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The PGA Tour schedule is transitioning towards the run for the FedEx Cup. Its the three week marketing blitz before the hype really begins for the Ryder Cup next month. That will start once Captain Azinger makes his four selections public but considering the world’s #1 won’t be in Louisville, Kentucky, it might be tough to generate a lot of interest since the US squad has been whitewashed lately. Nevertheless, first things first and just before the playoff season commences on the traveling circus, otherwise known as the PGA Tour, a small piece of business was revealed prior to play at the Barclays.
In June, Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that Transitions Optical would be the new title sponsor of the event in Tampa starting in 2009. The event will be known as the Transitions Championship. While that might be the first time you’ve heard about it, there is more than meets the eye regarding these two partners.
Rob Ohno, Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing at the PGA Tour announced the relationship is being extended to encompass a four-year global marketing partnership. “From the beginning, Transitions has made it clear, no pun intend, that had they wanted to go beyond a single-event sponsorship. They wanted a broader platform to really educate the public about the importance of healthy sight,” said Ohno. “Transition Lenses will now be designated as the Official Eyewear of the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.” Financial terms of the deal were not revealed, which is customary in these things anymore.
“It's amazing to me, and to us in the industry, how undervalued we -- we actually put a very high value to our sight, but how the awareness level is so low about protecting that sight; and also about potentially improving your visual performance. There are so many people every day going out to play golf and they are lathering up with sunscreen and they are not protecting their eyes.
So we'll use this as a definitive platform to get the awareness out,” said Dave Cole, Transitions Optical’s managing director for the Americas.
“Transitions as a lens is a primary lens, is a prescription lens, so we will continue to operate in that realm,” explained Brett Craig, president of Transitions Optical. “Yes, we may, in fact, move into the dynamic sun wear market, and, in fact, we will as a secondary platform activated by Transitions.”
Dr. Lawrence Lampert is a optometric physician and a development/behavioral optometrist with a private office in Boca Raton and a proponent to transition lenses. “There are higher incidence of cataract, macular degeneration in what we call the Sun Belt areas, higher ultraviolet radiation. The tint is not as critical as the ultraviolet protection in the lens, that you're getting both Ultraviolet A and B. You have to be careful about lenses that claim just ultraviolet protection because that's a broad term and they may not be blocking all of the harmful ultraviolet rays, and it has to be both, which this lens provides; the darkening and lightening of the lens is not what protects you,” he explained. “Some of the basic visual skills that you need for golf are things like how well do your eyes hold together as a team. If this skill is a little off or a little low, you may judge things to be farther, shorter, to the left or to the right of where they really are,” he explained. “Depth perception skills; depth perception has to do with how far away is something, how fast is it moving towards you or away from you. Another thing to look at is eye dominancy; are you right-eyed or right-hand dominant; or are you same left-eyed, left-hand dominance; or are you cross-dominant, right-handed, left-eyed. Knowing that information helps you determine how you should position yourself over the ball,” he continued. “Also, helps you read the greens. Another skill is hand-eye coordination, eye-hand coordination. The eyes read the situation but then the body has to respond to the information the eyes are giving it, and if this is off a little bit, you don't do as well. Basically all this inspired me to write a book called The Pro's Edge: Vision Training for Golf, where I go into what we do to learn about your own visual system, tips based on information about your own visual system, and then how to improve your vision system through different drills, exercises and things like that that you can do.
“Because of my understanding, passion, interest about the importance of eyes in the game of golf, I feel it's important to have healthy sight today and tomorrow, and that's why generally I always in my practice and my book I recommend the Transitions lenses. The lenses adapts to different lighting conditions and they are not too dark, and if you see a lot of pros. When the lenses are too dark, it's difficult to make the readings they have to make. And if they take the glasses off they lose the protection they are getting for their eyes.”
Expect to see more light shed on this topic as the relationship begins to take full flight on the PGA Tour in weeks and months ahead.