Paige Spiranac Golf’s Queen of Social Media
There are two historical types of stories that bring out our “root for the underdog” reflex. We know the characters as beauties or contenders. It’s something like David and Goliath, the Jets and Colts, that sort of thing. Any underdog story will do. Paige Spiranac is about ready to try for both the beauty and contender status as she tees it up at the Dubai Classic, her first taste of the LPGA. The lethal Shanshan Feng will be there, as will many such luminaries of the women’s tour – poor Paige Spiranac.
Poor? I don’t think so. She is a much sought-after model, plays a very good game of golf, and came there after an injury knocked her out of gymnastics. Apparently, she excelled at that as well. To her speak, at least on the printed page, I noted that she is not of the “spoiled brat” variety, and is rather realistic about her upcoming experience. After spending a year at San Diego State playing for the Lady Aztecs, he has thrived in pressure situations before, but knows that this is drastically different.
To this point, the story isn’t all that new, not all that unusual for the LPGA tour. There are other former and present models playing golf, and a number of women who have excelled at other sports. The difference in this story is that we know Spiranac is coming. When David met Goliath, everyone said “David Who?” When Namath and the Jets ended the dominance of the National Football Conference over the AFL, he was just a pretty face that played good football for an inferior conference. He had to prove that he was real. Spiranac will have to do likewise, but how is it that we know who she is? What happened to the emergence of unknowns?
We know Paige Spiranac because she is already an unquestioned master of social media, has an army of followers ready to spring into action the moment she makes news in Dubai, and has her face and story strewn all over the internet.
I remember a time when social media was a rotary dial telephone. Then the push-button Princess arrived. I saw it at the county fair, and was breathless. Then the odd invention called the home computer came along, and the fax machine. There was overnight mail, and the senses reeled. This is fast.
Today’s version of social media is of a depth at which I can scarcely guess. I am on Facebook, but never say anything I wouldn’t say to absolutely anybody. I’m not adventurous with it, and have doubtlessly failed to grasp its real implications as a networking tool. As is the case for many of us, a much younger person would run circles around us in the search to gain exposure, either for one’s self or for a product. Spiranac has run circles around even the best of the young, and in terms of exposure, it’s all over except the golf, the very thing that was supposed to make it all happen.
I’m not even going to get into Twitter, Instagram, and all the other quaint names that are coming out as a way to let the world know you’re here. I don’t even know what most of them are, how they work, or the risks versus rewards. Not only do I realize that I’m no longer young, but thanks to people like Paige Spiranac, it appears that I may never have been.
Of course, there’s a downside to having everyone know you’re here. Now you have to prove to the world why that’s such a big deal. There’s a grace period, of course. No one will knock Spiranac for not winning in Dubai, or even for missing the cut. Sooner or later, though, the “Kournikova effect” kicks in if she doesn’t make some respectable appearances on Sunday. I can imagine a world in which you wouldn’t want anyone to know who you are. Paige Spiranac is about to have her day, and fingers are crossed.