Golf Sunglasses

From reading the greens to spotting the pin from the tee box, golf demands good vision. Why else would Tiger Woods have undergone LASIK eye surgery to improve his vision to better than 20/20? While surgery may not appeal to you, you can still boost your vision with our guide to the best sunglasses for golf. The search starts with the polarizing stances around polarized sunglasses, continues with making the right choices in lens color, and finishes with finding the perfect fit. Get all of them right, and you should see the course better than ever.

Polarized Sunglasses for Golf? 

Polarized sunglass lenses use a filter to block horizontal light from penetrating the lens, effectively blocking the glare that comes from a water hazard, concrete patio, or sun-facing fairway. These features make them a no-brainer choice for water sports and recreation, but on the links, the polarization question has split into two camps: One who believes the sharp optics and contrasts elevate their ability to read the course, and others who claim that polarized lenses mess with a person's depth perception, which makes consistent shot-making more difficult.

The answer comes down to personal preference and experience. Some golfers love how polarized lenses reduce eye strain and help them spot their ball over 18 holes. And it's easy enough for them to remove their glasses while chipping or putting. Others find that high-quality, non-polarized lenses that rely on lens colors and coverage to filter UVA/UVB rays and reduce eye strain work just as well. You'll need to find out for yourself which one you prefer.

Best Lens Colors for Golf Sunglasses

In general, copper, bronze, brown, red, or rose-colored lenses offer the sharpest color contrast for golf. The greens, fairways, and trees will look sharp, especially under bright sunny skies on a links course without much shade. Shadows from trees or tall grass won't appear as flat as they would without sunglasses, making it easier to read the golf course. What color you choose between those brown tones is a matter of personal preference.

Rudy Project takes a different approach to lens colors by offering purple lenses, specifically their photochromic Impact X Laser Purple HDR lens. Photochromic lenses automatically reduce or increase darkness depending on the amount of light that hits the lens. This quality makes them ideal whether you’re standing over fairway-center drives in bright sun or chasing hooks and slices that found the dark shade. Rudy's purple lens pumps up the contrast in color variances between shades of green (grass, trees, bushes, and putting greens) for better reads.

Gray or black lenses work perfectly fine across light conditions, from bright sun to overcast days. They let you see true colors as well. However, wearers will sacrifice the high-contrast vision that the brown and purple lenses deliver.

Whatever you do, stay away from blue and green lenses. Blue works best on open water as it absorbs blue light and allows you to see better on water. They’re not as helpful on a golf course. Green lenses provide a noticeable improvement in contrast and sharpness compared to no sunglasses, but not as well as the brown-toned lenses will.

The shape of your lenses also matters for golfing sunglasses. You want curved, not flat, lenses with full coverage. The curve eliminates any distortion you'd see when looking down through a flat lens.

Fit Matters for Golf Sunglasses

Even if you keep your head as still as the golf pros tell you, you’ll need to pay attention to how your sunglasses fit. Most sunglasses frames fit best for a face held level with eyes looking forward. The most critical moments in golf happen when you're looking down at the ball. The last thing you need is for your frames to slip off your face. Look for a rubber, adjustable nose piece that grips your skin and keeps those frames in place. Rubber-tipped arms do the same — and high-quality arms do it without putting uncomfortable pressure on the sides of your skull.