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Defending champ: NEXT is a game-changing opportunity

As the NEXT Golf Tour gears up for the much-anticipated Season 2, Rasmus Rosin reflects on what the tournament means to him.

The word ‘consistency’ springs to mind when looking back on Rasmus Rosin’s amazing journey to become the NEXT Golf Tour champion last winter.

Though he never won a round, the 22-year-old pro rattled off top-five finishes in the first five events on his way to a dominating win in the Order of Merit standings.

Now, with NEXT Season 2 on the horizon the Swede reveals what NEXT means to him and how winning the tournament helped shape his future as a professional golfer.

Memories in Munich

Rosin’s dream may entail teeing off with Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach, but being invited to a DP World Tour event as part of the reward for winning NEXT was a big deal for him.

He ended up missing the cut at the 2023 BMW International Open in Munich by four strokes, but the experience gave him confidence in knowing he can compete at the highest level.

“If I can hit a good one there, I can hit a good one every time in whatever condition,” Rosin said. “It was really nice to know I was able to hit good shots despite being so nervous.”

One memory particularly stands out for Rosin: a long wedge shot on the 9th hole that ended up next to the pin and drew a reaction from the crowd.

“Yeah, that was really magical. I’ve always dreamed about doing that,” he said.

Funding the dream

Over the course of NEXT Season 1, Rosin earned more than $68,000 — prize money that was game changing for his subsequent outdoor season.

He didn’t have travel expenses or need a caddie for NEXT, so all winnings went toward financing his grind on the outdoor circuit.

“It’s a huge opportunity to play on the NEXT Tour. If you do well, you don’t have to think about financials for the next season. And we need all the money we can get to play all the tournaments and keep our dream alive.”

Revolutionizing the offseason

Rosin, who says his strength is his game off the tee and middle irons, is grateful that NEXT allows him to stay sharp during winter.

He contends that a Trackman is like having a coach at your side, feeding you data, monitoring your swing and honing your skills.

“It has improved my offseason training a lot,” Rosin said. “It was really nice to maintain that competitive spark in the winter.

“Knowing that I’m hitting the ball well has helped me with my confidence going into the outdoor season. It’s now easy for me to trust my game in the early competitions.”

Virtual golf, real pressure

Rosin lauds NEXT for offering an alternative to competitive outdoor golf in terms of pressure situations.

Being able to perform when NEXT tournaments were on the line helped him prepare for nerve-racking moments outdoors — like at the BMW International Open.

“You have to be able to play your best golf in high-pressure situations,” Rosin said. “You need to hole those putts on 18 when there’s a lot of people watching.”

Another useful tip he sourced from NEXT is the importance of embracing a social media presence. “You really need to be seen, like everywhere,” Rosin said. “It often helps to get sponsors. So that’s a big part of being a professional golfer.”

Aiming for a repeat

While firmly focused on the future and looking to bring his trademark consistency into NEXT Season 2, Rosin remains grateful for the impact Season 1 has had on his career — especially the DP World Tour opportunity.

“I felt like I could compete with those guys and that’s something I will always use as a confidence booster going into Nordic League tournaments,” he said.

Rosin will return to defend his Order of Merit title for NEXT Season 2. Keep your eye on the NEXT website for more information about signing up to compete.