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Glasses for Golf - Multifocal/Bifocal Lenses - Question


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(edited)

I have just become aware that the single vision lenses I use for golf are not right for my vision at address. The ball is out of focus. Infinity is fine.

I have been wearing Transitions style glasses for years which I love.

I was just about to go and get fitted for some bifocals and suddenly realised that I might be making a mistake because it's not like you necessarily look at the ball at address through the bottom part of the glasses.

I am a bit confused about my next move and would really appreciate some input from golfers with a similar problem. What do you use if you need a different script for things (like  a ball ;-)) a club-length away and things a long way away?

Up until now I've managed with my distance prescription, but today it was obviously a bit of a problem.

Thanks :-)

 

Edited by Shorty
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  • Shorty changed the title to Glasses for Golf - Multifocal/Bifocal Lenses - Question

I have transition bifocal glasses and have no problems.   I've heard though that many people have a special pair of glasses for golf that are distance only. 

 

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I needed trifocals for work, but never could get used to them. So I had special bifocals  made for computer work that had mid vision lenses on top and reading on the bottom.  I only wear single vision glasses play golf though and the ball is in focus at set up.

I recommend you do the following: At set up, have someone measure the distance from your eyes to the ball. Do it for putter through driver to get a range. Then give this info to your optometrist. What they can do is create a bifocal for address and distance that will fit this purpose. I did this for the special work glasses by measuring the distance to the screen I was working on. I took them off when walking around and put on my regular bifocals.

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10 hours ago, Shorty said:

I have just become aware that the single vision lenses I use for golf are not right for my vision at address. The ball is out of focus. Infinity is fine.

I have been wearing Transitions style glasses for years which I love.

I was just about to go and get fitted for some bifocals and suddenly realised that I might be making a mistake because it's not like you necessarily look at the ball at address through the bottom part of the glasses.

I am a bit confused about my next move and would really appreciate some input from golfers with a similar problem. What do you use if you need a different script for things (like  a ball ;-)) a club-length away and things a long way away?

Up until now I've managed with my distance prescription, but today it was obviously a bit of a problem.

Thanks :-)

 

I can't golf with multi-focal lenses. The changing focus is just too much to handle when setting up to the ball. Fortunately, my distance vision is still good enough for golf so I can remove the glasses. I would recommend talking to your optometrist about the problem and have him suggest a prescription for a single vision lens that will work.

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I have tried several things that would allow me to see the ball at address and also to see distance. The only thing that really works for me are contacts. Having an astigmatism throws a wrench into the mix, and when I use glasses, the ground starts to get distorted. It's like glasses alter the grading of the turf. With contacts, I don't have any of these issues and can see both distance and club length away. 

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In support of dennyjones I have a friend who wore no-line bifocals and the ball, at address, would always be out of focus.  So he got a pair of glasses just for golf... with no bifocal lens.

On the other hand, wouldn't an out-of-focus, blurry ball, be bigger and therefore easier to hit?

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1 minute ago, Double Mocha Man said:

In support of dennyjones I have a friend who wore no-line bifocals and the ball, at address, would always be out of focus.  So he got a pair of glasses just for golf... with no bifocal lens.

On the other hand, wouldn't an out-of-focus, blurry ball, be bigger and therefore easier to hit?

It messes with depth perception. Out of focus can be off in distance.

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There are progressive contact lenses, I think they're called multifocal, but I've no experience with them. I wonder if they pose the same problems as eyeglasses? Guessing probably the same.

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51 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

It messes with depth perception. Out of focus can be off in distance.

Just joking around (something I rarely do).  The ball is the ball.  The clubface is the clubface.  Blurry vision doesn't make the ball easier to hit.  But it does make Brian Harman's clothes appear less frumpy...

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56 minutes ago, nevets88 said:

There are progressive contact lenses, I think they're called multifocal, but I've no experience with them. I wonder if they pose the same problems as eyeglasses? Guessing probably the same.

The thing with contacts is that the lens is sort of like being part of the eye, as opposed to having a lens(glasses) that is offset away from the eye, which can introduce distortions. I just have the distance type contacts, and just use them to play golf. I don't know have experience with progressive contacts, but they are available. My single vision contacts work well, but I would like to try the progressives.

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(edited)

I sort of had the opposite problem. For a number of years, maybe more than 10, I have been playing with multifocal glasses and had adjusted to the narrow vision field, the need to look at things through the proper part of the glasses, etc. I had seemingly no problem playing golf with them, except at dusk when my depth perception seemed slightly different, and taking my eyes off the ball for even a minute moment would mean I could never could get back on it.

