SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Padraig Harrington may be professional golf’s ultimate tinkerer, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he added a new piece of equipment recently.
The new equipment isn’t in his bag, though. It’s on his face.
Despite already having undergone laser eye surgery four separate times and having 20/20 vision, Harrington wore eyeglasses for a nine-hole practice round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Tuesday in an attempt to see even better.
“The likelihood is you won't see the glasses [in competition], but I'll probably wear them just for fatigue,” he explained. “My eyes are probably a bit dry for contact lenses at this stage, but obviously it worked on other things about focus, and I changed my routine with them and stuff like that. It's kind of the way these days. You know, you're looking for specialists in every area of the game, whether it's short game specialists, putting, long-game coach, psychology, everything is par for the modern game, and this is just I suppose another little addition. We'll wait and see how it goes.
“But certainly I didn't putt very well last year, and I needed to do something about it. So far, so good.”
Harrington made a point of saying that he can still see well, but the glasses may help him read the greens.
“I was laughing in Abu Dhabi with the light there, guys in my playing group with no glasses I could see the golf balls landing and nobody else could,” he said. “I'm perfectly fine in terms of what I can see. These make it better, but really I have astigmatism like a lot of people. I grew up with a bias to reading putts right to left, so if I saw an eight-foot putt that was straight, as a kid, I'd aim right-half. That's where I would see it.
“For the last number of years, if I saw that same eight-footer, I'd actually look at it left-half. Now, that's just how my eyes have changed. I was used to it for 20 years of my life having a right-to-left bias, now I have a little bit of a left-to-right bias, and it's just something that I suppose if I had grown up that way, it would be fine, but my eyes changed that way, so in fairness, I have a left-to-right bias, and I just have to work on it and get on with it.”