What to do if you get sand stuck in your eye on the golf course

Golf ball in sand trap

Getting sand stuck in your eye on the course can be painful and alarming.

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Viktor Hovland withdrew from the 2021 U.S. Open on Friday because he got sand stuck in his eye, and odd as it sounds, when I heard the news I shuddered.

Not to take too much of a tangent, but something similar happened to me once during a tournament. I was playing well, and on the 9th hole I hit a shot from the fairway and a bunch of sandy dirt came back into my face.

A piece of something got stuck in my eye. I couldn’t see well, I couldn’t blink without pain, and it was just generally awful. It wasn’t until I was able to get off the course and flush my eye with water that I was able to get some relief.

So here’s hoping Viktor gets well soon, and in the meantime, here are a few helpful tips from the Maynor & Mitchell Eye Center about what to do if something similar happens to you. There are five steps you should take:

  1. Don’t rub your eye
  2. Try blinking to activate tears
  3. Lift your upper eyelid
  4. Use eyewash or running tap water to flush it out.
  5. If all else fails, go the the emergency room.

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Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.