How to choose sunglasses for golf: Which are the best lenses for the bright sun?

by Visio Optical

Golfers probably do not think about this all that much but having a pair of sunglasses for golf is something which is important when you are going to be spending several hours out on the course. As we have much experience with sunglasses for sports, Visio Optical is the optical shop that you can rely on, for your sunglasses for golf.

Sunglasses for golf are both a fashion accessory and protection for your eyes
Sunglasses for golf are both a fashion accessory and protection for your eyes

The modern consensus around sunglasses is that the only purposes that they serve are as a fashion accessory and so that you can feel more comfortable when it is bright out, but they serve even greater purposes than those.

A good pair of sunglasses can protect your eyes from a variety of different issues that are caused by long-term sun exposure. Issues such as photokeratitis, pterygium and pinguecula are all eye-diseases believed to be caused by UV rays.

Good sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV rays
Good sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV rays

And while these conditions can be painful and can seriously impede the quality of your performance, there could be even more serious consequences too. Cataracts, macular degeneration and even cancer.

Your eyelids are a common place for melanoma to pop up and a place where it would be quite difficult to put sunscreen. As a golfer, you are spending an awful lot of time out in direct sunlight.

Probably more than a lot of people and so sunglasses are especially important. Think of it in the same way as you would your skin. Even if you do not get burned easily, that does not mean that your skin is not getting damaged, and your eyes are the same.

Wearing sunglasses you protect your eyes, the same way you would protect your skin
Wearing sunglasses you protect your eyes, the same way you would protect your skin

You may not feel like the sun affects you, but that does not mean that your eyes won’t be dealing with long term damage. So how do you decide on a pair of sunglasses for the golf course that will protect you without getting in the way of your performance?

Let us look at some stuff worth considering.

Contrast

Something that you have no doubt noticed when wearing just a normal pair of sunglasses is that it very much inhibits the color contrast that you are capable of perceiving. Everything typically looks much darker and nuanced color becomes practically invisible.

This is fine if you are just going out for a walk on the beach or in the park, but it is not fine when you’re on the golf course, you need to be able to pick up on the nuances of a particular hole so that you can line up your shot properly.

Here is the kicker though, everyone’s eyesight is different and so not everyone is going to get the contrast that they need from the same specific tint or type of lens. Some people can see different colors better than others and may be inhibited by a tint that would be helpful to someone else.

So, you need to try out a few different kinds of colors before you can know which is the right one for you. With that in mind:

Different tints will provide different advantages
Different tints will provide different advantages

Different tints will provide different advantages and as we just discussed, not everyone will get the same advantages from every specific tint. But there are a few things which you can typically expect from each of the most common colors.

At Visio Optical we can make sunglass lenses with prescription in many different colors. Standard colors for sunglasses are grey, brown and green (also called grey-green). Grey is cooler, brown will give a warmer image, and green will be in between the two. For the purpose of playing golf, any of these standard colors will work very well.

All these three colors are quite neutral, as they don’t alter the overall perception of colors around you. With these tints you will see true colors, and this is important to understand the distances between far objects, the ground, slopes, and your target.

We talked about contrast, and brown is perfect for heightening the contrast against both the greens themselves and the blue sky, so you can track your ball on both the ground and in the air.

Other tints

Rose copper and amber are common colors, with or without gradient
Rose copper and amber are common colors, with or without gradient

Rose Copper is another popular choices for golfers, the reason being that it enhances your view of red and yellow. This helps you to see the contours of a course as well as the breaks and grains.

Amber is also a common color, and this one is great especially if you regularly play in lower light conditions. When it is overcast during the summer, it does not necessarily mean that you should not wear sunglasses because UV rays can break through clouds.

And if you choose amber lenses, it can help you to make certain colors pop better in low light. The ball will be more visible, as the amber tint will enhance the white. And then you could also look into brown as an option too.

