Sunglasses to Wear on the Golf Course

February 21, 2007

Sunglasses look cool. But they’re so much more than that. “Sunglasses are sunscreen for the eyes,” says Dr. Paul Finger, Director of Ocular Oncology at The New York Eye Cancer Center.

Dr. Finger, who’s also the founder and CEO of The EyeCare Foundation in New York City, strongly recommends that you put on sunglasses whenever you apply sunscreen. Golfers are quite aware of the sun’s dangerous effect on skin but think little about its effect on eyes. Yet, wearing sunglasses on and off the course is an easy-to-do preventative measure against eye diseases and tumors. It’s also worth noting that golf-specific sunglasses block the harmful UV rays that contribute to many eye conditions.

Quick tip #1: For more information on eye care, go to

What makes golf-specific sunglasses different than standard sunglasses? It’s how the lenses are cut. Standard sunglasses are typically designed with little or no distortion in the middle of the lens, which makes them fine for driving a car, hanging out at the beach, etc. But standard sunglasses are less effective when yo play golf because you peer through the bottom half of the lens to see the ball. This may cause the ball to look like it’s moving during the swing. Golf-specific sunglasses, by contrast, are designed to eliminate distortion in the bottom half. Read on for six new pair that’ll add pizzazz and protection.

Quick tip #2: Practice in golf-specific sunglasses if you plan to wear them on the course. Otherwise, things will appear different to you when you’re playing.

Nike Snare
$179; 800-806-6453,
Coolest features: Spring-hinged temples and an adjustable nose bridge
How they work: These clingy parts allow for a snug fit so your glasses won’t shift during your swing. The lens is tinted to bring out the bright white in your ball (so you can easily spot it in flight) and the hues in the color green (to help you better judge your putting line).
NYX Golf Arrow
$109; 800-505-4699,
Coolest feature: Interchangeable lenses
How it works: You get three pairs of sunglasses in one. Pop in the dark gray lens for bright, sunny conditions, the medium gray for partly cloudy days (or if you wear a hat) and the yellow for cloudy and low light conditions. The medium gray lens transmits light evenly, allowing you to see colors as they naturally occur. The yellow lens blocks a high percentage of blue light, increasing contrast in low or flat light.
PeakVision Classic Competition
$169; 888-856-3419,
Coolest feature: Two distinct lens filters
How it works: The neutral-density gray filtration in the upper part of the lens eliminates glare from the sun and enhances distance perception, while the lower zone has an amber tint to enhance your ability to read green contours. A special lens material provides the clarity of an optical glass at 40 percent its weight; it’s also more scratch- and shatter-resistant than traditional polycarbonate lenses.
PolarEyes Obispo
$50; 800-549-5834,
Coolest feature: Super lightweight frame
How it works: At just 21 grams, it’s downright feathery. The wraparound lens provides excellent protection from the sun. The copper lens tint enhances color contrast so that you can effortlessly track your ball as it soars into the blue yonder.
SunBusters PuttReader
$119; 866-786-2878,
Coolest feature: A lens built for reading greens
How it works: When you read a putt, your naked eye is saturated by the color green. This lens blocks out green and enhances the reds and yellows that you need to see to accurately judge the contours. The super-durable lens is water-repellant and scratch-resistant.
Sundog Zilla II
$60; 877-786-3642,
Coolest feature: The Z-shaped temples
How they work: These slick-looking temples don’t serve any real function, but the design was inspired by long-drive legend Jason Zuback, and if they’re OK by a guy who can knock it 380, they’re OK by us. The distortion-free, high-contrast lens comes in six colors (that’s amber pictured).
Rob Sauerhaft is the Managing Editor of Equipment for GOLF MAGAZINE. E-mail him your questions and comments at [email protected]