Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale has become a global ambassador for The R&A in support of the governing body's activities to grow the game and drive golf participation around the world. The four-time Champions League winner has more than 100 million followers on social media and is known for his love of golf, playing off a handicap of 2.
Bale will join Niall Horan and Modest! Golf in backing a drive to encourage more people into playing golf, including women and young people, by using the power of influencers from the sports and entertainment world to broaden its appeal and boost its image.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said, “Gareth’s passion for golf is clear for everyone to see and he will play an influential role in supporting the new golfer initiatives we are working on with Modest! Golf and plan to introduce this year.
“We want to reach new audiences who are not yet aware of golf’s many great benefits, including health and wellbeing, and believe that role models like Gareth can help inspire more women and young people into the sport and enhance golf’s reputation with millions of followers worldwide. We see real potential in this approach and working to secure similar arrangements with other male and female influencers.”
“Golf is an amazing sport and it has always been an ambition of mine to encourage more people to take it up," Bale, who is a partner in the golf division at ICM Stellar Sports, said. "This is a really exciting move by The R&A and I’m honoured to be able to play my part in their efforts to inspire people of all ages to give golf a try.”
The partnership builds on The R&A’s appointment of Modest! Golf to work on developing a series of future grassroots programmes aimed at inspiring more people into golf and retain them within the sport.
Niall Horan, co-founder of Modest! Golf, said, “We are delighted to bring Gareth on board as Modest! Golf and I work closely with The R&A to reach new audiences and promote the game of golf. We look forward to more announcements this year.”
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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