Paulina Gretzky is on the cover of the May 2014 issue of “Golf Digest,” and that has left some LPGA golfers frustrated.
Gretzky is only tangentially linked to golf through her fiancee, Dustin Johnson, so the selection of her to appear on the cover as opposed to other women who actually play on tour and win events is troubling for some.
Stacy Lewis, who has won two majors, expressed frustration to The New York Times.
“It’s frustrating for female golfers,” Lewis said via The Times. “It’s the state of where we’ve always been. We don’t get the respect for being the golfers we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines, but at the same time you like to see a little respect for the women’s game.”
Golfer Juli Inkster is similarly frustrated.
“It’s frustrating because it’s Golf Digest, it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue,” Inkster told the New York Times. “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.”
She’s right — Jerry Tarde is the magazine’s editor in chief. He explained the decision to put The Little Great One on the cover.
“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.”
The Times notes that Golf Channel personality Holly Saunders and supermodel Kate Upton (who posed alongside Arnold Palmer) were the last two women to appear on the cover. The last LPGA tour winner to appear on the cover was Lorena Ochoa in 2008.
Look, they can be frustrated over the decision and everyone understands why. Putting Paulina on the cover of “Golf Digest” is a stretch. But they’re a media company and in the business of selling magazines and attracting eyeballs. Putting Paulina on the cover accomplishes that. End of story.
At least Paulina does have some support:
— Holly Sonders (@HollySondersGC) April 3, 2014