You want to master your swing and earn that birdie—so it’s time to call in some visual reinforcement. We’re talking sunglasses. Sunglasses can help your game by shielding you from bright light, cutting glare, and protecting your eyes from UV rays. The right pair may even shave a few strokes off your game. While the best golf sunglasses should include UV protection and a comfortable fit, extra features are all up to you. Are you a fan of polarized golf sunglasses, or do you think they hurt your score? What do you think of the hype about tinted lenses lowering your handicap? We’ve compared the sunglasses for your sport of choice, so you can approach your next round ready to play. Get in your weekly allotment of strokes no matter the light conditions with these top golf sunglasses for 2018.
Golf-specific sunglasses are popping up everywhere—Oakley’s Prizm Golf offering helps pick out the white ball against the blue sky or the greens. If you’re likely to be found on the fairway on a fair day, shade your eyes from bright light conditions with Oakley Flak 2.0 XL with Prizm Golf Dark lenses. These lenses shield your eyes from the brightest sun conditions, while practically drawing the white ball into your vision. If you’re likely to run into a few clouds, or expect to golf straight through until the sun sets, Oakley Flak 2.0 is available in a Prizm Golf lens that allows more light transmission than the dark lens, but offers the same benefits. Oakley’s Prizm Golf lenses are not polarized.
Copper or brown lenses shield your eyes from squint-inducing light, but aren’t going to mess with contrast. The tint can be found in these Bolle Flyair sunglasses—they offer a golf-specific brown lens. An adjustable nosepiece and thermogrip at the temples and nose pads mean your sunglasses stay in place, even during an especially rowdy celebration. Even better, this frame isn’t one that screams ‘I’d rather be playing sports,’ its sleek, everyday style stays put for the game but looks great behind the wheel or for a sunny mid-morning coffee run.
For the crowd that swears by orange-tinted lenses to boost brightness, improve contrast, and enhance depth perception, Under Armour Core 2.0 has a non-polarized orange lens that’ll satisfy your requirements. Known as a tough, incredibly durable brand, Under Armour is also lightweight and comfortable enough to wear through all 18 holes. The semi-rimless design prevents obstructed vision when you’re looking down at the ball, and also keeps the frame lightweight because there’s less of it to deal with.
Maybe you’re not setting out to impress anybody with your swing, you just want to play a few holes before you head home after work. The same Ray-Ban sunglasses you keep by your side in the car can do the trick on the golf course as well. Lightweight Ray-Ban RB3560 sunglasses, otherwise known as “The Colonel,” are a fresh take on the aviator shape the brand is known for. Choose gradient green lenses to block a bit of sun without making the ground too dark. While green lenses aren’t going to make the ball pop out like other sport-specific lenses may, the tint isn’t going to distort colors either.
Your vacation includes all the best: fishing, boating, hiking, and golfing. Get a pair of sunglasses that can handle your list of island-hopping activities. Maui Jim’s semi-rimless Ho’okipa-407 sunglasses are ultra-comfortable, and can manage every trek on your vacation-must-do list. UV protection—the highest rated on the market—keeps your eyes protected while you stroll around the course. Rose-tinted lenses offer the best contrast for golf, but bronze lenses perform well in changing light conditions—think partly sunny or in and out of the shade. They also include PolarizedPlus2 Lens Technology. Now, before you strike them from your list for having the ‘p’ word, they’ve put some serious technology behind this polarized lens. PolarizedPlus2 lenses reduce glare and boost color so you’re seeing better than ever on and off the green.
Nike’s X2 Pro style includes a golf-specific lens in a tint that enhances performance on the course in any light conditions. The lens helps enhance the contours of the green and let the white ball stand out against the sky so you can track your shot. They’re cut for performance—a ventilated bridge prevents fogging, the temple arms grip comfortably to keep them from slipping, and the lens covers perfectly to block harsh light from all angles.
Sunglasses are an important piece of golf gear—they protect your eyes from the sun and can help lower your risk of certain vision concerns that exposure to UV rays can cause. Even if you’re not wearing a pair to boost color vision or block glare, you should wear sunglasses to keep your eyes healthy. The best golf sunglasses of 2018 can do it all—block UV rays, enhance color vision, improve contrast, reduce glare, and maybe even take a few swings off your game.