Take a poll and anyone with half a brain can tell you Tiger Woods is the most popular golfer on social media. But if someone with half a brain tells you that, they’re wrong. Woods is not the most popular golfer on social media, neither is Phil Mickelson nor Bubba Watson. No, the most popular golfer on social media doesn’t play professionally.
Her name is Paige Spiranac, she has 3.3 million Instagram followers and over 10 million across all social channels, and she’s the hottest thing to ever hit the links.
It started in 2015 with a win at the 100th Colorado Women’s Golf Association Match Play Championship where she finished nine under par. Afterward the then 22-year-old was celebrating with her mother over ice cream when she realized her phone was blowing up with friends congratulating her on her win. It was more than usual and she couldn’t figure out how so many of them knew.
“Later we find out from all the texts about Dan Regester, a writer at Total Frat Move. He found me on Instagram and wrote a love letter to me and it went viral,” she says of an article on the site that singled out her swing, her looks and her game. “That’s what started my entire career. I went from having 500 followers to having 100,000 followers overnight. My life completely changed in the blink of an eye.”
Suddenly she was inundated with endorsement offers. She decided to parlay the attention and sudden cash flow into a professional career, which is not as easy as it sounds, even for a woman with Paige’s looks who is also ranked among the world’s best as a junior. That same year, she was invited to participate in her first professional tournament—the Ladies European Tour event in Dubai