Golf Digest Continues To Push The Envelope With This Topless Cover of Lexi Thompson

Do you like golf? Do you like topless golfers? If you answered ‘yes’ to both those questions, you’re in luck. This month’s edition of Golf Digest features 20-year-old LPGA star Lexi Thompson on the cover with a towel covering her breasts. It is the magazine’s annual “fitness and power” issue. Because you can’t say “fitness and power” fully clothed, apparently.

Around this time last year, Golf Digest had Paulina Gretzky (not a golfer) on the cover.

The year before that, they featured Golf Channel host Holly Sonders (also not a golfer, though she did play in college).

The magazine’s editor-in-chief Jerry Tarde issued this response titled “Mea Culpa, Ladies.”

I was not there. Lexi Thompson’s mother, Judy, was. The editors had cleared the room during what were called the delicate moments. But Lexi wasn’t the least bit self-conscious. When our Photographer-at-Large, Walter Iooss Jr., a veteran of 43 years of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues, began working with Lexi, someone asked Judy if she was OK with the shoot. Mom’s response was, “I am, but her middle brother won’t be!” That’s Curtis, the protective one, who attended LSU and plays the PGA Tour Canada.

Otherwise it was a pretty easy-going, drama-free shoot, all due to the confidence and self-assurance of our cover subject. As the saying goes, she looks like she can kick your butt and then kick your butt, which she did in a video series this month boxing with our interviewer while he peppered her with questions.

What does all this mean? Well, quite frankly, no one’s above using sex to sell. But some are more straightforward with it, some don’t hide under the guise of “fitness and power.”