“I didn’t ever want to date somebody that’s an athlete because I felt like it was like an achievement for them.”
Though Paulina Gretzky is the longtime fiancee of the World No. 3-ranked pro golfer Dustin Johnson, she’s no “cleat chaser.”
As a guest on the Pillows and Beer podcast with Southern Charm stars Craig Conover and Austen Kroll, the former Maxim cover model and daughter of hockey great Wayne Gretzky discussed her dating life before Johnson, with whom she’s been engaged since 2013.
“How I looked at it was like, I don’t ever want to date somebody that’s an athlete because, whether or not it was me or not, I felt like it was like an achievement for them,” she said per the New York Post.
“Being with me, dating me, whatever it was, it just didn’t feel authentic. I truly stayed away from athletes, I really did.”
Gretzky added that although she’d seen people “around where I was,” Johnson was her first “real” romance “through that world.”
“Dustin was the first person, I won’t talk about the other one before … I didn’t like that, really,” Gretzky said.
But Gretzky was also clear as can be when asked if she’s a “cleat chaser.”
“Fuck no,” she said.
The soon-to-be weds met in 2011, when Gretzky’s mom played alongside Johnson during a pro-am event.
“She told Dustin about her daughter, blah-blah-blah, and invited him to the house that night. I’m sure he was rolling his eyes, and so was I when my mom invited me over to meet this golfer she had just met,” Gretzky told Golf Digest in 2014.
“So I show up looking like a complete ragamuffin, and here’s this really cute guy. I didn’t stay long, but he was such a gentleman, so endearing. He’s always been that way to me. We exchanged numbers, and here we are.”
The couple have two children, 6-year-old Tatum and 4-year-old River. For Johnson, who recently became the first American to go undefeated at the 2021 Ryder Cup, family has superseded golf as life’s top priority.
“For me, golf was always the most important thing. And now, it’s Paulina and the kids. And they’ll always be the most important” Johnson said in a 2020 Golfweek story.
“Obviously, I love the game of golf, competing and playing. But they’re the most important thing.”