Objective: To review golf-related ocular injuries, which account for 1.5% to 5.6% of all sports injuries.
Methods: During 8 years (1986 to 1994), a retrospective review of sports-related trauma was performed at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Eight blunt ocular injuries (four ruptured globes and four globes without rupture) caused by golf-related activities were identified. The four ruptured globes caused by golf-related trauma accounted for 1.2% of all penetrating injuries and/or ruptured globes and 11.7% of sports-related injuries.
Results: A golf ball projectile was the mechanism of injury in six patients, while two patients were struck with a gold club. The four patients with ruptured globes had an initial visual acuity of light perception or worse, and three globes were subsequently enucleated, while one was prephthisic. In the four trauma cases without rupture, surgical intervention was required to achieve anatomic stability, with final visual acuities ranging from 20/25 to 20/40.
Conclusions: The incidence of ocular injuries caused by golf-related trauma is low compared with that for other sports-related injuries. Although the prognosis for ruptured globes occurring in this setting remains extremely guarded, blunt trauma without rupture caused by a golf-related injury is associated with a more favorable visual and anatomic outcome.