Mr Venki Sundaram
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MD FRCOphth MRCOphth BMBCh BSc

Is my eyesight affecting my golf swing?

man positioned in golf swing

As all keen golfers will know, good eyesight is essential to the game. So, if your swing has been below par recently, loss of vision could be the cause, and there are a number of eye conditions that could be behind your visual symptoms. These include:

Read on to discover the key role that eyesight plays in a person’s golfing abilities – and what you can do if you suspect vision loss is affecting your hobby. 

Why golfers need good vision 

Golf balls are small, and they travel long distances, so it seems obvious that golfers need excellent vision in order to pick out the ball from far away. In fact, eyesight plays a much bigger part in golf than this:

  • Visual acuity is the quality that helps you see clearly, and this is what’s needed to focus on small objects (like golf balls) from far away.  
  • Depth perception helps golfers to judge distance and speed, enabling them to make a decision on the appropriate force they use to strike the ball.  
  • Tracking an object smoothly with good ocular movements will help you to follow the trajectory of a golf ball across the course. 
  • Peripheral vision is vital for an all-round awareness of the contours of the course. In a game like golf, which takes place over a large distance, this skill is particularly important. 
  • Binocular vision is the ability for both of your eyes to work together as a team – essential for a complete picture of the course. 
  • Hand/eye co-ordination is essential for your brain and body to work together as you swing your club. 
  • Eye dominance is a well-known factor in your golf game. Players who have a dominant right eye may need to adopt a different swing position from those who are left-eye dominant.
  • The quality of your vision can also affect your balance, which in turn, will impact on your golf swing. 

Symptoms of vision loss 

If you spend a lot of time on the golf course, a change in the quality of your game might be one of the first signs that you have a problem with your vision. It can be tempting to ignore issues with your vision, but the most positive thing you can do is to get it checked out, and treated if necessary. 

Here are some symptoms you might experience: 

  • Gradual loss of vision, over a period of weeks or months 
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Distortion of images

In many cases, visual problems can be treated easily, helping you to retain or improve your current level of vision (and get back out on the golf course). When seeking help for vision loss, look for a qualified ophthalmologist with extensive experience in cataracts, glaucoma and retinal conditions. 

Getting treatment  

If you have any concerns at all about your vision, the first step is to get it checked. Contact us to make an appointment with Mr Venki Sundaram at one of his clinics in Luton, Harpenden or Bushey.