Paige Spiranac gracing Golf Digest cover over Lydia Ko draws ire (pics)
Golf Digest has once again found itself in the midst of another cover controversy after Paige Spiranac headlined its “Futurists” issue — dressed and posing provocatively — with some members of the women’s golf community arguing that Lydia Ko instead was the more deserving choice.
World Golf Hall of Famer Juli Inkster blasted the magazine for choosing Spiranac over Ko, suggesting the 18-year-old No. 1 player in the world deserved being the face of the future of women’s golf, not the 23-year-old Internet sensation.
“You look at what Lydia Ko’s doing, and why isn’t she on the cover?” Inkster said, via Golf Channel.
Ko has yet to grace the cover of Golf Digest.
“I know that stuff sells, and they are in the business of selling magazines, but I think people could learn more in an article about Lydia,” Inkster added. “It’s kind of where our society is right now. I don’t agree with it, but it’s their magazine and they can do what they want.”
Spiranac, a social media sensation who counts more than 670,000 followers on Instagram, took to the site Tuesday to thank the magazine for featuring her on the cover.
I’m so honored to say that I’ve landed on the May cover of @GolfDigest! The issue has an awesome article about “Futurists” and how people today are changing golf. I know you’ll love it! Follow @GolfDigest and click on the link in their bio for your chance to win a signed copy! I also know I wouldn’t be in this position today without my social media family. Thank you to all the other accounts who have featured me before and those who follow. I honestly can’t believe how this has all come about but I appreciate the support and love more than you will ever know so thank you so much for everything
Stacy Lewis, who said she hasn’t seen the cover, similarly seemed irked by the Spiranac choice.
“You look across other platforms, I feel like people are starting to take notice of us as players and us as athletes, but Golf Digest seems to be the anomaly,” she said.
Ko, meanwhile, seemed to feel all the controversy was much ado about nothing, even engaging in a brief Twitter conversation with Spirinac (via The Big Lead):
Spiranac also added this on Twitter:
You can thank me @LydiaKo, those silver pants weren’t very comfortable! You’ll be much more comfortable for the cover shoot you deserve
— Paige Spiranac (@PaigeSpiranac) April 21, 2016
As was the case in years past with covers featuring the photogenic Lexi Thompson and Paulina Gretzky, Golf Digest appears inclined to do whatever it takes to sell issues, even if using provocative and suggestive covers generates controversy … which in a way only draws more attention.