Another color that you may consider is yellow. This color increases contrast, and this can be important in hazy days when the visibility is limited. However, yellow will cause some color distortion, and there are people that will not get used to it. Yellow lenses will also be less dark as compared to standard colors, so that they will not be ideal with bright sunny days.

Price

Something that you always must consider with this sort of thing. The fact is that the more you are willing to spend the better the result will likely be for you. But at the same time, you do not always need to pick a high-end designer brand.

Function is more important. Obviously, you can put some amount of thought into style if you want. But you do not want to let that overshadow the need for protection and enhanced performance.

Also, you should think of it as an investment. You want a high-quality pair that is going to last you for years and years to come. Spending a bit more on it now might mean not having to pay to replace the pair in the future.

Factor it into your budget. Think about your selection process for the other expenses such as clothes, clubs and memberships and set some money aside for sunglasses.

Though it is likely one of the last things on your mind, sunglasses need to be a priority when you are playing golf. You will notice the benefits for performance almost straight away. And you will thank yourself in the future when your eyes are just as healthy as ever.

Which sunglasses for golf: Your options

You can choose few features for your next golfing sunglasses. we already mentioned about tint and color of the lenses. Here is a quick guide on other features that you may consider, and how to choose.

Darkness

An important feature of sunglasses for golf is the level of darkness. We can describe the darkness of sunglass lenses with percentages. 50 per cent darkness is considered medium-light.

It will work well if you play early morning or late afternoon. However, it will not be as comfortable under bright sun. 75 per cent darkness counts as medium darkness. It’s suitable in most outdoor activities.

For people with sensitive eyes, or for mid-day bright sunlight, 85 per cent will be a good choice. Indeed, this is probably the most common level of darkness for sports sunglasses.

Different levels of darkness will be useful during the day
Different levels of darkness will be useful during the day

Polarized

Another option for your golf sunglasses is whether to have polarized lenses or not polarized. Polarized lenses will reduce glare from reflected light. Although this is not necessary, it is a desirable feature for sports including golf. Polarized lenses will also boost contrast and will give you an added perception of sharpness.

Polarized sunglasses will reduce the glare from the sun and from reflected light
Polarized sunglasses will reduce the glare from the sun and from reflected light

Photochromic

Lastly, another option that is available to you is photochromic lenses. These lenses change from clear to dark depending on the amount of UV available. You may use traditional photochromic lenses in your current prescription glasses or choose them for more sports-looking sunglass frames.

Photochromic lenses get darker under the effect of UV light
Photochromic lenses get darker under the effect of UV light

An issue with traditional photochromic lenses is that this color-changing feature is affected by the temperature. And in a tropical climate like Singapore, they may not get as dark as you wish. For this reason, some companies offer photochromic lenses that can get extra dark, like ZEISS PhotoFusion Extra Grey.

The best sunglasses for golf: your next lenses on the golf course

There are few lenses that we like to recommend for your golfing activities. We like to recommend ZEISS tinted lenses. They come in a range of colors, with full UV protection, and you can opt to have polarized lenses. You will also benefit from ZEISS premium coating, which protects your lenses from scratches.

ZEISS tinted sunglasses lenses come with premium coating
ZEISS tinted sunglasses lenses come with premium coating

Another product and we recommend is DriveWear lenses. These are amazing lenses for sunglasses with many great features. And although they are good for driving, DriveWear lenses are actually great sunglass lenses that you can use in any sports. They have adaptive color that changes between brown and green, depending on the light conditions.

DriveWear are amazing lenses for sunglasses with many great features
DriveWear are amazing lenses for sunglasses with many great features

By changing color, they will provide you with the best contrast and color perception as the weather and the light conditions change. In addition, they are also polarized. Thus, they will give you a glare-free view in the field, with an increased sense of contrast and sharpness.

For more details, please visit our store, we will be glad to introduce you to our range of sunglasses and lenses for the golf course.

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