Tiger Woods and Laser Eye Surgery (USA Today, The Los Angeles Times)

Tiger_Woods_drives_by_AllisonTiger Woods is arguably the most notable athlete to undergo Laser Eye Surgery  in 1999. Woods had the procedure because he could not see clearly without glasses. He had severe myopia. Woods was so short-sighted that he had “counting fingers” vision. He could only count his fingers about a foot away from his face.   He has had a number of enhancements since then and is now reported as having better than 20/20 vision. In Tiger’s case he had a severe sight problem in his younger years but the treatments have not only corrected the problem but given him a sharper focus than the norm.

Would it help to have such vision, particularly in Tiger’s case for his putting? Well the vision changes may not be the sole reason, but before his first Laser Vision Procedure Tiger had lost 16 straight tournaments, while after surgery he won five straight events and the next four majors beginning with the 2000 US Open!

Other golfers to have similar surgery include Tom Lehman, Mike Weir, Scott Hoch, Hale Irwin, Laura Davies and Tom Kite. The Los Angeles Times quotes Woods as saying that he is able to see slopes in greens a lot clearer. The same Newspaper reported that in case of Lehman, Laser Eye Surgery improved his ability to judge distances while Tiger’s eye surgeon was quoted as saying that the Laser eye surgery gives golfers a different three-dimensional view of the green. USA Today reported that Woods has worn contacts that corrected his vision, but he had problems due to allergies. It was reported that the wind caused his eye to tear up and that sometimes his contacts rotated during his backswing. The article described that his vision after Laser Eye Surgery improved to the point, where the hole looked bigger and the breaks (in the greens} were accentuated more. Woods’s doctor says Woods isn’t imagining magnification. He says it’s real because he’s no longer experiencing the “minification” effect of contact lenses or obstruction of peripheral vision. “For your entire life, your brain believes that it is normal when actually it’s about 7-10% smaller than actual size”.

Golfers are notorious competitors, and anything that can give them a competitive edge, like good natural vision, seems to be reasonable.

And it’s not only the golfers. In baseball a number of batters have undergone Refractive surgery. It doesn’t take much imagination to realise what a decided difference it could make when you’re trying to hit a fastball. The same would apply in cricket. What an advantage to a top order batsman when facing a Brett Lee, Jeff Thomson or Malcolm Marshall to have better than 20/20 vision.

To discuss how we can improve your Vision with Laser Eye Surgery, call us on 1800 DR EYES (1800 37 3937) to talk to one of our Patient Care Team now or Book Online for your FREE Laser Eye Surgery assessment today.