Can having LASIK improve your golf game? If you listen to the hundreds of professional golfers who have had the procedure, the answer would be a big yes. Golfers, it seems, have seen a change in their scores after LASIK.
Roughly estimating, one caddie, one spotter, a few thousand spectators, a corps of PGA or USGA officials and a half-dozen television cameras with zoom lenses are all trained on every ball a Woods or a Funk or a Singh hits in competition. So how good does a pro golfer’s eyes have to be? It’s not like he’s out there thrashing alone on the rare occasions when he misses the fairway. You might think as long as the golfer has seen the ball down there on his tee that he’s good to go.
Well, out on the tour, everybody has a perfect or nearly perfect swing. LASIK isn’t going to help you there. But all golfers will tell you the same thing – where it really matters is your putting. The improved vision in both eyes instantly gives the golfer a fuller, more rounded sense of the hole and the breaks on the green. You have much better 3-D perception of how the putt is going to roll. Every golfer I have performed surgery on, hundreds, have told me the same thing.
Trends develop quickly out on the tour. Our own Maryland native Fred Funk was one of the first professional golfers to have the procedure back in 1997. When Tiger Woods then had LASIK in 1999, he validated the procedure for other golfers and it really became a hot ticket.
Before laser eye surgery, Tiger, without contact lenses, could barely see the ball on the tee. Tiger went from worse than 20-400 – legally blind – to 20-15. If you think about it, he grew up thinking the hole was smaller and fuzzier than it was. After LASIK, golfers say that the hole looks bigger because their eyes are that much sharper.
Today, there is a long list of professional golfers who have had LASIK, including Zach Johnson, Jesper Parnevik, Scott Hoch, Vijah Singh, Dottie Pepper, Aaron Baddely, Mike Weir and Bobby Clampett. In addition, hundreds of other players, caddies and club professionals credit LASIK for improving their games. And while there is no guarantee LASIK will improve your golf game, it in fact may eliminate your need for glasses and contacts.
But most of the over two million people worldwide who have had LASIK are people just like you and me. I had my own procedure back in 1995, so I understand the benefits it can bring. And while it might have improved my golf game a little, mostly it has improved my daily activities. The majority of patients surveyed would recommend LASIK, and wish they’d had the procedure sooner.
Of course, LASIK is a surgical procedure and results can vary so be sure to discuss your individual expectations. The most important decision you can make is the choice of surgeon. Experience matters. Choosing a surgeon who has years of experience and has performed tens of thousands of LASIK procedures can improve your chances of having the best outcome. Look for a surgeon who will meet with you personally before the procedure and discuss all expectations and risks. You will have a thorough eye consultation before proceeding to make sure you are a good candidate. A well-educated patient can enjoy the vision of a lifetime, for a lifetime, with LASIK. So, bring your eyes and your handicap to the eye surgeon’s office. You can expect to improve them both.