Soccer player Gareth Bale (34), who played for the Welsh national team at the Qatar World Cup last November, said this when announcing his retirement earlier this year.
“After careful consideration, I have decided to retire from the club and the national team. I will move on to the next stage of my life.”
I don’t know if the ‘next step’ Bale said is ‘golf’. This is because he announced his intention to participate in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Tournament of the US Professional Golf (PGA) Tour to be held in Pebble Beach, USA on the 2nd of next month, on the 24th, two weeks after he took off his soccer shoes.
This tournament is a competition in which 156 professional golfers and 156 amateur celebrities compete in pairs. This year, Bale, actor Jason Bateman, rapper Macklemore, and NFL quarterback Aaron Rogers (Green Bay Packers) will participate as amateurs.
Then, how good is Bale’s golf skills? Yon Rahm (29, Spain), who is ranked third in the men’s golf world ranking, praised Bale’s skills after playing a practice round at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California, USA on the 26th. “Isn’t it unfair that you’re so good at football and golf at the same time,” Rahm told Bale. Ram, the 2021 US Open and this year’s American Express champion, said, “I had absolutely nothing to advise on my golf swing.” He said, “Now that he can practice a lot, he will be much better.” 안전놀이터
Bale, who moved to Real Madrid for a transfer fee of 100 million euros (131.1 billion won) in 2013, is a top striker who has won five European Champions League titles. However, his Real Madrid teammates nicknamed him ‘The Golfer’. Even when Bale couldn’t play soccer due to injury, he enjoyed playing golf and got into trouble. There are three specially designed par 3 courses in the backyard of a house in Cardiff, Wales. It is known that the 17th hole of Sawgrass TPC, the 8th hole of Royal Troon, and the 12th hole of Augusta were moved as they were.
It makes sense that Real Madrid fans criticized Bale. Even during the Wales national team game, Bale said, ‘Wales, golf, Madrid. In this order,” the flag was unfurled, causing controversy. When he joined Los Angeles FC last year, there were jokes saying, “Isn’t it because he chose the American club because there are 19 golf courses around the home stadium in Los Angeles?” Bale has enjoyed golf at prestigious clubs such as Pebble Beach, Riviera, Torrey Pines, and Cypress Point. Among soccer fans, there is also talk of “Isn’t Bale participating in the LIV Golf Invitational Series launched by Saudi Arabia last year?”
Not only Bale, but also Tottenham striker Harry Kane is a well-known golf enthusiast. Kane’s handicap was reported to be 4. Tennis star Rafael Nadal (37, Spain) and basketball player Stephen Curry (35, USA) are also excellent at golf. Nadal participated in the Balearic Golf Championship in Spain in October 2020 and recorded a total of 9 over par 225 in the third round. He was tied for 6th out of 60 at the time. In 2018, the ‘Rafael Nadal Golf Challenge’ was held. The handicap is known to be between 0.3 and 1.5. Bale mainly used his left foot during his active career. Nadal also uses his left hand most of the time when he plays tennis. However, both players are right-handed on the field.
Guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors of the American Professional Basketball (NBA) participated in the Web.com Tour, the second part of the PGA Tour, in 2017 and 2018 and recorded 71 strokes. He is known as a scratch golfer with a zero handicap. Known as a golf enthusiast, Michael Jordan (USA) has a handicap of 1.9.
Park Chan-ho (50), a former LA Dodgers pitcher in the Major League, is also famous for playing golf. Park Chan-ho is a long hitter whose drive shot exceeds 330 yards. He participated in the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Tour last year, but was eliminated from the cut with a total of 33 over par in the second round. Park Chan-ho, who has three daughters, likened his golf to his third daughter, saying, “It’s so lovely and nice, but I don’t like it.”