He had of course, in a fiercely practical way. In fact, he devoted an entire chapter to it, titled Vision And Batting.
Like those crazy quantum theorists, Woolmer looked at the evidence and came up with a remarkable conclusion. At the start of the 80s, at the University of Cape Town, a researcher called Tim Noakes conducted a series of experiments into a batsman's perception. Gary Kirsten, then one of the best players of quick bowling around, was his guinea pig.
The first thing Noakes discovered was that Kirsten couldn't hit the ball when it was delivered at a speed of 130kph by a bowling machine, even though he could play bowling of almost 150kph in Test cricket. In other words, Kirsten was relying heavily on visual information gained from the bowler's run-up and delivery when facing genuine pace.
Then Noakes rigged the bowling machine up to the lights, switching them off the moment the ball left the machine. Kirsten was able to accurately predict the course of the ball, and hit it, seven times out of 10, despite having seen it for as little as 100-200 milliseconds - about a quarter of its flight (Noakes also experimented on some provincial players, who ran out of the net...).
Noakes established that the best batsmen had no better eyesight than anyone else: they were simply better at processing advance clues about the bowler and the delivery. Even Kirsten could only defend balls after the lights went out; he needed more information in order to attack. As the amount of information increased, so did the number of batsmen who could cope.
Woolmer was able to conclude that 'the fundamental difference between elite batters and those with average ability is the ability of the elite to know where the ball is going even before it is delivered'.
Experiments in 2005 by Land and McLeod uncovered something else: batsmen don't always watch the ball. Instead they undertake a 'saccade' about 140 milliseconds after delivery, and look at the spot where they expect the ball to pitch. They also don't watch the ball for the last 100 milliseconds (as super slo mo often shows). In all, an elite batter might actually be watching the ball for around 52 per cent of its flight.
So Woolmer's answer is that, physiologically at least, a ball is good or bad before it's delivered. Philosophically, you'd have to say that whether a ball is good or bad is down to the batsman who's looking at it - except that sounds like the kind of thing Jeremy Snape would come up with.