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What is Gareth Bale's golf handicap?

18:30 GMT+3 09/01/2023
Gareth Bale golf swing Wales 2016
What sort of level does the former Real Madrid star play at in his favourite sport outside of football? GOAL has all the details

Gareth Bale earned the nickname 'The Golfer' during his time at Real Madrid and his apparent obsession with golf has resulted in a lot of derision, with his own supporters even mocking him. When he struggled to find form at the Santiago Bernabeu and found himself occupying a place on the bench more often, his predilection for a game of golf was held against him by some.

"A lot of people have problems with me playing golf," Bale told the EAL podcast. "I don't know what their reason is because I've spoken to doctors and everybody's fine with it. The media has this perception that it's not good for me. Steph Curry plays maybe on the morning of a game. If I play two days before a game, it's like 'what's he doing?'"

He took the criticism in good spirits, however, and even appeared with a banner which featured the slogan, 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.' when Wales qualified for Euro 2020.

“I am a golfer. Have you not seen the pictures?" Bale said of his new nickname, which was given to him by Thibaut Courtois, in 2019. He added: "I'm very happy with the nickname to be honest. It's a great one." 

Evidently, then, Bale's love of golf is well documented and he even signed up to play in the PGA Tour Pro-Am event in 2023, but is he actually any good? GOAL takes a look at the Wales legend's handicap and more.

What is Gareth Bale's golf handicap?

As of late 2022 Bale was playing off a two handicap in golf. He has gradually improved his game, having revealed a handicap of "three or four" in conversation with Erik Anders Lang in 2020 when the pair played a six-hole match at Golf Santander in Madrid.

A handicap of two means the Wales star is an above average amateur golfer, being so close to 'scratch' (0), though he is still not quite as good as the professionals.

In 2015, the Daily Express reported that the forward's handicap was "a respectable six", meaning that his time playing in Madrid and over the world in places such as California has helped him improve.

He clearly plays enough to be getting better, but is he really playing too much? It seems unlikely and he has stressed that it is simply a pastime, which helps him unwind.

"Football is my number one sport. I'm paid to do it and I always give my best. Golf is a hobby like anyone else would have a hobby," Bale explained in 2019. "There is nothing wrong with having a round. People make a lot of it, but a lot of footballers play and it's one thing I really enjoy.

"It keeps me calmer off the pitch and gives me time away from football which is nice.”

Indeed, now that he has retired officially from playing, he will be able to devote even more time to honing his swing.

Does Gareth Bale have a golf course at his house?

Bale has a three-hole golf course at his home in Wales, with par-3 holes modelled on a selection from three high profile venues. It was built in 2018.

The holes at Bale's mini course are: 17th at Sawgrass, the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon and the 12th at Augusta.

The dimensions of the holes in question are slightly smaller in Bale's course and he intends to expand the course when he eventually moves back home to Cardiff.

"We based them on three holes that I really like," Bale told the EAL podcast. "We've had to call them 'the replica of...' because it's not the exact same dimensions.

"[The replica of 17th at Sawgrass] is a little bit smaller, the green, which makes it harder. So when I actually went to play Sawgrass, the green felt massive!"