Covers of Golf Digest frustrating LPGA

Wearing only a bra and tight, white work out pants while holding a golf club, is Paulina Gretzky posed for the next edition of the Golf Digest magazine which prides itself as “the authority on how to play, what to play and where to play.”

Although Gretzky is not a professional golfer herself, she is engaged to one, Dustin Johnson, and is the daughter of former professional hockey player Wayne Gretzky.  In the issue, she will be demonstrating six golf-exercises and speaking about her connections in the sports world, according to a USA Today article.

The last professional woman golf player to appear on the cover was Lorena Ochoa in 2008.  Women who have recently been featured on the cover were Golf Channel anchor Holly Sonders and Sports Illustrated issue cover girl Kate Upton.

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is getting frustrated by this because the women are not receiving the attention they deserve.

“That’s just been the way it is for over 20, 30 years,” golfer Inbee Park said.  “We are trying to get closer to the guys (in popularity), but obviously we are never going to get there. That’s for sure. The LPGA is getting better and better.”

However, those working at Golf Digest believe Gretzky is a good choice for the cover since she is the fiancée of one of the top golfers.

“Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine’s beginning,” the publication’s editor in chief Jerry Tarde said, according to CNN.  “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.”

From the seductive cover, it seems as if Gretzky will be getting the attention of many men, or women, which is what the publication may be trying to do.

“The question is who are they trying to sell to?”  Professional golfer Angela Stanford said.  “If the answer is men 25 years old through 45 years old, then I guess that’s what they have to do. You know the old saying, sex sells. And nobody can argue with that. It’s just the way it is. But the LPGA has some attractive women and very fit women, so why not use them? I’m just baffled by it.”

Stanford makes a good point: Why can’t they feature some of the attractive women from the LPGA to be on the cover?  It would make more sense since the magazine is supposed to be for golf.  Also, having an actual female golf player on the cover would be fair since they could be getting more public attention for something they deserve rather than being overshadowed by a good-looking model holding a golf club.

The magazine started in 1950 and has only featured women on the cover 21 times (including Gretzky).  The first time a woman appeared on it was in 1969.

Hopefully, the LPGA will receive the recognition they have worked hard for since they are constantly improving.  They deserve the same attention as male golfers and this should have been the case a while ago.

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