This is a comment by Jon Rahm (Spain), who is ranked 3rd in the men’s golf world ranking, watching Gareth Bale (Wales), who announced his participation in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA (American Professional Golf) Tour.
Ram, who recently trained with Bale, said, “I told Bale, ‘You can’t play football and golf well at the same time.’ (It’s not fair that Bale is good at both football and golf).” “Now Bale (retired from football) can practice golf more. He will be much better,” he added. It’s not easy for one of the best male golfers in the world to say something like this to an ‘amateur golfer’.
How good was Bale’s golf skills, so why did Ram give such a high praise?
Goal.com, a soccer media outlet, reported on the 11th that ‘Bale’s golf handicap as of the end of 2022 is 2’. The handicap, which is obtained by subtracting the standard stroke of 72 from the number of strokes in an 18-hole round, is a numerical expression of a golfer’s potential so that men and women of all ages can compete equally regardless of physical condition and ability difference. Although he is not a scratch golfer (handicap 0), considering that the handicap of professional golfers is between 1 and 6 in their amateur days, Bale’s handicap is that he has already reached a level of skill to declare a challenge on the professional stage.
The British daily newspaper Express reported Bale’s handicap, which belonged to Real Madrid at the time, as ‘a great 6’ in 2015. He showed his skills with a handicap of 3-4 at the time of the 6-hole game held in Madrid in 2020 when he was leased from Real Madrid to his former team Tottenham. Even in the busy life of going back and forth between his club and national team, he steadily improved his golf skills.
Bale’s ‘golf love’ is not yesterday or today. Even in 2013, when he transferred to Real Madrid in the Spanish Primera Liga, nicknamed the “Man of 100 million euros (approximately 131.4 billion won),” he was often spotted playing golf. Since then, Bale has also lifted championship trophies, such as winning three consecutive European Champions League titles at Real Madrid, but was criticized for falling into golf while his playing time was reduced due to frequent injuries and discord with the command tower. In 2019, he was even referred to as a ‘golfer’ by his teammate goal picker Thibaut Courtois (Belgium). Bale also went to the US to play golf during his off-season break. At the time, he emphasized, “Football is always my first priority. Golf is my hobby like everyone else,” but he did not hide his affection, saying, “Golf makes me calmer and gives me time to forget about soccer for a while.” 안전놀이터
Bale also has a par 3 course at his home in Cardiff, Wales. He modeled after world famous courses such as the 17th hole of TPC Sawgrass, Scotland, the Postage Stamp (8th hole) of Royal Troon, Scotland, and the 12th hole of Augusta, USA. “All three courses are imitations because they are not exactly the same length and width,” Bale said.