Natalie Gulbis Sexy FHM Photo Spread
She Can Swing A Club, Too
Natalie Gulbis’ sexy photo spreads are ruffling feathers in golf
With rare exceptions, the ladies of the Ladies Professional Golf Assn. Tour are not the sort of half-dressed hotties who fill the pages of laddie magazines. Then there’s Natalie Gulbis. The 21-year-old tour pro steams up the November issue of FHM magazine with a photo spread that includes outfits seldom seen on the greens and an interview that poses such burning long-game questions as: “Can you tell anything about a guy by the length of his drive?”
Gulbis’ decision to pose for FHM wasn’t one she came to alone, however. A PR firm, retained by the LPGA, aided in soliciting the shoot, as it did an offer for Gulbis to appear on Howard Stern’s radio gabfest. (Gulbis turned that one down.) “As our players become recognizable celebrities, more unconventional media outlets are becoming interested. If Natalie is comfortable [posing in FHM], we’re supportive of the decision” says Commissioner Ty Votaw, who has been urging players to leverage their looks and charm, as well as their swings.
FHM isn’t the first place Gulbis has bared her navel for fun and profit. In July the 21-year-old golfer’s calendar was pulled from souvenir shelves at the U.S. Women’s Open when officials of the U.S. Golf Assn. deemed it too risquÃƒ©. “I’m wearing bathing suits and workout clothes, basically. Besides the USGA, I haven’t heard the word ‘provocative’ used about the calendars,” says Gulbis, who seems genuinely baffled by the hubbub.
Gulbis and her advisers, led by her dad, John, have turned her sex appeal into one of the more impressive marketing machines on the LPGA Tour. Her deals with, among others, TaylorMade-adidas, Titleist, MET-Rx, GeniSoy, and EA Sports will generate more than a half-million dollars this year, according to John.
The attention also has gained Gulbis new cachet with fans. Her Web site, nataliegulbis.com, where visitors can join a booster club, examine her pinup poses, or buy a calendar, has logged a half-million hits in 2004. She pockets up to $15,000 for about six corporate outings a year. And the LPGA loves to feature her for publicity purposes. This year the tour slapped her likeness, along with those of two other players, on its LPGA-sponsored race car at the Daytona 500. Not bad, considering that in three years on the ladies’ tour, she hasn’t won a tourney and ranked 42nd on the money list in the 2004 season, with $277,000.
“KEEP IT CLEAN”
Gulbis, a golfing prodigy who grew up in Sacramento and won the California amateur title at age 14, is undeniably serious about her game. During the off-season she can spend hours in the gym and then end the workout with a five-mile jog. She sweats almost as much at the course. Her swing coach, Butch Harmon, Tiger Woods’s former golf guru, has helped her add distance to her drives, but the analytical Gulbis isn’t satisfied. She points out that she ranked a respectable 20th in birdies collected this year but still finished well down the earnings list. “That’s kind of an interesting stat. It tells me I need to work harder on my short game,” she says.
Her father gave the nod to the FHM photo shoot but was there to “keep it clean” and tasteful. “This is an athlete, an LPGA professional. We’re not looking for a ‘skin’ type of thing,” he says. “No way she’s wearing underwear or a negligee.” Still, some of the outfits don’t leave a whole lot to the imagination. With Gulbis leading the way, the LPGA seems intent on shedding its dowdy image, even if that means showing off more than a smooth putting stroke.
For most guys, golf provides a well-deserved four-hour vacation from their girlfriends. And though no sane man would turn down a date with professional golfer Natalie Gulbis, pity that same man when he finds out his new girl can out-drive him. Ã¢€œItÃ¢€™s an ego thing to hit the ball long,Ã¢€ says the 21-year-old LPGA rising star.
Today, Natalie has traded her golf shorts for less formal attire to do her FHM shoot at Trump National Golf Club on the shores of Southern California. Ã¢€œNormally you use sand for the sand trap,Ã¢€ says the former University of Arizona First Team All-American. Ã¢€œTrump used crushed marble. Only the best for Donald.Ã¢€
Some sample photos:
See also Natalie Gulbis Heats Up the Fairway (ESPN)
She’s blond, tanned, toned, and she’s a professional golfer. Yeah … and Natalie Gulbis can kick your butt on the golf course. Pick yourselves up off the green and get back in your carts, men. Natalie Gulbis is for real. The 21-year-old LPGA rising star, who played on the guys’ golf team in high school, is not letting her sex symbol status go to her head. Gulbis is all about staying on course — even when she’s posing for her 2005 steamy calendar (complete with biniki-clad-posing-on-the-green shots), or in a hot photo spread for the November issue of “FHM.” But that’s totally normal, right?
At 4-years-old, Gulbis found her way to the golf course by tagging along with her Pops. By age 7, she had won her first tournament, and by 10 was breaking par. Now, the former University of Arizona First-Team All-American is looking to add to her $700,000 in career earnings.
INHD, cableÃ¢€™s most widely distributed all high-definition network, will team with leading menÃ¢€™s magazine FHM for a Ã¢€œbehind-the-cameraÃ¢€ original series shot in the high-definition format. FHM Uncovered will offer a scintillating, behind-the-scenes look at photo shoots of some of the worldÃ¢€™s sexiest women. The debut episode of FHM Uncovered, which will air later this year, will highlight FHMÃ¢€™s photo shoot with LPGA star Natalie Gulbis featured in the November issue of the magazine, on sale nationwide Tuesday, October 12, 2004. INHD has planned for four 30-minute episodes.
FHM Uncovered joins a growing list of original high-definition programming recently announced by INHD including, Go!, Cathedrals of the Game, The Samsung Concert Series and Hollywood Walks. INHD leads all high-definition networks in the creation of native high-def programming and has pledged to provide 100 hours of original content each month.
Ã¢€œPhoto shoots have always made for popular programming. Anyone who enjoys these types of shows is in for a big surprise, as our partnership with FHM allows us to deliver the most beautiful women in the world as they were made to be seen — in high-definition,Ã¢€ said David Asch, Senior Vice President of Programming for iN DEMAND Networks. Ã¢€œFHM captures the worldÃ¢€™s most celebrated women in spectacular photographs and has distinguished itself for its signature cover images and portfolios of todayÃ¢€™s hottest celebrities, including Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez and Alyssa Milano, to name a few.Ã¢€
Andrew Ormson, FHMÃ¢€™s General Manager, added, Ã¢€œWeÃ¢€™re excited to be partnering with INHD to provide a backstage pass to FHM photo shoots. FHM Uncovered will give viewers the opportunity to experience up-close and personal the reality of shooting the worldÃ¢€™s most beautiful women for the worldÃ¢€™s fastest growing menÃ¢€™s magazine.Ã¢€