Did you know that strong visual skills are necessary for optimal golf performance— from seeing your target, to reading a putt, and even visualizing your swing?
Your ability to play the game will depend on how well your visual skills are working, mainly as a result of the strength of your eye-brain connections. If your brain is not perceiving accurate visual information, you will not be able to perform to your potential.
In this article we will discuss the different visual skills needed for optimal golf performance, and concentrate on each visual skill, as it pertains to specific aspects of golf.
Which visual skills are essential for success in golf?
- Depth perception
- Eye-hand coordination
- Visual fixation
- Eye tracking
- Eye focusing
- Peripheral vision
Golf requires a great amount of focus and concentration. Many factors, such as course conditions, weather, or even recovering from a lost ball, may challenge your level of concentration.
Your ability to concentrate and focus all your attention on your game will help you to maintain peak performance levels.
Depth perception allows you to quickly and accurately judge the speed and distance of objects. This visual skill is essential for estimating the location of the golf ball and target. Depth perception helps you to assess yardage and the conditions of the green, and facilitates selection of the most appropriate club.
Strong depth perception skills will also increase your chances for hitting the ball just right, to reach the target and score that hole in one.
Eye-hand coordination allows you to react to incoming visual information with accurate body movements. This skill is essential for golf because it enables accurate timing and control over your body movements.
Good eye-hand coordination is evident when a golfer tees off— making the downswing, hitting the club head on the ball, following-through to complete the circle, and sending the ball flying through the air toward the target.
Visual fixation allows you to focus on an object for an extended period of time. Strong fixation skills will help your hitting and stroking techniques.
This visual skill is essential for focusing on the ball and target, whether 4 feet or 400 yards away— enabling the perfect swing.
Eye tracking allows you to keep your eyes on the ball at all times, without moving your head. Eye tracking is essential for following the golf ball as it flies through the air, reaching the target.
Eye focusing allows you to change focus quickly and accurately between two distances (near and far), and is essential for optimal putting performance.
Many times, golfers miss a putt because of a misread proper break. With clear vision, and strong focusing skills you will be able to pursue the ball with ease.
Your peripheral vision allows you to see everything in your environment, without turning your head, and allows you to be aware of the ball’s destination.
This visual skill helps you to swing your club with increased accuracy.
Visualization is a skill that enables you to imagine yourself succeeding, while concentrating on another object. As you imagine a movement in your mind, your brain prepares your muscles to perform that exact movement. Visualization allows you to develop consistency in your performance. This visual skill is essential for golf, as it facilitates performance of an accurate swing, as you visualize the ball flying down the path, just as planned.
Many golf trainers actually teach their students to practice swinging with their eyes closed.
What can I do to enhance my golf skills?
If you are a dedicated golf player, but are struggling to perform to your athletic potential, you may have a problem with your visual skills.
The good news is, with vision therapy, you can retrain the connections between your eyes and brain to strengthen your visual skills, and enhance your golf performance.
Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for a thorough evaluation of your vision and visual skills. Your doctor will determine which skills require strengthening, and can prescribe a program of vision therapy to help you gain confidence on the putting green.