Paige Spiranac Opens Up on Mental Struggles in Golf


These days, it seems that every third or fourth sponsored content article, placed at the bottom of the page, is about Paige Spiranac or the actress who plays Lilly in AT&T commercials. So while in one sense both women are huge celebrities, a lot of people coming to this page may not even know who Paige Spiranac is.

I still don’t know the name of the woman who plays Lilly. If you don’t know who Spiranac is, she’s basically to golf what Anna Kournikova was to tennis or Danica Patrick to auto racing– famous and lucrative off their looks, not because of success in their sport. Spiranac has been out of professional golf since 2016, and she only had one win.

People like Spiranac, 27, and Patrick, Kournikova etc. often get criticized for using sexuality to get ahead. You can also throw Paulina Gretzky and Jenn Sterger in there- women using their physical attractiveness to get ahead in the sports world, because they didn’t really accomplish much.

Personally, I don’t see a problem with it, as long as it’s legal and it’s not harming anyone, do what you got to do to make that money. Like the CNBC slogan says, “get yours.” Of course, eventually these women tend to become overexposed, and run of interesting things to say. But Paige Spiranac, like the other women previously mentioned (especially Sterger) is SEO gold. If you wanted to create a human being for the purpose of strictly clickbait, you found it in the Wheat Ridge, Colorado native.

She launched her own podcast this year, entitled “Playing A Round,” and on the last epsidoe, she opened up about the struggles she’s experienced with the mental aspect of the game.

“I have seen more sports psychologists than you will ever know. I have tried everything and anything,” Spiranac said.

“When you’re behind this imaginary visible line, you’re in your think box. So, this is where you check the wind, you pick your club, you’re doing your practice swings,” Spiranac explained. “And then, as soon as you’re ready to go, you cross that invisible line and you’re in the play box. You’re not thinking of anything else other than the shot at hand.”

“All these negative thoughts seem to come into your head, but if you have a clear goal in mind of, ‘I’m in my play box now, all I’m going to work on is this shot that I have,’ it seems to really help.”

Golf is certainly a mental game, and a very difficult one. For more on Paige Spiranac and her battles inside her head while on the links check out this New York Post story. The Post writes about her quite a bit, as do many other outlets, because again, she’s page views gold and media is a for profit business that is obsessed with “moving the needle.”

With close to 320,000 followers on Twitter, and 2.6 million on Instagram, it’s very easy for Spiranac to make news and she knows that. She’s great at playing the media game, and anytime you retort with “here’s that attention you ordered,” it’s pointless. Repeatedly sexualizing something, whenever possible, is the feature, not the bug when it comes to the Paige Spiranac app.

Attention is what almost everybody wants in the media industry and she gets and retains it with means that go beyond almost always appearing very scantily clad.

She’ll also get into those faux sociopolitical debates on social media, and in interviews as well, about what it means for a woman to dress very provocatively. Everybody should dress how they feel comfortable, period, point blank, but you also have to deal with what kind of impression you’re sending.

You will be judged on your appearance, and your choice in attire is a big part of that. No person should be made to feel that they’re being objectified, but that’s what happens when you do a bikini photo shoot. Or join a cheerleading/dance team. Or wear a skin tight dress to the press box. Or walk around everyday doing your daily errands in yoga pants/leggings or daisy dukes.

It’s like entering a pagaent- you have willingly signed up to be objectified.

And if you want to do that, it’s fine, but please stop misusing the word “empowered.” A very physically attractive woman wearing something that intentionally flaunts her body is what it is. It’s nothing sociopolitical, not even in the slightest.

It’s a shame that word, empowerment, got murdered, back in the ’90s when some brand manager or publicist somewhere coached Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and the other pop princesses to misuse that word in interviews.

Paige Spiranac may not have made it in the LPGA, but she’s killing it as an Instagram model and social media celeb/individual online brand.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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