GCNI decided to sex itself up in a - literally - naked bid to attract a new generation of young readers. But the heady mix of female flesh and double entendres has seriously backfired, forcing a rethink after just two issues.Wouldn't you just loved to have been present for the meeting when they brainstormed these brand-building beauties:
Some golf clubs and organisations - such as the St Andrews Links Trust, which runs the world-famous Old Course - will no longer display the magazine in their clubhouses or practice ranges.
Readers have bombarded the magazine with protest letters, while some of the industry's leading advertisers have withdrawn their business. Among those leading the protests is the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, whose past-president David Williams said: "As golf course architects we used to look forward to the receipt of GCNI. The magazine was always a good read and very informative.
"But the sexed-up, dumbed-down relaunch is totally inappropriate for a serious professional magazine."
GCNI was launched 10 years ago by US company United Publications, but the changes emerged after the title was bought by new owners Seoul Nassau, a golf products firm.
The first new issue set the tone with a front cover depicting a blonde model in a black bikini top with a flaming golf ball disappearing down her cleavage. The justifying headline was: Women And Golf, The Burning Issue.
The edition also had a "world exclusive" on doctors prescribing more sex as an aid for playing better golf. But its most eye-catching feature was The Hunt For The Birdie Bucks. This was a piece on the female golfers most likely to be courted by marketing men - for their looks as much as their ability.
Italian professional Sophie Sandolo - known in her native country as "La Bod Bella" - was captured posing on a green in a revealing string dress while Australian Carlie Butler was photographed in a tight, red glittery top.
Issue two opened with an article on "shaft king" Jim Davey, who runs a custom golf club fitting company, and an advert for a ball-washing machine, illustrated by a naked model squeezing a bar of soap. A spot-the-difference competition asked readers to identify 10 changes in a picture of a bikini-clad model against the background of a golf course.
The revamped magazine has not gone down well in traditional golfing circles, with the St Andrews Links Trust saying it was unlikely to display it at its practice ground any longer.However, regarding GCNI's placement as toilet reading in the R&A clubhouse, Peter Dawson could not be reached for comment.
Note that the GCNI website has just been taken down (explaining the missing graphic above). Oh well...