- Hung up his boots at the age of 33
- Set to take part in PGA Tour event
- Rahm praises his golf skills
WHAT HAPPENED? The former Wales international and Real Madrid winger announced that he will be taking part in a PGA Tour event at Pebble Beach, California, a matter of weeks after retiring from professional football. The 33-year-old is already participating in pro-am events and was in action before this week's Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA Tour, playing alongside Spanish golfer Jon Rahm. The 2021 US Open champion was astounded by Bale's golfing ability and can't believe a modern football legend is so good at two separate sports.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I told Gareth, 'you can't be so good at professional football and golf at the same time, it just doesn't seem fair'," Rahm said after seeing Bale in action at Torrey Pines.
"Can't be dedicated to one thing and have this much talent for golf, it's not fair in the slightest."
The 28-year-old added: "He has no business being that good when he's a professional football player. When he can actually practice more, he's going to get a lot better. He got two strokes in the Pro-Am, which I think is already wrong. He should be giving strokes back to the rest of the amateurs because he is a very, very good player."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Bale's love affair with golf is no secret. His unofficial moniker 'The Golfer' was initially given to him in 2019 by Madrid team-mate Thibaut Courtois for his obsession with the sport. He even appeared with a banner that featured the slogan, 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.' when Wales qualified for Euro 2020. As of late 2022, Bale has been playing off a two handicap in golf, which means the Wales star is an above-average amateur golfer, being so close to 'scratch' (0), though he is still not quite as good as the professionals.
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WHAT NEXT FOR BALE? The former footballer will be seen in action on the golf greens at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am event next month alongside the likes of reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and 156 amateurs that will include several celebrities.