The Footballers Who Play Golf
With the return of the English Premier League, football is well and truly on the cusp of starting its new season.
Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport throughout Britain but isn’t it interesting to see that so many footballers have such a huge passion for golf?
While Gareth Bale had inadvertently increased golf’s profile throughout the football community with his ‘Wales, Golf, Madrid - in that order’ flag that caused great controversy, there have been countless figures of both current and ex professionals who adore the game of golf.
We have to start with Gareth Bale. His undying love for golf is clear for all and there were even rumours that he was contemplating finishing his football career to endeavour into professional golf - now that would have been some story.
When he secured his season-long loan to Tottenham Hotspur, his admiration for the sport of golf was truly revealed. He enlisted Southwest Greens to build a three-hole golf course at the back of his Glamorgan property - which emulated three iconic holes in golf: 12th at Augusta National, the 8th at Royal Troon and, perhaps the most famous short hole in the world, the 17th at TPC Sawgrass. When the time comes to hang up his boots, he might just be reaching for a pair of spikes, instead.
While the England captain is facing a time of uncertainty in his club future, one thing that is definite is his incredible skills on the course. He has played golf with Gary Neville, Peter Crouch and even featured in a brief 3-hole video with no other than Tommy Fleetwood - where he revealed he plays off 4 as of June 2020.
Golf is the ultimate escape and it will come as little surprise to know that Harry Kane decided to hit the course after the heartbreak of the Euro 2020 penalty shootout that saw a valiant English team fall at the final hurdle. Who knows, if Kane’s move falls through to Manchester City, a touring career might present itself(!)
When he’s not representing Liverpool or leading his ambitious country out of the tunnel, Andy Robertson is primarily on the course. He revealed to his Twitter followers that he played off 4 during his younger years - although his commitment to football has seen him tumble to 8 in adulthood.
His dream four ball is: Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Sergio Garcia and, of course, himself. That would be some four-ball, huh? His inspiration was his father and his older brother, who were both gripped by the grasp of golf. Best golfer at Liverpool? That would belong to James Milner, according to the Scotsman.
Isn’t it infuriating that Jimmy Bullard has an endless list of attributes? Professional footballer, excellent presenter and just an all round good guy. We may have established that these footballers have a passion for golf but there’s a chance that Bullard is the best of them all in this list - considering he’s played professionally himself.
The Englishman has featured in five events on the EuroPro Tour calendar, although his last appearance was in 2016. His highest finish was T22 at Chart Hills, where rounds of 76 and 72 secured his position. You can catch him featuring regularly on the Tubes & Ange Golf Life YouTube channel, where he unveils what’s in his bag and lots of funny tales of his life as a professional footballer.
Quite simply, Alan Shearer traded in scoring goals for sinking putts when he hung up his boots - and you’ll be unsurprised to know he’s pretty good at golf too. Life just isn’t fair, is it? He revealed once that whenever he takes a trip, he always brings his golf clubs. He is a single figure handicapper, although various sources contradict each other on the actual number.
Shearer was an exemplary striker who faced the utmost of pressure. However, it was an opening tee shot at the BMW Pro-Am that was responsible for one of the most nerve-wracking moments of his life. He’s also an avid fan of the Masters and attends every year - it’s even written into his broadcasting contract that he won’t be working on the weekend that Augusta entertains the world.
Ruud Gullit was some footballer, eh? A resume that has taken him to Italy and England - without counting the 66 appearances he made for the Dutch national team. It was actually during his twilight playing career where his love for golf truly took off. His decision to play for Chelsea became just as much about golf as it did the football! Surrey, as we all know, homes some of the best courses in the country and Gullit was fortunate enough to play them on a regular basis.
The Dutchman is a frequent presence during the annual Dunhill Links Pro-Am and he likened a golf shot to taking a penalty in football - where you have to be determined and completely confident with the next step. Another former professional who is off single digits, these footballers spent a lot of time on the golf course during their careers, didn’t they?
This guy was an absolute monster during his playing career. You’ll seldom find a more clinical striker who could be counted on time and time again. I was fortunate enough to see him appear for Chelsea once and he scored an absolute screamer on the volley from outside the box. Professional athletes are born differently; competition runs through their veins, so it came as little surprise when Andriy Shevchenko decided to try his luck at professional golf by participating in a Challenge Tour event.
While his debut didn’t exactly demonstrate elite golf capabilities - scores of 84 and 86 resulted in him missing the cut - it did highlight his incredible mental strength and willingness to pursue alternative adventures after hanging up his boots. The left-handed golfer has previously participated in the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am in Wentworth too.
Peter Odemwingie had a glittering football career that took him all over Europe. He won 63 caps for Nigeria and featured for a host of English clubs such as West Brom, Stoke City, Bristol City and Rotherham United. Since retiring as a player, his focus has turned to something a little bit slower - golf.
He is currently undergoing his PGA qualifications. He has ambitions to attend the PGA EuroPro Tour and from there, gain access to the Challenge Tour before competing on the European Tour. If he succeeds, he might just get himself an invitation to The Open Championship!
Lee Sharpe spent seven wonderful years at Manchester United that certainly carved his name into club history. Having joined the giants from his local club Torquay United, he won eight major honours with the Red Devils. When he retired, he ventured into media and punditry before last year, where he opted for a change of scenery.
He spent the off-season in Spain, where he wanted to fine-tune his golf game. He has ambitions of joining the senior tour and teeing it up with the previous world’s best! He did reveal in an interview that he tried to play as much golf as possible during his playing career but that Sir Alex Ferguson put a quick halt to that as he feared potential injuries. Good luck to Sharpe in his imminent professional career.
After guiding his St Johnstone team to a domestic cup double, you’d be forgiven for thinking Callum Davidson would have taken a deserved break away from sport. If you did, however, then you must be unaware of the sporting finesse that this manager holds.
He plays off plus 3 and in June 2021, he broke his local course record with an astonishing 62 - with his uncle holding the course record before Alan Lockhart had set it at 63. Dunblane New is a tricky and challenging course, but clearly proved no difficulty to Davidson who notched up seven birdies and one eagle!
No-one is immune to the golf bug!
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)
Tags: daily picks