I recently attended a sports vision lecture about how to improve your patient’s golf game. If you’re a golfer, you know how little things like changing your swing or a club can make a big difference. When you think about what is involved with golf, it’s easy to see that there are many visual skills necessary to excel at this sport. Golf depends on good vision and eye-body coordination. Here’s a breakdown of things you can do to ensure your vision is optimized for golf.
1. Visual Acuity: We want both eyes to ideally be 20/20 or better so you can see your ball land on the green. Contact lenses that fit a little tighter are ideal to minimize movement of the lens when you blink or move your eye. Glasses can be problematic because they may fog or slip down your nose while you play. Pro golfers such as Tiger Woods choose to have laser refractive surgery which is a great option for the right candidate.
2. Contrast Sensitivity: This is refers to our ability to discern between different luminance levels. This is important when trying to read the green when we putt. It declines with age due to factors such as cataracts, dry eyes, or diabetic retinopathy. A routine eye exam can detect these conditions. There are also certain exercises we can do to train contrast sensitivity.
3. Appropriate Tints: Sunglasses/tinted eyewear can help with things such as glare and reading the green. Neutral greys and greens are good in sunny conditions. Nike has also developed a purple-ish tint specific for golf called “Max Golf Tint”. When dusk sets, consider an amber tint.
4. Depth Perception: This is often assessed during an eye exam at near, but for golf it should also be assessed in the distance. This skill can be optimized with optimal visual acuity in both eyes and good binocular function. There are eye exercises that can enhance depth perception abilities.
The weather is warming up so dust off those clubs and happy golfing!