Golf influencer Paige Spiranac has called it quits, but the ending of her professional golf career still doesn’t sit well with her.
In a recent episode of Spiranac’s “Playing A Round” podcast, she recalled the “broken” feeling she had when her one-year run as a pro golfer came to a close.
After playing at the University of Arizona and San Diego State, Spiranac decided to take a swing at the pro circuit after she flirted with tennis.
“From the first golf ball I ever hit, I dedicated everything I had to being a pro golfer,” Spiranac said.
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Paige Spiranac of the United States poses for photographs on Day One of the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic at Emirates Golf Club on May 01, 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Spiranac revealed that growing up, she would constantly work at fine-tuning her golf skills.
“I was homeschooled. I practiced every single day, morning until night. It was my only goal. I was a highly ranked junior golfer and then at 18 I had to make the decision to go to college or turn pro.”
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The 29-year-old added that her and her family believed playing golf at the collegiate level would give her to the opportunity to be a part of a team, but she said that she eventually started feeling frustrated by her lack of success.
“So many growing pains. I was burnt out of, I wouldn’t say golf, just dedicating my life to something and not really seeing the results. With gymnastics, it was hard because I was fighting injuries, and then with golf — golf is such an interesting sport because you can work out, eat right, practice and still not achieve your goals. That was something for me that I just couldn’t wrap my head around.”
“It also went against everything that my parents ever told me because I come from two athletes. They always said, ‘If you put the work in and you dedicate your life to something, you will be successful.’ But that just wasn’t happening with golf, and I was driving myself crazy because I felt like I should be achieving at a much higher level. … I had everything to be a world-class golfer, but I just couldn’t put it together and I didn’t know why. It was driving me actually insane.
She eventually decided to shift her focus from golf.
“I just got to the point where I just stopped caring. I wanted to have more of a social life. I wanted to have fun. I was tired of dedicating my life to something and just not seeing the result. So, when I was playing at SDSU, I just lost my desire for it.”
Paige Spiranac participates in the Berenberg Invitational on October 04, 2021 in Bedford Hills, New York. (Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Berenberg Invitational)
But before her final semester at San Diego State, Spiranac became determined to continue the pursuit of her dream of playing goal on the professional level.
She was set to become SDSU’s assistant golf coach, but she suddenly became a social media sensation.
“I was playing really well and then my whole life flipped upside down,” Spiranac said. “I blew up on social media. I didn’t end up going back to be the assistant coach. I didn’t even finish my last semester of college. I never got my degree, which is something that’s so crazy and I’ve never talked about that. I was two credits short of getting my degree.”
She noted that things really took a turn when she traveled to Dubai to play.
“… I then got the invite to go play in Dubai. I blew up there. I did one year of playing golf professionally, and I was just mentally exhausted. In golf, you fail more than you succeed, and I was doing that in the public eye. Everyone was telling me, ‘You should quit. You should give up. You’re not good.’”
“All of these things, and I was already dealing with these mental issues of years and years and years of trying so hard and coming up short, and I just broke. I honestly cracked. I broke and I just stopped. I said, ‘Maybe I’ll go back,’ and I’ve never gone back to try and play golf professionally again.”
Social media personality Paige Spiranac hits from the sand during the second round of the PGA TOUR Champions Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge on April 27, 2019 in Ridgedale, Missouri. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Spiranac has more than 3.7 million Instagram followers and more than 800,000 followers on Twitter.
She currently works with several brands and attends events as a golf influencer. Spiranac said she is content with her current career, but if she had the choice, she would pick playing competitively over influencing.
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“If I had the choice to be doing what I’m doing to play on the LPGA Tour, I would probably pick the LPGA Tour because that was just a goal that I’ve always wanted to achieve and it was a dream of mine — and I wish I could’ve checked that off before I went over into doing media work full time,” Spiranac said. “But that’s not how life works.”