Magazine Fires Editor Over Noose Image
Dave Seanor, vice president and editor who took responsibility for the noose cover of the Jan. 19 issue, was replaced by Jeff Babineau.
'We apologize for creating this graphic cover that received extreme negative reaction from consumers, subscribers and advertisers across the country,' Turnstile Publishing Co. president William J. Kupper Jr. said. 'We were trying to convey the controversial issue with a strong and provocative graphic image. It is now obvious that the overall reaction to our cover deeply offended many people. For that, we are deeply apologetic.'
Turnstile is the parent company of Golfweek, which has a circulation of about 160,000.
Golfweek removed its Jan. 19 issue from its booth at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla., while Babineau made the rounds on news talk shows to offer more apologies. The magazine also removed the cover from its Web site.
PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem called the Golfweek cover 'outrageous and irresponsible' and accused the magazine of tabloid journalism. He distanced himself from the firing of Seanor with a statement from the PGA TOUR that Finchem merely was responding to an inquiry, and that his comments were not a 'call to action.'
Woods, out of public view for the last month, makes his 2008 debut on the PGA TOUR next week at the Buick Invitational, where GOLF CHANNEL anchor Kelly Tilghman returns from a two-week suspension.
Woods has not spoken publicly, although his agent said in a statement through GOLF CHANNEL last week that Woods and Tilghman are friends, and 'we know unequivocally that there was no ill intent in her comments.'
The episode began Jan. 4 during the second round of the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship when Tilghman and analyst Nick Faldo were discussing possible challengers to Woods.
Faldo suggested that 'to take Tiger on, maybe they should just gang up (on him) for a while.'
'Lynch him in a back alley,' Tilghman said, laughing.
GOLF CHANNEL issued a statement four days later to say it regretted the comment and that Tilghman had apologized to Woods. But when the Rev. Al Sharpton demanded on CNN that she be fired, GOLF CHANNEL suspended Tilghman for two weeks.
The Golfweek cover shows a noose against a purple sky with the title, 'Caught in a Noose.' The subtitle said, 'Tilghman slips up, and Golf Channel can't wriggle free.' For many, the noose is symbol of lynchings in the Old South. According to Tuskeege University, 3,466 blacks were lynched in the United States from 1882 to 1968.
The magazine devoted four pages of news and commentary on the topic, including a column on the back page supporting Tilghman and asking that the controversy be kept in context.
In an editorial, the magazine explained why it felt the Tilghman story deserved so much attention. It was accompanied by a cartoon that showed Sharpton holding a noose and offering it to a pair of Golf Channel employees staring into a hole of thin ice, presumably where Tilghman had been standing.
The harshest criticism came from Finchem. The PGA TOUR is in the second year of an unprecedented 15-year contract with GOLF CHANNEL to broadcast its weekday coverage and full coverage of 14 tournaments.
'Clearly, what Kelly said was inappropriate and unfortunate, and she obviously regrets her choice of words,' Finchem said in a statement. 'But we consider Golfweek's imagery of a swinging noose on its cover to be outrageous and irresponsible. It smacks of tabloid journalism. It was a naked attempt to inflame and keep alive an incident that was heading to an appropriate conclusion.'
The TOUR issued a statement Friday that said Finchem's comments were 'a response to an inquiry and an expression of the TOUR's dissatisfaction with Golfweek's choice of a cover image.' The TOUR said Golfweek's decision on its editorial leadership was an internal matter.
Meanwhile, CBSSports.com reported Thursday that Jack Peter, chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame, said tour officials had told the magazine it might withdraw $50,000 in advertisements for the World Golf Village.
'Jack was not speaking on behalf of the PGA TOUR,' spokesman Ty Votaw said Friday. 'I can categorically tell you the PGA TOUR has not threatened any advertising pull.'
Among the tour's corporate marketing partners is Golf Digest Publications, which publishes the weekly magazine Golf World, a competitor of Golfweek.
'We have partnerships with a lot of media companies,' Votaw said. 'This was an editorial decision that Tim was expressing an opinion about. I don't think anyone should read anything else into it. It was simply a reaction to the image on the cover.'
Babineau has worked for Golfweek the last nine years as editor, deputy editor and senior writer.
'We know we have a job ahead of us to re-earn the trust and confidence of many loyal readers,' he said. 'Our staff is very passionate about the game. Our wish is that one regretful error does not erase more than 30 years of service we've dedicated to this industry.'
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
LeBron's son tries golf, and he might be good at everything
LeBron James' son seems well on his way to a successful basketball career of his own. To wit:
But with just a little work, he could pass on trying to surpass his father and try to take on Tiger and Jack, instead.
