Think of sunglasses as sunscreen for your eyes. While most golfers wisely protect their skin from harmful rays, many leave their peepers unguarded. Summer is the perfect time to make a habit of wearing golf-specific specs. They'll protect you from dangerous rays, sharpen your field of vision and reduce eyestrain, allowing you to play your best in comfort. If you're not sure where to start, read on. You'll definitely have it made with one of these shades.
KAENON HARD KORE
The polarized SR-91 lens comes in gray, copper or yellow, as well as single-vision prescription or progressive. According to Kaenon, the sun can cause a reflective glare with non-polarized sunglasses, making it difficult to see subtleties in the terrain. The company recommends a gray lens for most days, because that shade doesn't alter color perception. The other tints enhance color contrast, which is more useful on hazy or dark days.
NIKE GOLF X2
$165 to $185; nikegolf.com
The non-polarized "Max Golf Tint" lens boosts the contrast between shadows and highlights. As Nike sees it, polarized lenses cut glare from highly reflective surfaces. Grass isn't highly reflective, however, so polarized lenses could actually reduce your ability to see undulations and other details. The company offers four tints: gray for low reflection; green to brighten shadows; amber to cut reflected brightness; and purple to help whites and greens pop.
ADIDAS KUMACROSS 2.0
$139 to $189; adidasgolf.com
Using "Light Stabilizing Technology" (LST), these lenses provide a crisp view regardless of light conditions. Choose from LST contrast silver (best for golfers), LST polarized silver, LST active silver ($189), gray/red, gray/blue, gray/yellow, gray ($139) and Vario, which changes from a clear to dark tint. The Quick Change system allows you to switch lenses (additional lenses sold separately).
MAUI JIM ALAKA'I
A new lens material called MauiBrilliant allows you to see as crisply as you would through clear glass. Its patented technology eliminates glare, boosts color and blocks UV rays. The sporty rimless frame comes standard with four lens colors: rose, bronze, gray and green (Maui HT), which provides extra contrast and is best in low light.
The blue lens is engineered to filter blue light, which increases contrast so that you can easily see green contours. NYX adds that our ability to filter blue light decreases as we age, so a lens that enhances that ability can improve vision on the course. The thermoplastic frame comes in black or brown tortoise.
UNDER ARMOUR IGNITER 2.0
The Game Day polycarbonate lens, developed by Zeiss for Under Armour Eyewear, highlights white objects (such as golf balls) against a green background. Under Armour says the lens provides up to 20 percent more undistorted peripheral vision and is up to 10 times stronger than regular polycarbonate lenses. The titanium-thermoplastic frame has an adjustable nosepad for proper fit.
SUNDOG PRIME EXT
SunDog officials say that repeated exposure to blue light can cause significant damage to our eyes. It's no surprise, then, that this lens has pigments to filter blue light for added protection. The polycarbonate lens comes in two tints: brown for lower light conditions and gray for brighter settings.
OAKLEY FLAK 2.0 XL PRIZM
The XL version of this semi-rimless design features a rose-colored lens with Prizm technology. Controlling the transmission of light enhances color, clarity and contrast, so you'll have a better time gauging distances and distinguishing between shades of green.
The Crit, short for "critical moment," has a smoke-colored Fototec lens that adjusts as light conditions change. And fogging shouldn't be an issue thanks to vents where the lens meets the nylon frame. A golf-specific Crit ($70) has three interchangeable lenses. The package includes Smoke (gray) for bright sunny days; GT (green) to sharpen contrast and cut glare; and EC (purple) to highlight subtle breaks in the green.
Engineered with greater contrast and brightness, the new Chromance lens enables you to see the subtleties of the course easily. Lens tints include brown, gray and green mirror, while the sleek rimless frame comes in shiny black, gray or brown.