Move over Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, there’s a new golfing sensation making waves on social media as well as the golf course, and she doesn’t even play professionally.
Paige Spiranac, the 29-year-old golf enthusiast and social media influencer, who boasts a roaring fanbase of 3.3 million Instagram followers, has landed on the cover of Maxim’s 2022 Hot 100 issue.
In a post celebrating the announcement, Spiranac told her audience “I am so honored by being named the sexiest woman alive by @maximmag this year! When I got the [cover] I kept asking them, ‘are you sure?’ because I was truly in disbelief.”
“To me being sexy is about confidence and feeling comfortable in your own skin,” Spiranac continued. “I’ve always tried to stay true to myself though out my unconventional path and now I’m so proud to be following so many amazing women who carried the title in years before me. Thank you again Maxim for this moment and to @gilles_bensimon for these beautiful pictures!”
Spiranac’s journey began back in 2015 when she won the 100th Colorado Women’s Golf Association Match Play Championship. It wasn’t the victory alone that launched her to celebrity status however, but instead a viral article by Total Frat Move writer Dan Regester, who found Spiranac’s Instagram and wrote a glowing article entirely about the young golfer.
“Her icy blue eyes cut through my rough exterior deep into the core of my very being,” wrote Regester. “At least I think they’re blue. I can never really tell with all these filters nowadays. She has a body that just won’t quit, and that golf swing is damn near perfect.”
The young “smokeshow,” as Regester described her, went from having only a few hundred Instagram followers consisting of mainly friends and family, to ending up with over a hundred-thousand overnight. Spiranac told Maxim that in that moment “My life completely changed in the blink of an eye.”
Spiranac attempted to continue golfing with the hopes of going pro, but her skills weren’t where they needed to be in order to compete at the level of other LPGA athletes. She tried then later to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for gymnastics, but a damaged kneecap halted that possibility as well.
Thankfully for Spiranac, her larger-than-life social media following has helped her earn many opportunities ranging from endorsement deals with major brands to modeling opportunities, all while maintaining her love of golf.
“If you told me, senior year of college, that my life would take this path, I would have laughed in your face,” she said in her interview. “I’m really able to love who I am and what I’m doing through content creation and being an influencer. So, I’m happy with how everything turned out.” While she does still wish her professional golf career had gone another way, she happily confirmed “I wouldn’t trade this for the world.”
What do you think of Spiranac’s journey from aspiring athlete to gracing the cover of Maxim?