Newly crowned US Open champion Martin Kaymer was asked to explain the remarkable turnaround in fortunes that saw the 29-year-old lift his second trophy of the year, the first being the Players Championship.
The German’s response was surprising – and came from an even more surprising source: a Hollywood film.
“I watched (The legend of) Bagger Vance yesterday and he said, ‘At the end of the day we're playing a game,’ and that is what we're doing,” said Kaymer.
“We can't control a lot of things that happen on the golf course. You have to play the game.”
Kaymer then revealed how this simplistic philosophy shared in the film mirrored the changes he has made to his own game.
"It's about feel, that touch, that you play with your heart." -Martn Kaymer
“If you try to control your swing, if you try to control everything, which is a little bit the way I am as a person, I like to be in control of things. It's the way I think a lot of Germans are. But at the end of the day, you have to feel on the golf course. You have to create that feel and trust your skill and all the work.
“It's about feel, that touch, that you play with your heart, learning that you can't control too many things. That's what I was trying to do the last three years. Now I just play.”
Martin Kaymer :: what can we learn?
The simplistic, ‘back to basics’ approach adopted by Kaymer is certainly yielding results for the German, and I believe it probably could work for us club players too.
In golf, we can all be guilty of over complicating things, cluttering our minds with mechanical swing adjustments, forsaking the simple pieces of advice we have picked up over the years.
However, they do say the best golf tips are the simplest ones. Little phrases that relate to feel such as ‘soft hands ’ or ‘belt buckle facing the target’.
It seems that Martin Kaymer has taken this approach, too, and has started to trust himself more and not work tirelessly to change what he had. In his own he words ‘now I just play’.