With my current swing (and improved) swing, I noticed that when I take the club back, my head/eyes turn away from the ball slightly and due to the narrower than normal field of vision of the multifocal glasses, the ball is now blurry at the top of the backswing, and that I can't regain the focus on the ball before impact. Sure, I can play with that but what if I didn't have to?

As my far vision has slightly improved with age, while my near vision is essentially the same as before and essentially all the golf activities are with the far vision, I decided to try some sunglasses for golf made with only the long distance prescription. Voila, no more ball out of focus.

There are two drawbacks to this approach: a) I need to lift my glasses to deal with the scorecard (or the phone where I record my score) and b) the problem at dusk is even more severe now as I must revert to my multifocal glasses when the light is too low to handle sunglasses... and spend time to readjust the vision to the multifocal lenses and hit a ball now pretty guaranteed to be out of focus. I try to book tee times when I can finish more than an hour to half an hour ahead from the official sunset time.

But overall, I think it was a good change.

PS: Contact lenses were never an option due to a) astigmatism and b) I once, many may years ago, had to fight an eye doctor for several hours to get them out of my eyes after an afternoon try!

Edited by sjduffers
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(edited)
32 minutes ago, sjduffers said:

As my far vision has slightly improved with age, while my near vision is essentially the same as before and essentially all the golf activities are with the far vision, I decided to try some sunglasses for golf made with only the long distance prescription. Voila, no more ball out of focus.

There are two drawbacks to this approach: a) I need to lift my glasses to deal with the scorecard (or the phone where I record my score) and b) the problem at dusk is even more severe now as I must revert to my multifocal glasses when the light is too low to handle sunglasses... and spend time to readjust the vision to the multifocal lenses and hit a ball now pretty guaranteed to be out of focus. I try to book tee times when I can finish more than an hour to half an hour ahead from the official sunset time.

I’m nearsighted, about -3.25 diopters.  For daily work, I use progressive lenses.  For golf, I have single vision (no reading/progressive) sunglasses, as you do.

a) Yes, I lift my sunglasses as needed to record scores, adjust pin/putting location, etc. I’ve never really thought of it as a problem, but I can see how it might be for some.

b) For low light, I have a very inexpensive set of single vision regular glasses that I ordered online ($50 or so because I splurged and upgraded the lenses). I keep them in my golf bag all the time.  At dusk, I switch from my nice sunglasses to my cheapo clear glasses.

From time to time I consider contacts (I’ve worn them in the past), but then I’d probably have to use a set of readers to deal with (a).

Edited by Missouri Swede
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1 hour ago, sjduffers said:

 

As my far vision has slightly improved with age, while my near vision is essentially the same as before and essentially all the golf activities are with the far vision, I decided to try some sunglasses for golf made with only the long distance prescription. Voila, no more ball out of focus.

 

This is pretty much my issue. My eyes are actually improvin, which means that my distance glasses are bad for things not too far away, like a golf ball. I have to look under mine to write scores.

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23 hours ago, Missouri Swede said:

b) For low light, I have a very inexpensive set of single vision regular glasses that I ordered online ($50 or so because I splurged and upgraded the lenses). I keep them in my golf bag all the time.  At dusk, I switch from my nice sunglasses to my cheapo clear glasses.

I am a dummy. I didn't even think of that. Ah!

Yes, I should do that and have them just for that reason and maybe in case of emergency (instead of relying on the previous multifocal pair). Thanks!  :beer:

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(edited)

ETA: I just ordered a pair, for under $40: can't beat that!. We'll see (or not, pun intended. 😜).  Thanks again.

Edited by sjduffers
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On 4/10/2021 at 1:54 PM, nevets88 said:

There are progressive contact lenses, I think they're called multifocal, but I've no experience with them. I wonder if they pose the same problems as eyeglasses? Guessing probably the same.

I wear Biofinity multifocal contacts and they are great for the most part.  They are nothing like bifocal glasses other than the ability to see both near and far.  The focus zones are concentric circles, not a top/middle/bottom. Your eyes just adjust naturally to whatever you need to look at. You don't need to look through a certain area of the lens. 

My only problem is that there is a compromise and it is harder to get both perfect near and far vision. I need -6 distance correction plus I have a little astigmatism which are hard to balance with the near correction. So I am set up with a good average vision, but occasionally throw on reading glasses for really small print or low light. If your distance vision is better than mine, you will have less compromise between the 2.

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I play with progressive lenses. Really difficult at first; thought it was impossible to play well with them. Ball would get blurry and out of focus during backswing. But I stuck with it, and my eyes have re-trained and adapted to stay in focus with the progressive lenses. Great on the golf course. But you will suffer for several rounds until you instinctively learn to adapt. Stick with it and they will work for you. 

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I got dizzy demoing n a pair of transition glasses at the store.  Think it would be difficult to play golf using them. 

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