SARASOTA, Fla. (May 4, 2021) – There is no denying that vision connects people with their surroundings. In Jacqueline ‘Jacqui’ Putrino’s case, precise vision is necessary to connect her golf club to her golf ball at just the right angle and speed. Touting the fact that she is the first player, male or female, to win all three Florida Junior Tour age divisions, the high school junior initially struggled with perfecting her craft due to worsening eyesight before becoming what you could call a child prodigy. Luckily, she had access to the perfect person that could help: her father Dr. Charles Putrino, an optometric physician at Center For Sight.
Dr. Putrino began practicing at Center For Sight in 2014 and provides comprehensive primary eye care and specializes in anterior segment disease, co-management of refractive and cataract surgery, contact lenses and sports vision. He too has a passion for sports, having competed in United States Golf Association tournaments and Golf Channel Amateur Tour competitions.
“My wife Regina and I knew something was holding Jacqui back,” Dr. Putrino said. “She wasn’t performing to the best of her ability and as I observed her, I increasingly felt it was due to a visual complication. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one of the most common vision problems in children and often goes undiagnosed for a period of time as they don’t realize small changes happening to their eyes. We decided it was time to get her eyes checked in hopes of an improved golf game.”
Prior to being fitted with contact lenses, Jacqui was not able to break a score of 80 in competition. After being fitted, immediate improvement was reflected in her scores and titles. Not only did she break 80 in her next tournament, she shot an even par of 72 at age 11. She won the U.S. Kids Golf Florida State Championship in Orlando, and in high school won the title of Individual High School State Champion in 2019 and 2020. She won the distinction of Sean Foley Performance Junior Champion from the American Junior Golf Association in 2020. Her game progressed rapidly, winning her highest title to date, the Dustin Johnson World Junior Champion in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina earlier this year.
Center For Sight doctors have a history of correcting the vision of well-known athletes. David Shoemaker, M.D., Founder and Director of Cataract and Lens Replacement Surgery at Center For Sight, performed laser cataract surgery on David Leadbetter in 2014. Leadbetter is internationally recognized as one of the world’s greatest golf instructors, having coached seven players to reach world No. 1 and win 26 Majors.
Having experienced visual challenges himself, Leadbetter attributes good eyesight to success on the course. “Being able to see clearly with no obstructions or glasses getting in the way – talk about a game changer,” Leadbetter said. “Crisp vision has changed my life for the better and I’m thrilled with the result from choosing advanced lenses. If you’re considering getting corrective surgery, do it. I recommend it to anyone with vision issues, athlete or not.”
Noticing the problem with her vision was the first step in the right direction for Jacqui. “I was aware that I wasn’t reaching my full potential,” Jacqui said. “Golf is an incredibly visual sport. I couldn’t imagine fumbling with glasses on the course, but contact lenses helped tremendously. Without my contacts from Center For Sight I wouldn’t have been able to take the next step in my golf career and reach a level of consistent wins.”
Due to her fast-growing success, Jacqui was heavily recruited by numerous Division 1 schools and has committed to join the consistently top ranked women’s golf program at Florida State University in fall of 2022. Her eyes are set on the future.
“I’d love to help my team win an NCAA championship during my time at FSU,” Jacqui said. “A long-term goal of mine is to compete and win on the Ladies Professional Golf Association professional golf tour. For the remainder of my high school career, I will be working towards playing at the U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Girl’s Championship and the U.S. Women’s Amateur.”
Center For Sight is a leading multi-disciplinary physician group, providing patients worldwide with care in ophthalmology, optometry, dermatology and cosmetic facial surgery. With fourteen locations in Southwest Florida, the practice offers convenient access to nationally renowned surgeons and cutting-edge technology.
Allow the dedicated staff at Center For Sight help you bring clear vision to life. To learn more about how you can build confidence in your game through clear, crisp vision, visit www.CenterForSight.net or call (941) 925-2020.