The folks at Golf Digest insist that putting a celebrity like Paulina Gretzky on the cover is nothing new. In fact, just a few months ago, Kate Upton was fronting the December 2013 issue alongside Arnold Palmer.
But via New York Times sportswriter Karen Crouse, several LPGA stars have expressed their disappointment with this latest example of media-business-as-usual:
“It’s frustrating for female golfers,” said two-time Major winner Stacy Lewis. “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…”
“It’s frustrating because it’s Golf Digest; it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue,” added Julie Inkster. “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.”
The May 2014 issue of Golf Digest hits newsstands April 15. The iPad version will be available a week earlier, starting April 8.
At press time, there are 441 reader comments below the magazine’s posting of the Gretzky cover shoot photos, including:
Rushdey: I am a longtime subscriber and I will not be a hypocrite and lie that I will not look at this issue and this photo shoot. But I must chime in and ask Golf Digest to step up and feature more LPGA players. They are very entertaining, I have attended several LPGA events and enjoy their tour. I do not agree with this cover choice but understand why you are using it. I do not want to judge for this issue but am looking to see how you handle the controversy it has stirred. There are numerous LPGA golfers who are also fit, and hope they will be featured soon.
Update (3:15 p.m.):
Ms. Gretzky has gone fully meta, via a Golf Digest blog round-up of media and Twitter reaction.