Bale will play at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February 2023. Image: @GarethBale11 on Instagram.

Gareth Bale set for competitive golf debut less than month after football retirement

The Welsh football legend is swapping sold-out stadia for golf greens

GARETH Bale has announced he will compete at a California golf event next week – within a month of announcing his retirement from professional football.

Bale announced his retirement from football on January 9 after leading the Welsh men’s national team in their first World Cup for 64 years.

He scored three goals for Los Angeles FC in 14 appearances, including an 128th-minute equaliser in the MLS Cup Final to win the last of his 19 trophies in football.

Bale celebrates his final trophy in football. Image:

There has been huge conjecture about what Bale will do next but he has confirmed he will play at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which takes place near Carmel in California from February 2 to 5. The tournament will involve 156 professional players, including US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, and the same number of amateurs including actor Bill Murray, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Gareth Bale. The prize pot is set for a slight increase from $8.7 million last year.

Bale’s love for the sport was no secret during his football career, with former Real Madrid team mate Thibaut Courtois dubbing him “The Golfer” in 2019 while he was still at the club. His love of the sport became a point of conflict in Spain and the row reached its peak after the Wales captain celebrated his national side’s qualification for Euro 2020 by holding a flag with a flag bearing the slogan “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order”.

Is Bale good at golf?

@GarethBale11 on Instagram: “Delighted to announce I will be playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at the start of next month! Let’s go 🏌️‍♂️⛳️”

The boy from Whitchurch made history for Real Madrid and the Welsh national team in football, but how will he fare on the golf green?

He was reportedly playing off a two handicap in late 2022, which suggests he is better than the average amateur.

In 2015, the Daily Express reported that Bale had a handicap of six, which suggests that he has improved his game over recent years.