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The Loop

How does Martin Kaymer do it?

January 23, 2011

Martin Kaymer, winner of the PGA at Whistling Straits last August, and now No. 2 in the World Golf Ranking after his dominating victory Sunday at Abu Dhabi, has become arguably the best ball-striker in the game. Besides a lot of hard work, what is his secret?

Willi Hofmann, the long-time coach of fellow German star Bernhard Langer, has known Kaymer since the 26-year-old was a teenager. Hofmann says the secret is a very simple swing with no extraneous body movement. Kaymer stays so still over the ball, there is very little that can go wrong. When he combines that with a smooth and confident stroke on the greens, nobody can compete with him. Just ask Rory McIlroy. "Martin was playing on a different planet this week," the Ulsterman said. Just ask Lee Westwood, the only player ahead of Kaymer in the world ranking, who finished 26 shots behind Kaymer at Abu Dhabi!

Kaymer's move resembles a Stack & Tilt motion, but without the flat backswing and straight right leg. His weight constantly moves toward the target starting just before his transition, and he finishes with his weight firmly planted over his left leg. This lower-body support allows him to control the clubface with his forearms for ultimate consistency. It's an athletic swing worth emulating. Look at the following slow-motion video. If you view this swing over and over this week, I bet you'll be a better ball-striker by this weekend.

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*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest