LPGA members and others are upset with Golf Digest over its cover photo for the forthcoming issue featuring Paulina Gretzky, daughter of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and fiancée of Dustin Johnson, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour.
Critics say the cover – which features Gretzky in white yoga pants and matching sports bra – is clearly designed to sell magazines with sex, and disrespects women's golf, reports The New York Times
. An aspiring singer-model-actress, Gretzky recently landed a bit part in a TaylorMade golf club commercial, and has appeared on the cover of Maxim magazine, but is primarily known for her "racy" and "scantily clad" Twitter and Instagram photos, according to Business Insider
"It’s frustrating because it’s Golf Digest; it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue," said World Golf Hall of Famer Juli Inkster.
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She's one of just 11 women to have appeared alone on the cover of the magazine since 1969. "I think they should maybe recognize some of the great women golfers that we have. It’s like, what do you have to do to get a little respect? I’m guaranteeing you right now, it was not a woman editor who chose that cover."
At the Kraft Nabisco Championship last week, reporters asked the world's number one-ranked Inbee Park what she thought of the cover. "That's just been the way it is for over 20, 30 years," she said shrugging. She has never appeared on the cover, but did say "I think I’ve been in many Golf Digests in Korea. I think that still counts as a Golf Digest."
Stacy Lewis, who was briefly number one last year, has also never been on the cover.
"It’s frustrating for female golfers," she said. "It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been. We don’t get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines. But at the same time you’d like to see a little respect for the women’s game."
Editor in Chief of Golf Digest Jerry Tarde defended the cover, saying, "Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine’s beginning. Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell. She also might get some new people interested in the game."
Inkster fired back, pointing out the double standard in having a golfer's girlfriend on the cover. "O.K., so I think next month the cover should be Paula Creamer’s fiancé, who’s a fighter pilot, or Brittany Lincicome’s hot boyfriend, who’s a long-drive hitter. Put one of them on there."
The new issue of Golf Digest arrives April 15, but a tablet edition will be available on April 8.
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