124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

Eye Opener

November 09, 2018
Eye Opener

My grandfather loved playing golf. But as he reached his eighties, we would need to spot his shots for him. He simply could not see his golf ball fly. That discouraged him from pursuing his favorite hobby -- and mind you, his only form of exercise -- out of both frustration and embarrassment. Routinely having to ask “where is it going?” the second he made impact eventually wore him down. He said he felt like a nuisance to others, and inevitably quit the game.

You, on the other hand, likely take for granted that you can easily follow your ball flight and read the greens. But your eyes aren't getting any younger. And with age comes erosion of clarity and depth of vision, along with the onslaught of other common ocular conditions. They can make things extremely murky out on the course, let alone off of it. Imagine being unable to see your shot against a cloudy sky, the gentle slopes of a fairway, the flagstick 100 yards away, a green’s undulation, or even the scorecard in your hand. Then consider all of the airborne irritants, such as dust and pollen, that can cause your eyes to itch and dry up. Moderate exposure to sunlight is healthy. But the longer you’re exposed to ultraviolet light, and the brighter the sunlight and glare, the more you can damage your eyes.

While prescription glasses, contact lenses, LASIK or even refractive clear lensectomy may be effective in fighting mild visual conditions, many golfers fend off those options for as long as possible. Yet you can still be proactive, in taking care of your eyes. Using eye drops before a round may prevent allergies from nagging your vision on the course. At the very least, you can protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses during your round. The many golf-specific options available are collectively designed and tinted to let you better see both a golf course’s terrain and a golf ball’s flight. And they also help minimize eye fatigue, a condition common to golfers who frequently squint to see their shots. Ultra-lightweight wraparound-style frames are ideal for golfers. You may not even notice them while you’re playing, because the temples won’t pull down on your ears, and the rubbery, adjustable nose pieces will stay comfortable and in place. Best of all, they may well spare your vision for years to come by blocking out all ultraviolet rays.

It's too late for my grandfather. But not for you.