Raúl Quirós | ‘Caddie’ “Obama kept shouting: ‘Pepe, help me…!”

He was going to be a national golf figure as indicated by his amateur results. Then things went wrong, but Raúl Quirós, from Guadir, born in La Línea in 1979), decided to remain closely linked to his sport. An expert like him in the sticks got in to carry the bag of professionals. First with his friend Álvaro Quirós, then with the Chilean Felipe Aguilar and he has been with Pablo Larrazábal since 2016.

-How do you say caddie in Spanish?


-No translation.

–In the European Circuit we call ourselves ratsrats, a funny expression that the English say.

–How much does the bag weigh?

-Well, 25 kilos easily.

What do you reply to those who deny that golf is a sport?

–Many factors come into play in golf, not everything is physical in the sport.

–They say that he was the best player of his generation, along with Sergio García, what advice would you give that Raúl Quirós today?

–In my amateur days I was quite serious about work, but not so much when I became a professional. I didn’t work hard enough or well. And you have to have a bit of luck. Before you start caddie I got the European Circuit card, but I was injured with two herniated discs in my neck and Álvaro Quirós asked me to be his caddie. I tried it and nine years later it is still my work.

– Are all those who are called Quirós in the Campo de Gibraltar born with a golf club under their arms?

-There are many of us, we are horny… And there is the public field of La Cañada. If you have relatives who have taken to golf, it is normal to play.

–The strangest place where you have been told about golf in your town, Guadiaro?

–Fishing on the beach. It is very typical to see children or adolescents walking with their golf bags on their backs.

–It is the king of sports there, more than football.

–Before sure, but they have made a very good soccer school. Even so, La Cañada still has 300 children who teach daily.

–Your boss is Pablo Larrazábal, a volcanic golfer. The nicest thing he has said to you in a lap?

-Many. In a tournament the greens did not enter his eye and he asked me to read the falls; that week he played badly, but he put them all in and we finished second or third. He said that he had been by “Rayos Láser Quirós”.

–And the ugliest?

– You hook continuously. It is logical when a player feels frustrated and needs to release adrenaline.

–During the pandemic, with so much protocol on the European Tour, were they worse than a marriage?

“We both had a terrible time. We were together all day: having breakfast, lunch, dinner, sleeping… But there are people who need to talk about their frustrations with another and if you don’t separate from a person, you don’t let go. I imagine it would happen to a lot of people. The worst year of my golfing life, by far.

–In 2009, Steve Williams had a decade of caddie of Tiger Woods, had earned 20 million dollars and became the highest paid athlete in New Zealand. How much does he have left to match it?

–That Pablo Larrazábal signs to play for at least ten years in the LIV [el circuito montado por los saudíes que ha reventado el golf mundial a base de petrodólares] and give me 50% of the profits… And more or less I could be there.

“On the European Tour we call ourselves ‘rats’, rats, a funny expression from the English”

–There are some players, like Matt Wallace, who give their caddies some fights that are to have a mouth sucks.

-Yeah, that’s fucked up. Many players pay it with the caddie because it’s the one next to it. Think of any job in times of pressure with your boss in the office and half a meter. That continuously six or eight hours a day.

-You are worth more for being a former golfer, for a psychologist, for a friend…

–I would say that because of my past as a golfer, more than as a friend or as a psychologist. Pablo and I decide most of the shots together. Other players only ask for the meters and they choose the club.

–We could also say that you act as squires, Sancho Panza.

-It is more comparable to a rally co-driver, transmitting information with the booklet, the curves, the difficulty, the type of asphalt…

–He made of caddie this year to Obama in Valderrama. Does it defend itself well or does it not give one?

–He defends himself very well, it is a handicap of six or seven. He’s lefthanded. The only task is that he made us play 27 holes in a row, he didn’t even stop to eat, a sandwich and mess.

-What tip did you give him?

–I haven’t seen the color of your wallet yet. Those who went with him gave it to us. But he was very entertaining, great.

–Tell us an anecdote why we didn’t end up in Guantanamo.

–He came with a military friend and his caddie It was Francisco Mateo, from this area too. He asked for advice to hit and my colleague told him that the hybrid. The soldier commented that she was very sunk and Mateo released him: “You’re strong like a vinegar” (“You are stronger than vinegar”). The other one didn’t understand it, but then he cracked up and told Obama.

And with Obama?

–As is normal in Valderrama, he went to the trees a few times; If he sent it eight times, in seven of them he bounced the ball and he stayed on the street. I jokingly told him that we should give a tip to Pepe, a monkey that was in the trees. He was amused and every time he hit a bad shot he would not stop jokingly shouting: “Pepe, Pepe, help me, help me…!”. He was horny.

They say that Trump cheats, and Obama?

-Nerd. It was a game between friends, but what’s up.

–If you were a player, what would be your price to go to LIV Golf?

–If I were a high standard golfer, at my age, by making sure I played three or four years, I would even go for free. At 42 or 43 years old it would be a luxury retirement.

You don’t have a problem with the Saudis.

What problem am I going to have? I am in favor of not being able to prohibit you from playing anywhere. What I don’t see clearly is closing the door to people who want to invest so much money in our sport. The Saudis are involved in Formula 1, motorcycling… In everything. Fortunately or unfortunately, what is in charge is the pasta and whoever says otherwise I think they are lying.

–How many times have you been told the joke of “that Whiteoé”?

–Whenever we compete in Valderrama, although they don’t tell me many times a year, only here. And because I have them paid…


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