No sooner had Welsh football hero Gareth Bale announced his retirement from the game at the age of 33 that speculation began as to what he will do next.
It is well-known that Bale is a huge golf fan, and even as recently as the 2022 World Cup, it was reported that Bale had to limit his time on the golf simulator between matches at the tournament. Not only that, but Bale has previously opened up golf bars, most recently in Bristol, and lent his support to Wales’ Cazoo Open on the DP World Tour.
While Bale has also admitted that watching the PGA Tour is a guilty pleasure, he’s an excellent player, too, as evidenced by his handicap. Bale plays off a handicap of two, a seriously impressive number for a man best known for playing for 17 seasons at the highest level of an entirely different sport.
Bale’s love for the game and eye-catching ability on the course is leading to speculation that he could turn to golf for his next career move. Indeed, one betting industry expert has already produced odds on that happening – and they are shorter than you might imagine.
Among odds predicting his chances of turning to various tasks, including managing a professional football team, running for a seat in the Welsh Parliament, and becoming a pundit are two golf-related possibilities. Bale is listed at just 5/1 to take up a career as a pro golfer. While that may seem far-fetched, he is undoubtedly still at a good age to make it in the game and, of course, now has far more time on his hands to hone his skills.
More likely, according to the expert, is that Bale will buy and design his own golf course, with odds of 2/1 favourite that he will turn to that next. He certainly appears to have an interest in such a move, considering he had built replicas of three of his favourite par-3s at his home in Cardiff - the 17th at Sawgrass, the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon, and the 12th at Augusta.
While plenty of footballers enjoy a round of golf, it is clear that Bale has taken his for love of the game to another level. Whether that leads him to a second career in golf remains to be seen, but given his ability and deep knowledge of the game, it would surely be unwise to put it past him.
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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