During Gareth Bale’s 16-year run as a superstar on the football pitch, the now former Welsh winger was a major problem for opposition defenders. He was still very much at the top of his game at the 2022 World Cup, but Bale decided to walk away from the game. Earlier this month, at the ripe old age of 33, he announced his retirement.
Then he did what any sane retiree would do: focus on playing more golf.
Bale’s love affair with golf is well documented. Not only did he come up with an ingenious solution during a ban from golf during the 2022 World Cup, but he also built a three-hole course in his backyard, a tribute to some of the most famous holes in golf, including No. 17 at the TPC Sawgrass.
Perhaps more impressive, Bale said The Erik Anders Lang Show podcast, his handicap is “between a 3 and a 4” — so no, he’s not your average weekend hacker.
Gareth Bale’s golf game impresses Jon Rahm
How good is Bale on the left? He has No. 3 ranked player in the world jealous or his game.
After playing a pro-am round with Bale leading up to this week’s Farmers Insurance Open, Jon Rahm said Bale is talented enough not to require tips from the 2021 US Open champion.
“I told Gareth, you can’t be that good at pro football and golf at the same time, it just doesn’t seem fair,” Rahm said. “Can’t be dedicated to one thing and have so much talent for golf, it’s not fair in the least.
“He didn’t ask for anything and he shouldn’t ask, he’s already good enough. Like I said, he has nothing to do with being that good when he’s a professional football player. The second he’s done, and he can actually practice more, he will be much better. He got two strokes, which I think is already wrong. He should give strokes back to the rest of the amateurs because he is a very, very good player.”
Now, when a bunch of PGA players and celebrities get together to play in a pro-am, there’s usually a lot of compliments thrown around. It’s a light-hearted atmosphere and allows professionals to watch other celebs hold their own on the field. But in this case, Rahm seems rightfully impressed with Bale’s play.
Who knows, maybe the former soccer player will find himself chasing his PGA Tour card in the not-so-distant future? If Bale can handle the frenetic atmosphere of playing in a World Championship, he seems apt to do the same when put in the pressure cooker of a PGA Tour event.
Bale’s next chance to impress Tour pros comes next week when he joins the field at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.