Golf is a visually demanding sport. As you know, different lighting, course distances, backgrounds and wind can all create challenging vision conditions.
Avid golfers tend to spend hundreds of dollars on golf course fees, golf clubs, gloves and golf balls. Good equipment is essential for success, so shouldn’t having the best possible vision also be a valid investment? Quality vision, visual skills and sunglasses are three areas that you should pay close attention to when trying to improve your golf game.
High-Quality VisionWhether you are a novice or a professional golfer, high-quality vision is important to your golf game. Make sure that you have an annual comprehensive eye exam to ensure that your vision is fully corrected. Even small prescriptions can impact your vision enough to cause problems. One vision problem that may become an issue when you reach your forties is presbyopia. Presbyopia is a condition that causes us to require reading glasses, progressive lenses or bifocals to see near objects clearly.
Middle-aged golfers tend to complain about the mid-range area, a little longer than arm's length, or just about where the ball sits on the tee. In our 50s we tend to develop blurred vision that not only impacts our vision at reading distances, but also a little further out. Your doctor may have suggestions that include bifocal contact lenses or special "dual-add" no-line progressive lenses that may help clear your vision.
Visual SkillsVisual skills can play a huge role in your overall success in golf. Your eye doctor can determine if your eyes master the following visual skills.
- Eye Aiming and Eye Teaming: Good skills in these areas can aid you in making accurate hits or puts. Poor eye teaming may lead to errors that cause the ball to end up long or short or right or left of the target.
- Depth Perception: Good depth perception allows you to make judgments about distance and golf course variables so you'll know how hard to hit the ball.
- Eye Dominance: Understanding which eye is your dominant eye is extremely important in improving your alignment, your ability to read the greens, positioning yourself in line with the ball and also to align the club. (It is recommended that your eyes be directly over the ball with your dominant eye over the back edge of the ball.)
- Eye-Hand Coordination: Excellent eye-hand coordination is important for any sport but for golf, any discrepancy between the two will greatly impact the game. It is especially important for a proper swing and making good contact with the ball.
Sun Wear for GolfersOften times, golfers who wear prescription glasses do not put their prescription into the lenses of their sunglasses. Clarity of vision is important for reading the greens as well as following the ball. Because golf is an outdoor sport, a variety of lighting conditions can impact your game. Below are some important considerations for eye wear while you are on the green.
Color: Although there is no scientific evidence that different colors and tints improve your outcome, some golfers feel that colored lenses can enhance their game in certain conditions. In the end, it's better if you go to your eye doctor and try some samples, as different people perceive colors in different.
- Gray - A gray lens is considered neutral because it does not impact the true color of objects. Gray is a good lens for golfers who play in the brightest daylight hours and want to preserve the true color of the golf course.
- Brown - A brown lens enhances contrast between dark and light colors. Your vision may feel sharper, especially when viewing objects against green and blue backgrounds like grass and sky. Brown lenses are good at blocking blue light that occurs on cloudy, overcast days.
- Violet - Violet will make the ball appear more visible against a green background and allow the golfer to track the ball more accurately. Violet also tends to be soothing and makes the eyes feel more relaxed.
- Yellow - Yellow tints reduce glare and contrast and are good for hazy, foggy mornings.
- Photochromics: Some golfers may not always play in the brightest times of the day. Some may play first thing in the morning when the sun is rising or late in the day when the sun is setting. It is beneficial for their lenses to be able to adjust to changing light conditions. Photochromic lenses are lenses that change from light to dark that are activated by UV light from the sun.
- Polarization: There is controversy within the golf world as to whether or not a true polarized lens improves a golfer’s vision. A polarized lens not only reduces light, but also decreases the amount of glare that can impact your game.
- Vision’s Role in Golf, Bran, Eric. The Golfer’s Vision, Supplement to VCPN. Feb 2012.
- Selecting the Proper Sunwear for Golfers, Gibb, Joy L. The Golfer’s Vision, Supplement to VCPN. Feb 2012.
- Golf in the Presbyopic Years, Breen, William, P. and John L. Schachet. The Golfer’s Vision, Supplement to VCPN, Feb 2012.