Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and the fiancée of golfer Dustin Johnson, is on the cover of Golf Digest’s “fit” issue this month.
After the Golf Digest cover was released on Thursday, some prominent LPGA golfers criticised the magazine’s decision.
LPGA players say that the cover is representative for the general lack of respect for the women’s game.
Stacy Lewis, the No. 3-ranked player in the world, told the New York Times that it’s frustrating:
“It’s frustrating for female golfers. 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.”
“That’s just been the way it is for over 20, 30 years. 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.”
Angela Stanford told USA Today that she thinks there were plenty of options if the magazine wanted to put a female golfer on the cover, “But the LPGA has some attractive women and very fit women, so why not use them? I’m just baffled by it.”
Juli Inkster told the New York Times that she understands the decision, but is still frustrated by it:
“It’s frustrating because it’s Golf Digest; it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue. I think they should maybe recognise 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 last three women to land Golf Digest covers are Gretzky, Kate Upton, and Golf Channel’s Holly Sonders. The last LPGA player to get the cover was Lorena Ochoa in 2008.
In a blog post titled, “What’s Paulina Gretzky doing on the cover of Golf Digest?” the magazine’s editor in chief explained, “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.”
That’s all true. Gretzky has been a fixture at tournaments for over a year. She’s already covered like crazy by golf bloggers. She was in a TaylorMade commercial. So it’s not like Golf Digest is creating something out of nothing here.
But this debate isn’t really about Paulina, it’s about representation of LPGA golfers in the mainstream golf media.
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