Golfer-turned-influencer Paige Spiranac has become the most-followed golfing figure online and she has admitted that fame comes with pros and cons.
The 29-year-old, who is often seen posting revealing photos on social media, enjoys connecting with fans and being able to inspire others, but has also had to deal with some of the unsavoury aspects that go with being so well known.
In a male-dominated sport, Spiranac has realised that being a female role model can be powerful. She says she has heard stories from multiple fans that she has inspired girls into wanting to play the game of golf.
“I’ve had some amazing interactions with my followers who share stories about how I helped them with their mental health or parents talking about how I got their daughters into golf,” Spiranac told Betsperts
“I played this event in Tahoe which was male-dominated. I was one of only four women playing. There were these two little girls out on the course who I ended up taking a picture with.
“The next day their grandfather was my walking scorer and said the little girls are dying to play golf now because of that moment. It meant a lot.”
The dark side
The downside to being an influencer includes copious amounts of travel, which she recognises is a blessing as well as a curse, and being recognised wherever she goes.
While, some of these interactions can be positive, there have been some scary and nasty moments as well. The American receives plenty of abuse and hate, online as well as in real life, with some accusing her of over-sexualising herself.
“The hate. I’m a public figure which means anyone can comment on every aspect of my life, my opinions, my content, and my body,” said Spiranac of the downsides to her life.
“I’ve developed some thick skin and spent so much money on therapy to help me cope. I’m used to it now but there are times that it’s pretty intense where it will still get to me…
“Stalkers, blackmail, lack of privacy. I went through a stretch this year where I was afraid to leave my house and was quite uncomfortable going in public.”