sounds like a keeper!
A Colorful Dating History
Sure, she has Steve now. But she had a whole history of dating before he came into her life. And luckily for us, she’s dished the dirt. All of her exes seem to have been athletes from all different types of sports: football players, basketball players, baseball players – you name it.
She even went into a bit of detail about her past lovers, including the revelation that basketball players are guilty of wearing socks or flip flops when… in bed, and that hockey players might have a weakness for cocktail waitresses. Either way, Paige admitted that she’s never had a one night stand.
Her Biggest Heartbreak
Paige has been totally real about her biggest heartbreak in life. Back when she was a freshman at the University of Arizona, she was seeing a senior and was head over heels for him. “I just thought he was the cutest, most amazing person ever and I fell in love with him,” she explained.
But it wasn’t very healthy: “It was so bad to the point where he would text me at 3 a.m. just so I could give him a ride home, and so I was like his Uber driver, and I would do it.” On top of that, he never took her on a date: “He had no interest in me whatsoever.” We’re sure he’s kicking himself now.
A Sterotype For Every Guy
Paige actually has a list of stereotypes for what it’s like to date all types of sporty guys. For example, she claims that basketball players are “too busy playing Call of Duty to text you back,” and “will have ‘lied about being shorter’ than they really are for some weird reason.”
It gets worse. According to Paige, a basketball player will also “introduce you as his ‘friend.’ He has an Instagram aesthetic that doesn’t involve you. He will play to fly a girl out he’s never met, but not for Spotify Premium. He owns more clothes and definitely more shoes than you do, but thinks sweats are appropriate date attire.” Talking about someone in particular, Paige?
Don’t Get Her Started on Wrestlers
Paige has also dived into what it’s like to date a professional wrestler. According to her understanding, wrestlers “have hung out at the mall in their youth and bought graphic tees from Spencer’s to show off to their unique taste in music, which is definitely just Metallica.”
She continues: “They have great stamina but are probably too short for you to ever give them a chance to prove it.” Clearly, height is an important factor for Paige when it comes to dating. We’re sure that some wrestlers would be sad to hear that… but also maybe compliment about her stamina comment?
Paige Spares No Athletes
Paige acknowledges that out of all the different types of sporty guys, she’s probably dated baseball players the most, having gone through a particular phase in college. “[They] wear either a gold chain or a rope necklace,” and they’ve also probably “lost [their] virginity at a Kenny Chesney concert,” according her. Don’t worry, there’s more.
She explains that they “make sure to save an empty water bottle so [they] have a spitter” and they “pull the trigger on a rib cage tattoo without consulting you.” Golfers also aren’t spared by Paige: “His hairline is the only thing less reliable than his commitment to your relationship.” On top of that, she’ says “he prefers to perform in silence.” Luckily, she found Steven and doesn’t have to put up with these guys anymore!
A Revealing Photo Is Leaked
Unfortunately for Paige, she became the target of revenge by one particular ex-boyfriend who chose to post a nude photo of Paige to the internet. It was truly horrible, and she admitted in hindsight to having felt shame and much more anxiety. It was a private moment that someone used against her.
She remembers: “When I finally confronted the guy and said, ‘I can’t believe you did this to me’, he said – and I’ll never forget this – ‘You are the sl*t who sent it to me, you deserve this.” It was truly a terrible time for poor Paige. But she eventually decided to try and take back some control of the situation…
Changing the Narrative
“Winning in my mind was taking control of my body,” Paige admitted to thinking about the whole scandal. She ended up modeling for Sports Illustrated magazine in a very revealing photoshoot. Pictured below is one of her more conservative looks, as she actually went totally nude in some shots.
“I was nude, I was completely naked. That was the best moment for me,” she admitted. “I felt so empowered and I was like, ‘OK, if I’m going to do this, I’m doing it on my terms’ and I took it back, I took my body back.” We’re so happy to hear it. “That was the moment I won, right there, when I did Sports Illustrated Swimsuit and I had my t**s out.”
Paige Opens a YouTube Channel
Paige has also been exploring other platforms in her pursuit to be a social media star. She’s now joined Youtube, where she allows people to have a more personal look into her life. It’s given her an opportunity to incorporate golf into her daily work, as she creates a lot of tutorials for beginners or certain techniques.
But her content varies. She also talks about bras, mental health, and gives an insight into what it’s like being somewhere in between golf and modeling. And people are responding well to her channel, as she now has close to 200,000 followers.
Paige Channels an Iconic Female Character
We love this side by side photo Paige posted to her Twitter account. It wasn’t quite Halloween yet, but in early September 2020 Paige posted a picture of herself dressed and made up exactly like a character in the 1980 comedy sports movie Caddyshack.
She wrote on Twitter: “Saw this shirt and knew I had to recreate Lacey Underall from Caddyshack.” First of all, she did an amazing job recreating this moment. Everything from the glove in her hand to the hairstyle is pretty much an identical match. Secondly, how did you just stumble upon such a replica t-shirt?
Her Geeky Side
Paige seems to be embodying the character of both the cheerleader and the jock. But did you know she’s actually pretty geeky as well? She loves comics books and actually collects them, which explains why she’s posing with this Iron Man top on.
On another Instagram post she wears this same top and wrote the caption: “What do you call Iron man without his suit? – Stark naked.” Yep, if you’re telling comic book jokes you’re probably a geek, but Paige acknowledges that. “Side note: I’m sorry I’m such a dork and yes that’s a Thor phone case.”
Playing Dress Up
One thing you ought to understand about Paige is that she loves to play dress up. Take a look at what she dressed as for Halloween last year, and how similar it looks to the real thing. Page dressed as actress and model Farrah Fawcett, recreating her iconic 1976 Bathing Suit photo.
The actual photo of Farah has gone into legend and has become one of the most sold posters around the world. Paige wrote on Instagram: “Just call me Farrah Fawcett. I’ve always loved her iconic poster,” and we think she did it justice. We just hope she had a coat on standby.
An Eye Popping Display
Not too long ago, Paige posted a video on Instagram of her playing golf. But she admitted that her clothing choices can come into question at times. She captioned the video: “Guys it happened today. I finally found a shirt that even made me uncomfortable with the amount of skin showing.”
She went on to admit that she “took one swing and quickly put my jacket back on.” She very nearly had herself an awkward wardrobe malfunction, but at least she brought a jacket with her this time. But it does go to show that she knows her outfits can be quite a lot for the average golfer.
Planning a Comeback?
After her video came out, people started wondering if her video on the golf course meant that she was training to make a comeback. But Paige was quick to shut down rumors of training at a professional level again, revealing some inner struggles she has in finding where she fits in.
She told her fans on Instagram: “It’s like my whole life I’m trying to find a place where I can fit in and that I feel comfortable and that I feel at peace with myself and I haven’t found that.” Paige was explaining that being somewhere in between golfing and modeling is tough when it’s never been done before.
Her Most Revealing Content Yet
Paige is getting even more personal these days. Going beyond YouTube, she’s jumping on the podcast bandwagon with her very own show, called Playing-A-Round. She uses this platform to be the most authentic version of herself, as she opens up about very personal topics along with funny subjects.
On Playing-A-Round, you’ll find her divulging secrets about dating, golf, and other life experiences. You’ll even find her trying to stick as many grapes as possible in her mouth in one episode. She says that: “People say this isn’t a serious (boring) golf podcast and it’s definitely not in the best way possible! I’ll never apologize for laughing.”