Travel diary: Rafa Cabrera-Bello's surfing love and airport hate

One of this year’s most consistent golfers spoke to EDGAR about all things travel.

Meryl D'Souza October 14, 2016

2016 has been the year of Rafa Cabrera-Bello. This year, he went from relative unknown outside the European Tour to Olympic golfer to rookie sensation at this year’s Ryder Cup - even if his team lost, all the eyeballs were fixed on him.

We caught up with the 32-year-old at JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort in Dubai to talk about his amazing 72-foot putt (see below), his travel likes and dislikes and golf, obviously.

Talk us through that insane 72-foot putt at the WGC-Dell Match Play.

I was playing against Kevin Kisner and was up by three. My second shot wasn’t up to the mark, but he didn’t have a great shot either so I just wanted to leave it close. Even I wasn’t sure it would go in. I like to refer to that finish as the big cliché.  

That celebration after the shot went in, was that planned?
It wasn’t really planned but I obviously did it because of the audience. I knew how seriously the Texans took their football teams so I went with the “Hook ‘em horns” gesture. By then, I knew I had won so I just wanted to have some fun.

You had a great Ryder Cup. It wasn’t the result you would have wanted of course, but you must have been happy with how you played?
Result aside, it was a big deal for me. It was the best golf week I ever had. Everyone went out of  their way to keep the team comfortable and I even had my family around me, so it was really great.

There are some who compare your partnership with Sergio Garcia to that of Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazábal's.
I have heard that, but honestly, the only similarity is that we’re all Spanish. Neither Sergio nor I want to make this a competition. Besides, those are big shoes to fill.

You spent time with Rafa Nadal when you were at the Olympics, did you guys ever play a round of golf?
Sadly, no. I know he’s a keen golfer, but I’ve not had that chance.

Do you prefer adventure holidays or just a relaxing one?
A bit of both, but leaning on adventure. Outside golf, my two favourite hobbies are surfing and skiing.

Your go to holiday destination?
Bali, without doubt. It’s the complete island, you can have a relaxed holiday or go surfing. I have a house there and try not to miss out on surfing.

A holiday destination you haven’t had the chance to see yet?
Hawaii and Alaska. Again, Surf and ski.

What are your travel essentials?
Apart from my golfing equipment, I’d say my computer, headphones and my GoPro.

What do you love and hate most about travel?
The airport and the waiting part. That kills me.

Is that because of scary flight experiences?
I’ve had nightmare travel experiences when it comes to travel. Apart from delays, I’ve been rerouted or disallowed to board a flight.

What would you say is one off-the-beat thing to do in your native Spain for people visiting?
Road trips. Spain is ideal for those. You could go all around Spain in about two weeks the best part about those drives is that you get to see just how much Spain changes culturally from one stop to the other.

What's your favourite...?
Car: BMW M3
Watch: Breitling Navitimer
Hotel: JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Dubai
Golf club: Titleist 913 D3 Driver
Sporting team: Union Deportiva Las Palmas