Golf isn’t exactly the sexiest of sports. And unlike certain other sports titles, Golf Digest isn’t known for attempting to spice up its guy-dominated subject with attractive female cover models. So it’ll probably raise a few eyebrows that the magazine put Kate Upton—definitely not a staple of the golfing world—on its December cover alongside legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.
The issue, which hits newsstands next week, features Upton modeling clingy golf attire while getting pointers on her swing from the 84-year-old Palmer, who wrote an essay about the experience (making sure to mention that he had gotten a hug from his model student).
As it turns out, Upton and Palmer knew each other through Upton’s manager, whose father was an old golfing buddy of Palmer’s. “She’s has been around golf since she was a kid but has played the game only once a year, in family tournaments at Christmastime,” said Golf Digest editor in chief Jerry Tarde. “Now 21 and looking for some lessons, she took a crash course from Arnie at his home club.”
Most importantly: What guy-targeted magazine wouldn’t put Kate Upton on its cover? (Then again, she doesn't do badly for women's magazine covers, either: Her June Vogue cover was up more than 30 percent in newsstand sales versus the previous year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.)
In addition to the Upton/Palmer cover story, the issue contains Golf Digest’s second annual Golfers Who Give Back philanthropy package. This year, the magazine is also debuting Giving: The Annual Charity Report, a nine-page advertising section with the PGA Tour. Sponsors include Avis, Humana and Zurich.