Gareth Bale’s Love Affair With Golf

Gareth Bale’s Love Affair With Golf

6 October 2023

The Alfred Dunhill Links is one of the biggest tournaments to grace the Old Course, St.Andrews every Autumn, featuring stars of the PGA & DP World Tour, Ryder Cup Winners & a whole raft of celebrities from entertainment and sport.

One name however stands out; Gareth Bale MBE. 

Honoured for his services to football and charity and once the world’s most expensive footballer, costing Real Madrid 85M in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham Hotspur, Bale has never hidden his love of golf.

Bale at Wentworth
Bale tees of at Wentworth in the Pro-Am | Image BMW Press

Bale was even given the nickname ‘The Golfer’ by his ‘Galactico’ teammates and famously appeared with a banner that read; ‘Wales. Golf. Real Madrid. In that order.’ after he had captained Wales to Euro 2020 qualification. 

It’s safe to say that did not go down well with the Real Madrid management team or fans at the Bernabeu Stadium. 

It was widely reported then that Bale enjoyed spending as much time as he could on the golf course, with a handicap of six thrown about on social media. 

Later that year, Bale appeared on the EAL podcast and said:

“A lot of people have problems with me playing golf and I don’t know what their reason is because I’ve spoken to doctors and everybody’s fine with it. The media has this perception that it’s not good for me. Steph Curry plays maybe on the morning of a game. If I play two days before a game, it’s like, what’s he doing?”

Could Bale play professional golf?

The five-time Champions League winner finished his football career in America with Los Angeles, retiring at only 33 years old, with many questioning his decision at such a young age in football terms.

Many fans and golfers alike did wonder if he would work to become a professional golfer once he hung up his boots.

bale scoring v liverpool champions leage
Bale scoring a winner in the Champions League Final v Liverpool in 2018 | Image Sky Sports

That looks unlikely but Bale has taken the time to work on his golf, lowering his handicap to 0.5 with subsequent guest appearances at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, BMW PGA Pro-Am at Wentworth, the All-Star Ryder Cup match at Marco Simone & The Dunhill Links; where he shot an impressive 71 (-1) on his first ever round at Carnoustie, beating his pro partner Romain Langasque who shot 74 (+2).

The test around St.Andrews, Kingbarns & Carnoustie can certainly challenge the best pro’s in the world, so it will be interesting to see how ‘The Golfer’ adjusts to the demands of links golf & the fine Autumn weather…

Last year ahead of the 150th Open, we took an in-depth look at the data for amateurs around The Old Lady, to see how our very own Shot Scope users played the course, which led to the publication of our 5th e-book which you can download here. In addition, our latest e-book is also available for download, concentrating on how to improve your game with data. 

Rory McIlroy and Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale recently played at Wentworth alongside Rory McIlroy | Image

The ultimate home of golf?

Bale is no stranger to Scotland of course, having played for Wales at Hampden during the 2014 World Cup qualification campaign and scoring against Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle in the 2011 Europa League play-offs. 

And it doesn’t stop there, Bale regularly plays the 8th hole at Royal Troon, ‘The Postage Stamp’ in his back garden at home in Wales, where he built replicas of 3 of the worlds iconic par 3’s. The others are none other than the 12th at Augusta National & the 17th at TPC Sawgrass.

He also has the honour of making an ace at the iconic par 3, 3rd hole at Torrey Pines, South Course in the summer of this year.

It will certainly be captivating to have someone as world-famous as Bale compete this week in Scotland, and who knows he may even be back as a spectator for next year’s Open Championship as it returns to Royal Troon. 

You can read our full preview to this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links, and learn how amateurs play the famous Fife links.


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