The Hacker: Sort out my cataracts problem and I might finally get my eye in

If you are the sad possessor of poor eyesight, a game of golf is never more infuriating than if you play with someone else damned with dodgy peepers.

Max and I, for instance, play regularly in the same fourball but we could never play on our own. Max is waiting for a cataract operation which has been postponed at least once.

I am not so far down the cataract road and am waiting for my situation to be assessed by a consultant but my failing vision seems just as bad.

If we played as a twoball, the destination of our longer shots would be a mystery to both of us. Just as well, then, that our companions have sharper eyes and happily employ them on our behalf. But while I am always grateful for their patient kindness at having to perform this chore for 18 holes, it is not a satisfying experience. It's like being helped across the road by an old lady.

And there's always that delay before you know the fate of your shot. No matter how well you feel you've hit the ball, you wait anxiously at the top of the follow-through for the reaction of those alongside you on the tee.

Occasionally, if you have struck the ball straight and true, you will catch sight of its flight against a bright sky and what a joy that is.

But usually you search vainly for it while awaiting the verdict. If it is a good shot they'll tell you immediately. If it's wayward, there will be a muffled curse followed by a pause while they wait to see where it drops.

Then someone will put a sympathetic hand on your shoulder and point vaguely to a spot in the crap where your ball landed. Or, worst of all, they'll say "you'd better play another one".

As valuable as this service is, it is never quite enough for a hacker eager to learn. If the ball went left you have to ask if it was a pull or a hook; if it went right, was it a push or a slice? How else am I to make the necessary adjustments to my swing? This raises the question of whether my failing eyesight has played a part in the deterioration of my golf over the past couple of years.

I've had brilliant eyesight for most of my life so that doesn't explain my bad golf previously but who knows? Sorting out my cataracts could be the boost I'm looking for.

If it enhances my enjoyment of the game as much as it has done for John, another golfing companion, I'll be delighted. I've been playing with him at Royal Porthcawl since he made his comeback last year after 30 years out of the game.

He used to play off single figures but is finding it difficult to reclaim his old form. He has never had good eyesight but he had laser treatment a few weeks ago and has never seen better in his life.

We played at Porthcawl last week on one of those sunny winter days when you could see for miles. Unfortunately, he could and I couldn't.

The sea is visible from every hole at Porthcawl and he kept pointing out ships on the horizon that I couldn't possibly make out. But he did come in very handy in spotting my ball.

Most of the time he could see exactly where it was from over 200 yards away. It was like having a guide dog, and I've booked him for the next two months.

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

Tip of the week

No 32: Putt better under pressure

It doesn't matter if it's a putt to win The Masters or a putt to take a fiver off your pal, we all feel pressure towards the end of a good round. What the great players do is learn to deal with it. A great practice drill is to take four balls and place them round a practice hole at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. Start two feet from the hole and knock them in one by one. If you miss they all come out, and you start again. Once you hole all four, double the distance. Set yourself a target of eight consecutive putts before you head for the first tee. If you miss them left, right, long or short, that's what you'll do under pressure on the course. Work towards achieving 12 or 16 successive putts before you leave. This will make you a great pressure putter.

Simon Iliffe, Head Pro, Purley Downs GC, Surrey. www.theshortgame.co.uk

Suggested Topics
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments