Golf Digest has now gone back-to-back issues without putting a pro golfer on the cover. Last month’s Paulina Gretzky issue drew fire for disrespecting the women’s game, promoting a celebutante in lieu of an LPGA star. The last member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association to Grace Golf Digest’s cover was Lorena Ochoa back in 2008.
The cover mantle of the June issue goes to newly minted Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon whose bona fides includes losing to Cameron Diaz in a game of his own invention dubbed “roller golf.”
The New York Times opined on the 64 year old magazine’s concerted push to reinvent itself in order to connect with millennial-aged golfers “It contains articles about smoking marijuana on the course, ways to enhance a golf cart with music-busting Bluetooth speakers, a core workout exercise, and a single South African golf hole that costs $175 to play but includes a helicopter ride from the tee to the green” writes Bill Pennington.
The 18-34 demographic is the sweet spot coveted by most advertisers so GD’s decision to skew young isn’t a surprise. But in a survey of 1,020 male golfers in that bracket that the magazine conducted there were some humdingers. While most view nine-holes or hitting a bucket at the range as their go-to golf experience, a departure from the full round favored by older golfers 51% of respondents aspired to a country club membership and 94% said they followed the rules closely when they played so they’re not so different from boomer golfers after all.