As I drove into the Country Club at Landfall to give a talk on eyes and golf earlier this evening, I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the houses, golf course and community looked. This golf community in Wilmington, NC boasts of 27 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus, 18 holes by Pat Dye, and is located a next to the Atlantic Ocean. One really begins to feel the affluence of this country when imagining all the other golf communities and their glory scattered up and down our oceans on both sides.
Since Michael Jordan's 50th birthday was two days ago, I began my talk with a story about when I played in the Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf tournament in 1993 in Chicago. The Chicago Bulls had won the NBA title that year and Michael's father was killed in the summer. Charles Barkley ended up filling in for Michael as the host for the event. Before this year would end, Michael would retire from basketball and start playing professional baseball.
In my story, I relayed how my foursome ended up scoring very well, despite the fact that one golfer couldn't mentally settle down for most of his drives to land a ball in play and another player was constantly pointing his body as if he were going to hit the ball to the far left. I think I struck a chord with the crowd because only after a few minutes into my story one gentleman blurted out that he wanted me to hurry up and give my tips!
Golf, like many sports, can be very frustrating. It's a sport that demands that you repetitively do the task in a correct manner and the littlest deviation will change with your outcome. When we become seasoned athletes, our bodies begin to change how we do things and can create even more issues. That's why it's important to start the assessment of your play by looking at what your eyes do.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit" -- Aristotle.
My five tips of the evening:
1. Eye position: Golfers should place their dominant eye directly over the striking edge of the ball as the putt. As you move down through the numbers of the golf clubs, your eye position can move away from the perpendicular (towards you) to a maximum of 10 to 20 degrees off the 90th degree mark when using your driver.
2. Golfers miss to the side of their better seeing eye. (That's why it's important to go to the eye doctor to keep seeing your best).
3. Some golfers visual perception of straight ahead is actually skewed off to the left or right which can be measured and calibrated. (Read See To Play)
4. Be mentally prepared (visualization and visual noise are discussed in See To Play)
5. There are eye exercises designed to help with eye alignment found in See To Play. (go to my section of "Fun Stuff" on this website and find Michael Campbell discuss this)
I was unable to stay for dinner and one on one discussions after my talk, but I hope they learned something new. The question and answer session showed they were a serious group of golfers!
Tomorrow, my day starts bright and early with the Carolina Railhawks! Professional soccer is back in the Triangle.
Welcome to my blog! I hope this helps you learn a little more about me and also keeps you up to date on my fun world of sports vision.