Paige Spiranac has made a name for herself since turning professional back in 2015, but the 25-year-old admits it hasn't always been a smooth ride.

With 1.6 million followers on Instagram, the former pro-golfer attracts plenty of attention for her posts in which she's often showing off her golfing prowess.

But in this day and age of social media, backlash and criticism is never far behind for any person who dares post somewhat risque pictures.

The Instagram starlet revealed the toll online trolls had taken on her after receiving death threats and being blackmailed.


"I was harassed, my family was harassed," she told The Guardian.

"I was receiving death threats, people were invading my privacy, I was being blackmailed. This was going on while I was trying to play."

But after appearing in Sports Illustrated's 2018 Swimsuit edition, the American discovered it didn't matter what anybody else thought.

Spiranac penned her story of body positivity in an article for Myrtle Beach Golf and detailed how the experience of being included in SI's famed Swimsuit edition completely changed her outlook.

"For the longest time I was hesitant to post any picture in a swimsuit. My head would swirl with how I would feel about all the potential reactions and comments I would receive," Spiranac wrote.

"'I'm too fat,' 'I'm too thin,' 'my bikini is too revealing,' even the positive comments can feel like an invasion of space.

"Through that experience (Sports Illustrated), I realized that it's not about everyone else; it's about me."

Of course the negative comments are always going to be a thing, but they're no longer going to affect her.

"A negative comment can only negatively affect me if I let it. I have the power to shape my ideal life, and in that ideal life I certainly want to be able to share my favorite experiences — some of which, of course, are going to take place in a swimsuit!" she wrote.

Spiranac bucks the usual trends of golfing standards with her figure hugging outfits and using the power of social media to bring worldwide fame.

But in July of 2017 the LPGA introduced a stricter dress code, restricting plunging necklines, leggings, and short skirts. The backlash from the decision came in thick and fast.

She drew stunning praise on her golfing ability from former coach Leslie Spalding.

"She worked the ball more than any player I had ever been around," Spalding said.

"You combine that with an absolutely incredible short game. She has some of the best hands I've ever seen, male or female."

Despite that, she stepped away from the course professionally in 2016 and instead began to focus on growing her brand, empower body positivity and educating young people in overcoming cyber-bullying.

Spiranac is an ambassador for Cybersmile, where she educates young people about the dangers of cyber-bullying because she knows how soul destroying the internet can be.

"I now refuse to let others tell me that I can't share pictures of myself enjoying a gorgeous beach. I won't be shamed into hating myself for the way I look," Spiranac said.