Record-breaking former Wales footballer and golf lover Gareth Bale is to make his PGA Tour debut at next month’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The 33-year-old hung up his boots earlier this month after a football career that saw him win five Champions League titles with Real Madrid and break the Wales men’s goalscoring and appearance records.
Bale, who helped Los Angeles FC win the MLS Cup last year in his final act in club football, is heading up the California coast to tee it up in the famous annual tournament held at one of the game’s most iconic courses on 2-5 February.
He is due to play at the event alongside professionals including England’s newest major champion Matt Fitzpatrick, world No5 Patrick Cantlay and fellow US Ryder Cup player Jordan Spieth as well as celebrities such as actor Bill Murray and NFL star Aaron Rodgers.
Bale confirmed the news on Instagram, writing: “Delighted to announce I will be playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at the start of next month! Let’s go.”
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton player angered some Real Madrid supporters when he posed with a banner made by Wales fans that poked fun at his devotion to other sports with the slogan “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order”.
Bale is just the latest former footballer to try taking on the professionals in golf after quitting their first sporting career.
Ex-Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe has been among the most successful, playing on the European seniors’ circuit and even launching his own clothing line in the sport.
Former Chelsea, AC Milan and Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko also tried the pro circuit but finished 40 shots off the lead on his debut.
Tennis star Ashleigh Barty is also a keen golfer and signed up to play alongside England captain Harry Kane and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola at last summer’s Icon Series tournament in New York.