'Golf Digest' Finds a Way to Fit in at Conde Nast

'Index' Spinoff Eschews Instruction for Luxury Lifestyle

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Conde Nast, already putting finishing touches on the first test issue of Vogue Living, is rolling out another special in an extension of its Golf Digest titles: Golf Digest Index.
Only subscribers with household incomes above $320,000 will receive 'Golf Digest Index.'
Only subscribers with household incomes above $320,000 will receive 'Golf Digest Index.'

The new title, which will be sent to 300,000 of Golf Digest's wealthiest readers next month and come out again twice next year, eschews golf instruction and celebrities of the sport in favor of -- you guessed it -- lifestyle coverage, all the better to attract luxury advertisers, a key base for most of Conde Nast's titles.

Beyond their own pages
Magazines, of course, are increasingly looking beyond their own pages for ways to sell ads, from creating spin-off titles or TV shows to publishing coffee-table books.

"We have the audience, but this broadens the editorial landscape of Golf Digest," said Thomas J. Bair, VP-publisher, Golf Digest, which primarily tells readers how, when and where to play. "This gives us a whole new approach to luxury automotive, apparel, luxury goods, private aviation."

The first edition of Index includes a story on Seth Waugh, CEO, Deutsche Bank, who was interviewed for the piece by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times. Other pages will address white-collar crime at golf clubs, discuss owning a plane for golf trips and present a fashion portfolio modeled by Matt Lauer and Bryant Gumbel.

New advertisers
First-issue advertisers range from Porsche Cars North America to Grey Goose. Many are new to Golf Digest books entirely, including Sentient Jet, Tourism Ireland, Nasdaq, Ashworth, Peter Millar and Vtech Communications. The issue will include 50 ad pages out of a total 156 pages, including covers.

Its recipients have already been notified they've made the cut -- household incomes above $320,000 -- and told to look out for Golf Digest Index, which will arrive separately from the mother title.

Whether Golf Digest Index will ever go beyond two issues a year or even spin off entirely remains an open question, to be answered after results are in from the first few issues. "First and foremost, you'll probably see us testing it on newsstand next year," Mr. Bair said. "Slow, methodical, strategic growth is much more important to me than just throwing out a big magazine and collecting all those ad pages."
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