Optometrist’s Role in Golf

Like most eye care practitioners, we take time during the course of an eye exam to ask patients about how they are using their eyes at work. We often ask a number of questions about how much time patients are using the computer and how their eyes feel during the workday. What we often miss are opportunities to improve our patient’s during recreation activities.

Baseball, cycling, shooting and golf are just few examples of times when optometrists can make an impact on a patient’s performance. Whether patients are serious athletes or a weekend warrior, they all want to improve their game. We are in a unique position to help them.

Having a discussion with patients about four important visual skills necessary for golf will lead to a new interest in how their visual system affects their game and how we can help them.

Here are four recommended areas to improve athletic performance for golfers:

  1. Eye Aiming and Teaming: Essential in making judgments for hitting or putting. When the ball ends up long or short, or left or right of target, eye teaming may be responsible for the miss.
  2. Depth Perception: Key in judging distance to the hole and the speed with which a player must hit the ball.
  3. Eye Dominance: Vital in golfer’s position over the ball. It is very helpful in judging where the ball truly is and reading greens.
  4. Eye-Hand Coordination: Important for a proper swing and making contact with the ball. Any miscommunication between the two will negatively impact a player’s game.

By explaining the benefits of golf-specific eye wear and the visual system’s role in their performance on the course, patients will have a greater appreciation for how we can help them excel.