Bronny posted this video to Instagram of him in sandals whacking balls off a mat atop a deck into a large body of water, which is the golfer's definition of living your best life.
If you listen closely, at the end of the clip, you can just barely hear someone scream out for a marine biologist.
Sponsored: Callaway's 'Golf Lives: Home Course'
In this original series, Callaway sets out to profile unique golf locations around the country based on their stories, communities and the characters that surround them. The golf cultures across the series are remarkably diverse, yet in all cases it's the course itself that unifies and ignites the passions of those who play.
“Golf Lives: Home Course” focuses on three distinct home courses across the country – one in D.C., one in Nebraska and one in Portland, Ore. All have very different golf cultures, but are connected by a deep love of the game.
Click here for a look at all three episodes in the series, as well as past Golf Lives films (check out the trailer below).
And here’s a breakdown of the three courses in focus:
Langston Golf Course (Washington, D.C.)
Opened in June 1939, Langston is steeped in a rich history. Known for its triumphant role in the desegregation of public golf, the course has been integral to the growth of the game’s popularity among African Americans. With its celebratory feel, Langston shows us golf is not unifies individuals, but generations.
Edgefield Golf Course (Portland, Ore.)
The air is fresh, the beers are cold and the vibes are electric at Edgefield. You'd be hard pressed to find a more laid back, approachable and enjoyable environment for a round. Overlooking stunning panoramic views of northeast Portland, two par-3 pub courses (12 holes and 20 holes) wind through vineyards, thickets of blackberry bushes and a vintage distillery bar. All are welcome at Edgefield, especially those who have never swung a club.
Wild Horse Golf Club (Gothenburg, Neb.)
In 1997, the locals and farmers living in the tight-knit town of Gothenburg decided to build a golf course. A bank loan, a couple of tractors, and a whole lotta sweat-equity later, their prairieland masterpiece is now considered one of the best in the country. Wild Horse is the soul of the community, providing unforgettable memories for all who play it.
Pepperell likely sews up Masters invite via OWGR
Eddie Pepperell received a trophy for his win Sunday at the British Masters, but another prize will be coming in the mail at the end of the year.
Pepperell held on to win by two shots at rainy Walton Heath, giving him his second win of the year to go along with a pair of runner-ups. The Englishman started the year ranked No. 133 in the world and was as low as 513th in May 2017. But with the win, Pepperell jumped 17 spots to a career-best 33rd in the latest world rankings.
It means that Pepperell, who finished T-6 at The Open while fighting a hangover in the final round, is in line to make his Masters debut next spring, as the top 50 in the world rankings at the end of the calendar year become exempt into the season's first major.
Another player now in the mix for that top-50 exemption is Emiliano Grillo, who went from 62nd to 49th with a T-2 finish at the PGA Tour's CIMB Classic. Grillo has played in two Masters but missed this year's event. Marc Leishman moved up eight spots to No. 16 with his win in Malaysia, while T-2s result moved Chesson Hadley from 75th to 60th and Bronson Burgoon from 162nd to 102nd.
There were no changes among the top 10 in the latest rankings, with Dustin Johnson still ahead of Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. Francesco Molinari remains in sixth, with Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth rounding out the top 10.
Both Koepka and Thomas are in the field at this week's CJ Cup in South Korea, where they will have an opportunity to overtake Johnson for world No. 1.
With his next competitive start unknown, Tiger Woods stayed at No. 13 for another week.
USGA, R&A unveil new limits on green books
Following a six-week feedback period, the USGA and R&A unveiled a new interpretation of the Rules of Golf and the use of green-reading materials on Monday.
The interpretation limits the size and scale of putting green books and any electronic or digital materials that a player may use to assist with green reading.
“We’re thankful for everyone’s willingness to provide feedback as we worked through the process of identifying a clear interpretation that protects the essential skill of reading a green, while still allowing for information that helps golfers enjoy the game,” said Thomas Pagel, the USGA’s senior managing director of governance.
Players will be allowed to continue to use green-reading books beginning in 2019, but the new interpretation will limit images of greens to a scale of 3/8 inch to 5 yards (1:480), and books can be no larger than 4 1/4 inches by 7 inches (pocket-sized). The interpretation also bans the use of magnification devices beyond normal prescription glasses.
The USGA and R&A will allow for hand-drawn notes in green books as long as those notes are written by the player or their caddie. The rule makers also dropped a proposal that would have limited the minimum slope to four percent in green-reading material.
“These latest modifications provide very practical changes that make the interpretation easier to understand and apply in the field,” Pagel said.