Kaymer Walks Away From Social Media to Get Career Back on Track
ALL golfers suffer slumps in form from time to time, and it was heartwarming to see Martin Kaymer back in the thick of the action on the final day of a big tournament again. After years of torment and struggle, there he was contending among a world-class field at The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. This is a golfer who has won the US Open (by EIGHT shots), the US PGA Championship and the Players Championship. But his last victory came way back in 2014, and since he is most famously remembered for throwing away a 10-shot lead at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Championship with just 13 holes left to play.
Like most of his fellow professionals, Kaymer has been an active and enthusiast user of social media. Ian Poulter and Eddie Pepperell both have tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, and love using it as a way of interacting with fans. Lee Westwood used to be on there frequently too. He called it a day when fans started to question his temperament and his ability to finish off the job when it mattered most. He ended up responding to some of his critics and then decided it just wasn’t worth the bother and removed himself, though he has become more active of late.
Surprisingly, Kaymer attributes his slump in form not to any flaw in his swing but to social media and the distractions it causes. “I listen too much to other people," he said. "And I also found myself lacking a bit of belief. Sometimes you would think that because I won so many big tournaments I should have so much belief in myself that I can win any week. But that's not the case because certain times you just feel like you're not on your A-game.
“Sometimes it's still enough to win, but at the moment or the past two years in particular, I was just not there. I just didn't believe that I could win the tournament that I'm playing.”
And so, of late, Kaymer has spent most of his energy getting rid of distractions. And that includes social media.
“Just getting away from so many things, social media, watching TV, reading stuff that is not important. What do you really gain from social media during tournament days? There's so much gossip, so much talk, so much distraction,” he said. “And I just got out of that. I just didn't want to read that because there's nothing really to gain from it. And that was a big one for me… It's just distraction, stimulation for your brain, just not thinking, not being there. So I tried to get away from that. And that automatically makes you more aware, makes me more conscious, and I think leads to more calmness, I guess. It helped me.”
He may not have won The Memorial but for three rounds he played flawless golf and although there were four bogeys in the final round when he needed them like he needed a hole in the head, he did mange to salvage a 72 and finish third - his best finish in a serious golf tournament for a long, long time. Hopefully that self belief will now come flooding back and he will start winning golf tournaments again. He is too good a player to be languishing among the also-rans.
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