Golf Plus

Deep Thoughts With Defending U.S. Open Champion Martin Kaymer

How Martin Kaymer Kept His Cool Under U.S. Open Pressure
On Sunday's Golf.com Live, Golf Magazine senior writer Cameron Morfit breaks down how Martin Kaymer dominated the U.S. Open and discusses what's in store for Kaymer going forward.

The defending U.S. Open champion sounds off on his love of fitness, his desire for discipline and his idea of a dream day. Warning: It doesn’t end until the sun comes back up.

If you weren’t a 
professional golfer, 
what would you be doing?

I would probably work with people, maybe something to do with the body, maybe physiotherapist.

Why?

Well, I enjoy fitness. I enjoy how much you can change your body 
in so many ways. Obviously if you’re disciplined enough you can try it 
out yourself, how much you can change certain body parts. I find it amazing what humans can do with their bodies. And sometimes I find it very interesting how things work together. The body is so sensitive and if you put the right things in it, it gives you positive things back. It’s like a computer -- if you put in some bad stuff at the beginning, then there’s bad stuff coming out.

What’s the best advice 
you ever received?

That golf is a lot about acceptance. 
I read it a few times, including 
in a book from Ben Hogan. And 
then my father told my brother 
and me at a very early age in 
some different words, but with 
the same meaning.

If you could change 
one thing about yourself, 
what would it be?

Sometimes I’m too controlled. I barely give myself a break. I’m 
fairly hard on myself. In golf and 
in sports in general, I think it works out well if you’re that controlled 
and really know what you’re doing. But sometimes in real life I would love to relax a little bit more.

Let’s flip it. What do 
you consider to be your 
best quality?

Probably the discipline.

Perfect for a golfer, right?

Yeah, when you want to become something or someone, or you 
want to reach something, you need to be determined. You need to be focused on one goal, and only on 
your own path. It takes a lot of discipline not to be distracted 
from other people’s opinions.

What moment in your life did 
you realize you could make a career as a pro golfer?

I never thought that I would be 
good enough to make the PGA 
Tour, to be honest. Actually, the 
better way to say it would be, I 
never really thought about if I’m 
good enough or not. I just did the things I needed to do in order to 
reach the next step. I didn’t really 
look long-term. I just wanted to 
see, O.K., what do I have to do 
next in order to reach this goal? Then I went very step-by-step, and all of a sudden I won a few tournaments on the minitours in Germany, and I was on the European tour. Then a few months later I was standing on the 1st tee at the Masters. And then I thought it’s not that bad. I’ll just continue what I’m doing. Then I raised the trophy at the PGA Championship [at Whistling Straits 
in 2010] and I thought, Well, that’s 
not too bad.

Photo:

Kaymer lapped the field last year at Pinehurst No. 2, winning by eight shots.

You weren’t dreaming 
of major titles early on?

The long-term goal is one thing, but 
for me the part that worked really 
well was to do things step-by-step 
and focus on those steps 100%.

What’s your idea 
of the perfect day?

Probably go for a run in South 
Beach when the sun comes up, 
and have a nice breakfast at the 
W Hotel in Miami. Then play 18 
holes in the cart, because I don’t 
want to walk. Can I beam myself 
to St. Andrews, play a round of 
golf there in the cart with some 
of my friends, maybe as a seven- 
or eightsome?

Why not? It’s your day.

Then I’ll have a small steak with some salad and some potatoes for lunch. Go for a coffee after that. By 4 p.m. I’ll go to the gym with all my friends. Maybe we do a couple of classes where we can laugh at each other about how bad we are with coordination. Then in the evening we’ll go for some sushi in my hometown, Düsseldorf. And then go out until 6 in the morning.

This turned out to be a big day.

It’s 24 hours. It starts when the sun comes up and I go to bed when it’s six in the morning. We go out late in Germany. In America I think the clubs all close at 2 a.m., but we start at 1 a.m.

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