Bunker Mentality

Behind-the-scenes of very controversial Golf Digest cover shoot

Bunker Mentality

Even Paulina Gretzky probably underestimated how controversial her cover shoot would be for the May edition of Golf Digest's magazine.

Gretzky, the daughter of legendary ice hockey star Wayne Gretzky's and fiance of PGA Tour player Dustin Johnson, courted plenty of criticism for the provocative cover which left female stars and members of the public outraged and dismayed.

The video above provides a sneak peek behind-the-scenes perspective of the making of the polarising cover shoot, which left LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan "disappointed" and "frustrated".

"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 said.

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Paulina Gretzky's Golf Digest Cover

The fact that she is the fiancée of world top 10 golfer Johnson and once appeared in a golf advert might give her a bit credibility, Bunker Mentality supposes.

But let's face it, that isn't what Golf Digest magazine's editors were thinking of when they dressed her in a sports bra and skin-tight tracksuit bottoms and asked her to pose provocatively for their photographer.

And so perhaps it's unsurprising that some of the best women golfers in the world have been queueing up to grumble about the saucy cover shoot for the American magazine.

World number three Stacy Lewis told the New York Times that it is "frustrating", and explained that "we'd like to see a little respect for the women's game."

Serial Major winner Inbee Park was philosophical about the cover, saying that it's, "just been the way it is for over 20, 30 years."

Veteran star Angela Stanford had a different take on the matter: she didn't have a problem with using a scantily-clad woman on the cover of the magazine, but rued the fact that it wasn't a pro golfer.

"You know the old saying, sex sells. And nobody can argue with that. It's just the way it is," she said in an interview with USA Today.

Paulina Gretzky's Golf World slideshow

"But the LPGA has some attractive women and very fit women, so why not use them? I'm just baffled by it."

US golf legend Juli Inkster was cross chiefly because the magazine has splashed the likes of Kate Upton on the cover in recent months, but hasn't had a woman golfer on the cover in six years (Mexico's Lorena Ochoa was the one to earn that accolade).

"It’s frustrating because it’s Golf Digest; it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue. I think they should maybe recognize some of the great women golfers that we have," she told the New York Times.

"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 magazine's editor-in-chief Jerry Tarde defended the decision to put the 25-year-old model on the front of his magazine, saying, "Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell," while adding that the magazine has often featured celebrities as well as touring professionals.

And there, at the bottom of his explanation, was a link to a slideshow with 17 more pictures from the cover shoot.

Because why settle for a few extra magazine sales when you can also deliver some failsafe internet click-bait as well?

What do you think: are magazines entitled to attract the masses with covers that appeal to a wide audience or should they reflect their subject matter more respectfully? Post your views below...

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