For those of you who find programming on The Golf Channel to be as exciting as a trip to the DMV, I'd like to give you the heads-up on something that might make you pause the clicker. Starting Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, "The Natalie Gulbis Show" returns for its second season.
The 23-year-old Sacramento, Calif., native has been on our radar for quite some time. Not only is she a rising star on the LPGA Tour -- while she's still searching for her first tournament win, she's 15th on the money list this year with over $675,000 in winnings -- she has all the makings of the next Page 2 Hottest Female Athlete. Early polls suggest this could be a landslide victory and a win in 2007 would solidify an unyielding trend of beauts from the University of Arizona (see: Jennie Finch '03 and Amanda Beard '05).
But at Page 2, the Hottest crown is not something we take lightly, so on the eve of her reality show, we decided to get real with Natalie and lob her a few softballs so Page 2 Nation can get to know the candidate. After all, nobody is assured a spot on this roster -- not even a 5-foot-9 blonde beauty who can outdrive you.
Page 2: Do you have any favorite reality shows?
Natalie: I like "America's Next Top Model" and "Deal or No Deal."
Have you ever cried watching "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition"? Be honest.
Nope. I've never seen that show.
What? You know, with the host that kind of looks like Kato Kaelin? Anyway, rumor has it you are building a custom motorcycle; where does "American Chopper" rank on your reality list?
Now that's a great show! I love seeing the finished product. Me and my dad are really into that.
Do you have more in common with tennis starlet Anna Kournikova, or reality TV and music star Jessica Simpson?
Anna Kournikova because she was an athlete but I did watch "Newlyweds."
I don't know if the athlete argument is going to work on that one.
Well, I'm flattered that people compare me to Anna Kournikova; either way, she is beautiful.
Like Anna and Jessica, you too have your own style. Tell me about golf course chic.
I'm really excited to wear dresses next year on the golf course. Right now I wear skorts and ClimaCool tops from adidas -- they are so comfortable and cute. One of my best friends' mom makes my earrings and jewelry to match every outfit and my friend made ribbons in every color that have my logo name and favorite quote on each one.
If you were a rock star, what would you wear on stage?
If I was a rock star jean skirts, tall boots and cute T-shirts.
You're addicted to your iPod. What are three of your playlist names?
Workout, Nats Favorites and StartUp.
If you were forced to listen to one CD over and over, for a week straight, which would you choose?
Any of Mariah Carey's.
What is your cell phone ring song?
It kind of sounds like the "Sex and the City" intro.
Who do you think is really bringing sexy back? That is, which celeb's style do you admire most?
I admire women with confidence in themselves and their bodies. I really like Eva Longoria's style. I like the way she carries herself. I admire women who are strong and passionate about what they do and self-assured in their appearance.
You have a pretty hot calendar out on the newsstands but the word on the street is you're not too comfortable in your skivvies in front of the camera.
Yeah, I'm not really comfortable in those situations. I'm just an athlete! I still feel out of place when I'm doing stuff like that posing with my tan lines. [Laughs] It's fun and it's flattering, but sometimes when I think about it, I can't believe they want me to do that!
What do you say to folks who question the reasoning for your calendars and the photo shoots?
I say whatever brings people out to watch women's golf is ultimately a good thing. I think there are fans out there, following the game now that otherwise wouldn't be there, and that's OK, because now they are seeing what we do.
Do you think you're a sex symbol?
No. I'm a golfer. It's flattering that people think so, but I'm an athlete, a feminine athlete.
What's the hardest part about your job and being a woman and having automatic cultural icon status?
Well, of course my main concern is golf -- doing well in tournaments, winning a big one, improving my game that comes first. I haven't won on the tour, that's the hardest part, trying to reach that goal and competing with the amazing athletes. As for the other demands, sure it's difficult to answer questions about your personal life over and over, it gets tiring. That's probably been the hardest part so far.
Gabby Reece is a mentor of yours how's her golf game?
She's a good player! She competes in long-drive competitions -- she can hit the ball a mile!
Are you any good at beach volleyball?
I have only played indoor volleyball but would love to try beach volleyball; maybe Gabby will give me some tips.
Your Web site NatalieGulbis.com is very comprehensive, as athlete sites go. What are the Web sites you visit daily?
LPGA.com, Yahoo and AOL for e-mail, travel and news stuff, and Mastercard.com to check my credit card spending!
What's your take on the online community craze like MySpace?
I don't actually have a MySpace account, but I'm surprised that three or four people have pages as me. Scary!
Mary Buckheit is a Page 2 columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.