In late 2015, Kristoffer Broberg finally broke through to capture has maiden European Tour title.
The 29-year-old saw off a charging Patrick Reed to win the BMW Masters in China and here, Kristoffer Broberg gives us a rundown of how to make the leap from being a good golfer to a winner on the big stage.
1. Improve your thinking
I work with a sports psychologist who also works with the Swedish amateur national team. I had worked with him before when I’d gone close at the Scottish Open (2014) and the Irish Open then I stopped and started working with another guy. I started working with him again the week before the BMW Masters in China.
He talks about such simple stuff, like what I think, what I’m going to do. Just be positive and play smart. Don’t play so aggressive all of the time. That’s what I did in China. I just played to the middle of the green and went from there.
I always think that, when you get a good round going and you’re five or six-under, you need to protect your score. I was always thinking about just making a par at the next hole.
I’d say to myself, ‘Come on, don’t mess this up’ and suddenly make a double-bogey. You can’t afford to think like this. So, I started working with my original coach again and we started working really hard on the mental side of the game. It was nice to see that hard work pay off with my first win on the European Tour.
2. Practice hard
If it’s a week off, I can practice for ten to 12 hours a day. I love to be out there on the golf course, relaxing with some friends and hitting some balls.
I’ve always worked hard. Alex Noren and I play at the same place and we’ve always liked to hit balls together.
We have always worked hard and I don’t see any reason for us to change. Why change something that has brought us out to the European Tour?
3. Get used to travelling
The first year on tour was pretty boring. It becomes a job and you need to go to different areas of the world to play golf.
The toughest part is going from Sweden to China. I couldn’t sleep all week when I won the BMW Masters. I was awake until 5am and I’d have a tee time at around 8am.
I was getting two hours sleep. That’s when the travelling gets difficult. When you get tired at the end of the day, you need to wait until about 9pm or 10pm and then you’re over-tired and go through the same ritual.
But, that said, I like to travel. It’s nice to go away sometimes. If you’re home for two weeks, it gets pretty boring after a while and you just want to go out and see the guys and compete again. I love it.
4. Have a support system
My mum and dad have always supported me. I played football when I was younger and started playing golf when I was around 12. They always supported me with money.
My father is a greenkeeper and he never had loads of money so he’s worked hard and Alex (Noren) helped me a lot, too, because he saw potential in me.
I do the same now for the other guys at the club now. My mum and dad were always there to help me. Sometimes I would be practising really late and they would shine the headlights on the range for me to be able to see.
I’ve always had a pretty strong work ethic but you need that support, too.
5. Have a good caddie
I have a Scottish caddie called John Dempster and he is like me. He likes to work really hard. He doesn’t give away anything out there.
He knows how the ball is going to react on every green, how it’s going to release when it reaches a certain point. He’s really important. He’s great with the wind as well.
Sometimes he gets it wrong but he’s human - no-one is perfect. I started working with him in Sweden and now we’re a really good team.
To get my first win with him was unbelievable. I was pleased for me, pleased for him and pleased for my family as well.