Gretzky golf cover causes anger

The world's top female golf players and officials have reacted angrily to the decision by one of America's best-known sport magazines, Golf Digest, to feature model Paulina Gretzky on the cover of their May issue.

Gretzky, the daughter of ice hockey star Wayne Gretzky, is not a professional golfer but is engaged to eight-time PGA tour winner Dustin Johnson.

Critics have condemned the "frustrating" move, claiming it undermines women's golf and disrespects the game's prominent players.

The photos of Gretzky, 25, clad in white yoga pants and matching sports bra, appeared ahead of the first women's major of the season in California.

Mike Whan, the LPGA Tour commissioner, said he was "disappointed and frustrated" by the editorial direction and timing of the cover.

“If a magazine called Golf Digest is interested in showcasing females in the game, yet consistently steers away from the true superstars who've made history over the last few years, something is clearly wrong," he told a British newspaper.

"Growing the game means a need for more role models and in these exciting times for women's golf, the LPGA is overflowing with them."

LPGA Tour players Stacy Lewis and Juli Inkster have also hit out at the magazine, saying it misrepresents LPGA golfers in mainstream media.

“It's frustrating for female golfers. It's kind of the state of where we've always been," world number three Lewis, told the New York Times.

"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.”

Inkster, seven-time major champion and current captain of the US Solheim Cup team, said: “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."

In a blog post on Golf Digest's website, editor SamWeinman defended the magazine's decision.

"She is a certified celebrity within the golf world...she's an attractive, fit woman who... is fairly new to golf, and she seemed a natural cover subject for our second annual issue devoted to fitness."

Former LPGA Tour star Lorena Ochoa was the last female professional to appear on the magazine's cover in 2008.

 

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