Golf

Gareth Bale to make PGA Tour debut just weeks after football retirement

bale golf celebration

Ex-football star Gareth Bale has announced on Instagram that he is set to make his PGA Tour debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am next month. Bale, who reportedly plays off a handicap of two, has a keen interest in the sport and may well even look to become a professional now that his football career is over. 

Taking to social media, the ex-Real Madrid player posted: “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 event at Pebble Beach, a venue that has hosted multiple US Opens over the years, will feature over 300 golfers with half being amateurs and half being professionals. Some of the other confirmed celebrities for the event include Jason Bateman and Bill Murray. 

Tournament format

Over the first three days of action, each amateur will be paired with a professional meaning there will be a total of 156 teams. They will play a four-ball format as the professionals will also be looking to card individual scores worthy of topping the leaderboard at the end of the week. When calculating the team score, however, the handicaps of the amateurs will be taken into account.  

Those teams who make the cut after three rounds will then get the opportunity to play on the Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of the most prestigious courses in all of golf. Whichever team has the lowest score at the end of that round will be crowned as the winners. 

In previous years, there have been some outstanding performances from amateur celebrities. Larry Fitzgerald, a former wide receiver in the NFL, is one of the most successful amateurs to have played in the tournament and tasted victory in 2018 and 2020. 

On both occasions, Fitzgerald was paired with Kevin Streelman as they are both members of the same golf club in Phoenix. Fitzgerald is set to play in the tournament again this year and with Streelman also in the field, the pair are expected to link up once again. 

It is unclear at this stage who Bale will be paired with but there is a whole host of phenomenal golfers taking part. Most notable perhaps is Matt Fitzgerald, the reigning US Open Champion, who Bale would love to team up with to create a formidable British duo. 

wales. golf. madrid flag

Wales, Golf, Madrid 

It will be the first time that viewers will get the chance to see Bale in action with a golf club in his hand after his well-documented love for the sport. One of the most famous images of Bale in recent years is the one with him holding a flag that read “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order”. The image resulted in a huge backlash in the Spanish capital and soured his exit from the club. 

Prior to having that picture taken, Bale had been criticised by Real Madrid fans for supposedly focusing more on his golf swing than regaining fitness from injury niggles. Despite that, Bale won five Champions Leagues during his time in Spain and scored vital goals in two of the finals. 

While he will always be remembered for his heroics on the football pitch, it’s nice to see him pursuing other interests now that he has hung his boots up for good. 

About the author

Andy Delaney

Freelance Sports Journalist from Manchester, England with a keen interest in football, golf, tennis and basketball.