The recently retired football star is certainly enjoying life as a professional amateur golfer!

“Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.” The Spanish capital may have been replaced by California in Gareth Bale’s infamous list of favourite things after the Welsh wizard showed off his dazzling golf skills at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

While playing in a practice round with US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, the former Real Madrid forward said he was suffering from “a lot of nerves” – this is a man who has played in five Champions League finals and a World Cup, remember – before he did this…

Then, during the first round of the tournament, in which he is paired with former Korn Ferry Tour champion Joseph Bramlett, he pulled off this ridiculous shot from a cart path…

“I’m more worried about how I was there in the first place,” Bale joked after the round in which he and Bramlett carded a 7-under 65.

“I couldn’t play it properly because there was a curb in front of me, and in my practice swing I hit the curb, so I had to really dig it.

“I put it back in my stance and hit it into the bank. There was a lot of luck involved – but it was the shot I tried to play and you need a bit of luck along the way.

“I asked the cameraman as I walked up, ‘Did you get that?’ He said, ‘I did.’ I was like, ‘Yes!'”

Bramlett, playing just his second season on the PGA Tour, said he was “a little concerned” when he saw Bale taking his practice swings.

“Next thing I know, the ball is bouncing up through the rough to about three and a half feet,” he said.

Bale added: “I was going to pick it up and he made me putt because he was like, ‘This could be the greatest up-and-down.’ It was a great shot. I can’t really say much more.”

What is Gareth Bale’s handicap?

Bale, who has a three-hole golf course that includes a replica of TPC Sawgrass’s 17th in his back garden, plays off a handicap of two. He has said in the past he wants to get down to scratch, and now he’s retired that feels far more achievable…

George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

Handicap: 14

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The NCG Top 100s Tour is heading to Europe for a multi-day event at PGA Catalunya. Prices start at £799 per golfer.


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