Paulina Gretzky has sparked a controversy with her appearance of an upcoming Golf Digest cover, which shows her in a bikini top as she leans forward on a golf club.
Some LPGA players are speaking up about the magazine’s decision to include the daughter of former NHL great Wayne Gretzky instead of one of tour’s actual professional golfers.
It has been six years since a female player was featured on the cover of Golf Digest, and the last two women to be shown were Golf Channel anchor Holly Wonders and model Kate Upton.
The magazine has defended its decision to put Paulina Gretzky on the cover, arguing that she “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.”
But many LPGA player aren’t buying the explanation.
“It’s frustrating for female golfers,” Stacy Lewis, the No. 3-ranked player in the world, told USA Today. “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.”
But others understood why Paulina Gretzky was selected. Golfer Angela Stanford said the magazine’s bottom line is to make sales, though said there are plenty of LPGA players who could have fit the bill.
“The question is who are they trying to sell to?” 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.”
Paulina Gretzky herself is a veteran of many magazine covers and for sharing racy photos through social media. She was once even banned by her father from sharing after some particularly racy photos gained attention in 2011.