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Is your vision adversely affecting your golf game? | Long Island Eye Doctor

Is your vision adversely affecting your golf game?
Joel Kestenbaum, OD

Golf season is just around the corner here in the Northeast.   I for one am looking forward to hitting that little round ball, chasing it and hitting it again……but not too many times.  Probably averaging about 30 rounds a year for 45 years, and keeping a handicap of about 10, I have learned a lot about the game.  My experience as an optometrist has also given me much insight into the ways that vision and eye comfort play a role in the overall experience.

Golfer at sunsetSo let’s look at a few of those ways.  In any sport, aside from an athlete’s innate ability, vision is likely the most important factor in excelling in the sport.  For those of you who have heard of the legendary baseball player, Ty Cobb, it is said that he could read the writing on a baseball being pitched to him at 90 miles per hour.  His vision was measured to be about 20/10.  This means that what a person with “normal” vision can see at 10 feet, Ty could see at 20 feet away. His vision was very keen.  In addition, his eye muscle coordination for tracking that ball was excellent.

Golfers need that same ability even though the ball is stationary when being addressed.  What is necessary for a golfer to hit the ball properly?  First of all, the golfer has to know his/her game and must be able to choose the right club for the shot.  The golfer has to picture the shot in his/her mind’s eye…….i.e. the shot has to be visualized.  The golfer has to see the ball clearly on the tee, on the fairway or on the green.  Proper vision correction is essential.  There should be no glare.  This can be solved with the proper sunglasses.  Transitions lenses are lenses that darken with increased amount of ultraviolet exposure and come in almost every prescription.  They not only protect the eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun, they also improve contrast and reduce glare, allowing the golfer to see more efficiently.  They even help golfers read the slopes in the greens better.  My personal preference for a golf lens is Transitions Brown.  Transitions lenses come in grey as well, but for golf, I find brown offers the best contrast of the ball off the green grass.

For those golfers that need a bifocal or multifocal, the Definity Fairway lens is a good choice for you.  This lens offers clear distance, mid-range and close vision allowing you to see at every distance with ease.

Sharp vision allows for better concentration and as a result, better contact with the ball.  I have seen so many of my golfing buddies squinting and refusing to wear eyeglasses, thereby concentrating harder than they have to.  Sharp vision takes that part of the subconscious thinking out of the equation.  Walk up to the ball, visualize the shot, see the ball clearly, get your mind to focus on what you are doing and let it rip.

How about putting?  As all golfers know, this is where the scoring happens.  If you are like me, you don’t practice putting enough.  But aside from practice, to be a good putter you need to be able to read the greens, picture a line, have a feel for the distance to the cup, and of course execute the shot.  Seeing without glare and with fine acuity is the first visual step in putting well.  Be sure to have your eyes examined and don’t be afraid to wear the proper lens for protection and visual efficiency.  It has improved my love for the game and I know it will improve yours.


Come see the experts at Optix Family Eyecare Center. You will be glad you did.


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