If you’re a golfer, you know having the right equipment can make a huge difference in your game, but the best golf sunglasses are an often-overlooked essential piece of performance-enhancing equipment. Whether non-prescription or prescription, the best golf sunglasses feature high-quality tinted, polarized lenses that cut glare and increase depth perception on the course by enhancing the visual contrast of greens and blues. Our collection includes the options in sunglasses and prescription sunglasses we believe are the best available today for golf.
While you might think you can hit the fairway with any old sunglasses, the best golf sunglasses can improve your performance, safety, and enjoyment of the game. Let’s explore how golf sunglasses outperform conventional sunglasses, so you’ll know what to look for when purchasing sunglasses to help improve your golf game:
What Makes Golf Sunglasses Better:
Golfers who routinely wear high-quality sunglasses point out—quite rightly—that visual acuity is essential on the golf course. Many feel that the right pair of glasses helps them see the breaks and grains of the green, and the lie of the ball and depth of the fairways. Golfing sunglasses with precision polarized lenses and advanced lens and frame technology can cut glare, reduce eye strain, and keep debris out of your eyes, while maintaining a perfect, lightweight fit to help shave a few strokes off your game in challenging light situations.
But even those who don't want to wear sunglasses while golfing—whether they believe glasses will set back their game, or because they've simply never worn glasses for golfing before—should consider this: 18 holes of golf will keep you outside for about five hours. You wouldn't step onto the green without sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays, and your eyes deserve the same protection. If you don't want to putt wearing them, you can take them off for the stroke, and then put them back on.
Whether you're in it just for the UV protection, you're thinking about trying a pair of glasses to improve your game for the first time, or you're looking to upgrade your existing pair, there's a lot to consider when it comes to golf-specific sunglasses. One of the biggest deciding factors when narrowing down the perfect pair of sunglasses for you is the lens tint.
Ideally, a good pair of golf sunglasses increases color contrast. The best golf lenses will also help colors appear more vibrant in low-light conditions, including early morning or evening. Science has not specifically shown that different tints or colors will improve your game, but it's fairly common knowledge that each tint affects your vision a little differently, and that each is best suited for different conditions. Why shouldn't this be relevant to golf? It's an outdoor sport, and lighting has a significant effect on how players see the ball. Some golf glasses come with easily interchangeable tinted lenses so that players can optimize their vision depending on conditions on the links.
The best lens colors for golfing include:
Amber or brown lenses enhance the contrast between light and dark colors. Golfers find they can see the ball with increased clarity against the backdrops of green grass and blue sky when they wear amber or brown lenses because these colors are excellent at blocking blue light.
Rose-colored lenses, like brown and amber lenses, will increase the contrast between light and dark colors—great for putting on the green, helping you to identify contours, and reading the green more accurately overall. In particular, rose or red lenses accentuate the yellow and red hues in the color green, which is the dominant color just about everywhere on a golf course. On bright days, though, rose and/or red lenses will not darken the field of vision as much as other tints, which can lead to eye strain. Save your rose-colored lenses for overcast weather.
Some sources maintain that gray-colored lenses are good for outdoor sports, including golf, because the neutral tint allows the eye to perceive other colors in their truest form. But others point out that gray is not especially useful for golf, in any conditions. The neutral tint flattens light evenly across the spectrum, meaning the white golf ball is less distinguishable than it is as seen through other tints.
Green-colored lenses filter some blue light, which helps reduce glare and tends to heighten contrast while maintaining the balance between other colors. This results in increased clarity, useful on the golf course.
Semi-rimless frame styles work well for golf, as full-rim styles may obstruct your view or cause distortion when you're looking down. Almost all sunglasses designed for golf offer a wrap design, for added protection and better vision. A full wrap blocks light from entering through the periphery, allowing you to see more clearly and enhancing protection against indirect UV light.
Most golf sunglasses are available with prescription sunglasses lenses—including progressive lenses. The best prescription sunglasses for golfing combine the glare-blocking, lightweight, athletic performance of golf sunglasses with your own prescription, allowing for crystal clear vision from tee to green. If you prefer photochromic (aka Transitions®) lenses that darken in bright light, we can add those to your frames. If you’re not a fan of Transitions, you can carry a pair of prescription golf sunglasses and a dedicated pair of prescription glasses for cloudy days.
No matter what tint, prescription, or shape you choose, and whether you need prescription lenses or not, opt for lenses that meet or exceed ANSI standards for impact resistance.
UV protection is one of the most important benefits in any sunglasses, and should be a top consideration when you’re shopping for a new pair for golfing. Set aside the debates over whether sunglasses improve your game, and listen to these facts. UVA and UVB rays are beating down on us all day, every day. Sunny or cloudy, it doesn't matter—we're being bombarded by those ultraviolet rays the sun hurls through the atmosphere (like frustrated golf players have occasionally done with their clubs). UV rays are responsible for a number of eye health problems: cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal sunburn, and skin cancer, to name a few. If you're out golfing—or just spending time in the sun—wear 100% UV protective sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Golfers everywhere have fallen in love with Oakley and Costa sunglasses. While both brands began in different sports (motocross and fishing, respectively), each maker has developed technologies that transition seamlessly to meet the demands of golf.
Oakley’s best golfing sunglasses include styles like the Flak 2.0 XL and the Half Jacket 2.0 XL. With lens technologies like Oakley’s Prizm™ anti-reflective lenses, they have truly mastered the art and science of developing the best sunglasses for golfing.
Costa is the king of polarized lens technology. With nearly endless designs to choose from that cut glare, block UV rays, and help you see more precisely, Costa models like the Blackfin and the Cat Cay are becoming the favorite sunglasses among golfers worldwide (even if the brand isn’t sponsoring the top name pros).