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LPGA members angered by Paulina Gretzky's steamy cover shoot for Golf Digest

Paulina Gretzky during a photo shoot for Golf Digest
Paulina Gretzky during a photo shoot for Golf Digest
Walter Iooss Jr./Golf Digest

Usually cool, water hazards are nothing new to golfers; but this time it is one of the sport’s predominate magazines that finds itself in hot water.

The May issue of Golf Digest will feature a scantily-clad Paulina Gretzky, fiancée of PGA golfer Dustin Johnson and daughter of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, on the cover; drawing the ire of many LPGA players.

Top ranked American golfer Stacy Lewis expressed her frustration to the New York Times on Friday.

“It’s frustrating for female golfers,” said Lewis. “It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been. 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.”

A former number one female player in the world, Lewis has never been featured on the cover of the magazine. In fact, no female golfer has since 2008 (Lauren Ochoa).

Golf Digest was quick to defend their choice.

“Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine's beginning," said editor-in-chief Jerry Tarde. “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."

Longtime LPGA player, World Golf Hall-of-Famer and former Golf Digest cover girl (Oct. 1992) Juli Inkster was also displeased with the selection.

“It’s frustrating because it’s Golf Digest; it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue,” said Inkster. “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?”

In fact, the last female to appear on the cover prior to Gretzky, was Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model Kate Upton, who appeared with golf legend Arnold Palmer this past December.

You can view more photos from Gretzky’s scintillating and controversial shoot here.

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