Martin Kaymer is currently Germany’s most successful golfer. Previously number one on the official PGA Official World Golf Ranking board, the 30-year-old athlete is celebrating his 10th anniversary this year as an elite professional player.

Standing 1.84 metres tall, sun-tanned and featuring 76 kilos of a perfectly toned physique, Kaymer comes across casual and remarkably polite. With a very boy-next-door attitude, it’s just the occasional cheeky smile that gives a hint to the superstar looming beneath the surface. Kaymer grew up in the North Rhine-West-phalian town of Mettmann, just east of Düsseldorf. Excelling at football and golf as a youngster, he had to make a tough decision at an early stage in his life about which career path to follow. After permanently swapping the football shoes for the golf bag, he has been unstoppable ever since being taken under the wing of coach Günter Kessler. Just two years after turning pro, he was named ‘Rookie of the Year European Tour’ at the Sir Henry Cotton Award ceremony in 2007. But just as his career was on the way up, the golfer was confronted with the toughest private challenge of his life as his beloved mother lost the battle against cancer in 2008, leaving the young sportsman devastated. Today, he constantly carries with him the symbol of a sunflower, her favourite flower, as homage to the most special person in his life. His father, Horst, and brother Philip, who have just joined the Martin Kaymer management team, support the fairway star wherever and whenever they can. “My family and friends are the most important people in my life. Family backing and good friendships are extremely important factors in life and I am really happy that I can strongly rely on both,”he explains.
 
“I know how to deal with failure”
Winning his first Major in 2010, the US PGA Championship, was a milestone in his career. In 2011, he was named ‘Break-through of the Year’ at the Laureus Sports Award and he made to the top of the world’s best golfers. The only other German player to ever have made it to number one on the PGA leader board was Bernhard Langer. The following year brought Kaymer his second Ryder Cup triumph, but it was in 2014 when he really hit the epitome of fame by becoming the first German player ever to win the US Open Championship at Pinehurst, North Carolina. But that’s without even mentioning his victory at the prestigious PGA Tour Players Championship in the same year shortly afterwards. And while others believe that failure is not an option, he has a slightly different view. “Of course, I could say that every missed Cut was dispensable, but I am convinced that one learns from experience. That’s why I not only appreciate success, but I know to deal with failure, because it is simply part of the life of a sportsman.” For the 7th time, Kaymer has just been named PGA Player of the Year, but he remains humble. “Every award is a great honour. It shows that you did something right over the season,” he says. For him, a professional sports career brings with it far more than just health benefits. “I haven’t just gained huge experience on a sporting level, but this career has also enhanced my personality in the form of positive development. I grew up and the sport made me a better person, more independent and more adult,” the charming chap explains. And besides those benefits? Well, he’s already scooped over millions in prize money so far.

“Michael Schumacher is one of my greatest sport idols ever”
Although he spends most of his time training in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kaymer has a pad in Düsseldorf, where he loves to spend time during professional breaks. And, of course, he still has a special place in his heart for football. “Football is my second biggest passion and I am definitely a big fan of German football and the national team. On a club level, I’ve been a fan of 1. FC Köln since childhood,” he admits. When not busy teeing off at some high profile golf competition across the globe – so far he travelled about 60,000 kilometres – Martin is not the type to take things slow. “It is all about sport. Not always golf, but other disciplines such as fitness, pilates, taekwondo – I try out different things and like to explore new sports. For the first time since I was a boy, I went skiing again this winter and it was a lot of fun.” When asked about his role models, he does not have to think twice. “Michael Schumacher is one of my greatest sporting idols ever. What he did for his career and the world of German sports is extremely impressive and will last for eternity. In Golf – and especially from a German point of view – Bernhard Langer is an outstanding golfer, from whom I always appreciate tips and advice. He made a huge impact on the golf scene,“ Martin says.

2015 will bring further excitement, he reveals. “So far it has been a great journey and I am looking forward to what will hopefully be a successful season,” he says. His German fans will get the chance to watch him live at the BMW International Open in Munich (23–28 June). But the highlight of this season – and one which every golfer is eagerly anticipating – is certainly the Open Championship (13–19 July). “Winning the Open in St. Andrews would be incredible. It is the only European Major, plus it takes place on one of my favourite courses.There is nothing more one could possibly ask for. Of course, it would be superb to join in for the race for the title, but it all depends on a lot of factors. There are so many great professionals and we all have exactly the same thing in mind,“ Martin says.
We will keep our fingers crossed for “our” wonderboy!

 

TEXT: Tina Awtani | PHOTOS: : Hugo Boss AG