We've got another great Hurricane Golf Exclusive for you. This time our Jason Hiland got a chance to interview Alex Noren. Alex is a rising star on the European Tour where he's registered 8 victories and is currently #12 on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Jason: 2016 was one heck of a season for you! Four wins on the European Tour and shooting like a rocket upwards in the world rankings! Did you make any changes in your game or preparations to get the next level or what “spark” per se did you find?
Alexander: I tried to spend less time on the range and more on the course and had some more time off the course to try to balance my life a bit. It made me more focused and more relaxed at the same time.
Jason: Which of the victories from 2016 is the most special and can you describe the feelings you had on last few holes aiming for the win and what can us amateurs learn from the pros in those pressure situations?
Alexander: Scottish Open was the first win of the season and it felt unreal to win such a big event especially after struggling with injuries back and forth. I was very nervous coming down the stretch and remember telling myself to hit the easiest and first shot that came to mind. Not trying any fancy stuff and relying on my putting which was better than ever that week. I think amateurs try to play too many difficult shots because you are not as aware of your skill level as us pros. We know how good we are at different parts of the game and tend to be defensive when the odds are against us. Amateurs gamble a bit more in relation to skill level if that makes any sense.
Jason: As a follow up what goals do you have for 2017 and are you going to be taking up membership in the US PGA Tour anytime soon?
Alexander: I try to develop shots and part of my game that are worse then I want them to be. I don't have any specific goals result wise. I love competing and I get inspired when I for example play with Rory or Dustin and see their skill level. I want to be able to compete against the best and therefore I try to elevate parts of my game that aren't up to their level. I just try to get the best schedule possible for the year and focus on improving and it's been great this year to compete on both tours. The European Tour is fantastic and love the way it's moving forward. I got a family of my own now and want to spend more time in Sweden and Europe. But of course it’s great to play the few I get a chance to in America.
Jason: What are the 3 best courses you play on the European PGA Tour and what attributes do you like about those courses the most?
Alexander: Le National, Wentworth and St. Andrews. All of them are fantastic and very fun to play. St Andrews and the other links courses with their fast and hard surfaces in combination with the wind is an amazing challenge.
Jason: What new equipment is in the bag for 2017 and what benefits are you seeing and have you also made any shaft or grips changes in your equipment for this season?
Alexander: I love the new Epic driver and 3wood. I have new Callaway wedges and irons. The team at Callaway is very good at making the clubs to fit my game. I tend to keep grips and other things the same every season to feel comfortable.
Jason: What were the feelings you had as you just played in your first US Masters Tournament? How was the atmosphere? Who did you play practice rounds with and were there nerves on the first tee when they announce your name and your realize you are playing for a green jacket?
Alexander: The Masters tournament is extremely special to compete in. I didn't play the way I wanted but I've never seen a place like it and want to go back as soon as I can. It was fun to play and the atmosphere is very nice for us players. They have had the tournament for so many years at the same place so everything is fine tuned to perfection.
Jason: My last question is this. I have heard Henrik Stenson is very funny. Is there is a story you can share about your fellow countryman that shows off this side of him?
Alexander: He is not afraid to tell some funny jokes. And his dry humor adds to it. He told a cringe worthy joke at an event once and half the crowd laughed and the other half felt uncomfortable and his agent just shook his head. I like that side of him. It lightens things up.