Paige Spiranac, a pro-golfer and social media starlet, shared a disturbing story about her recent experience in the Dubai Desert Classic.
The 24-year-old first made headlines while attending San Diego University after her college team won the Mountain West Conference Golf Championship. Known for her physical beauty as much as her athletic ability, Paige quickly gathered more than 85,000 followers on Instagram after she graduated in 2015. Today she has more than 1.2 million followers.
Many of her critics argue that Paige owes her fame to a curvy figure instead of skill on the golf course.
I've been a member at a country club at one point and then also had to clean a pro shop and do kids camps to somehow have a place to practice because I couldn't afford to play. I've noticed that no matter where you are, who you're surrounded by, what you wear, or how much money you have or don't have we are all just playing a game where the same rules apply. The tradition of golf for me is tied into the integrity and honor of the game, not the exclusivity that you have to be a certain class of person or dress a certain way. Truth is we are all just trying to enjoy our day and play good golf.
“For people to say: ‘You only show some cleavage, that’s why you have what you have,’ is unfair,” Spiranac said in an interview with the Guardian. “That’s the injustice that we face every day as women and I see it a lot in golf.”
While playing in Dubai, Spiranac became targeted for her appearance. “I was harassed, my family was harassed,” Spiranac explains. “I was receiving death threats, people were invading my privacy, I was being blackmailed. This was going on whilst I was trying to play.”
Much of the negative attention seems to be associated with Spiranac’s Instagram feed, which features photos of the attractive young star both on and off the course. “I dress differently,” she adds. “I don’t conform to what golf is supposed to be. I love golf, I think it is a great game but I think there are a lot of things that need to change.”
While in Dubai, Spiranac was often wore a more conservative long sleeved shirt and athletic shorts like the picture below,
At home in America she tends to wear outfits that show a bit more skin,
“I have always had a different fashion style. I always felt like I never belonged and it is tough because I am a good player, I know what to do but I still don’t like going to new clubs because I am worried someone will say my skirt is too short or I don’t have a collar,” Spiranac said. “Why does that even matter?”
In 2017 the LPGA introduced stricter dress code guidelines including no cleavage, leggings, or skirts. Spiranac was one of the most outspoken opponents against the new dress code. “I fear that these new rules are stifling the growth of the women’s game,” Spiranac wrote in an op-ed for Fortune magazine. “These new rules may have been put in place as an exclusionary measure to make sure that only players who echo golf’s more traditional, conservative norms are attracted to and excel at the sport.”
Watch the video below to see more of Paige on the course.