Golfing is essentially all about visuals, so anything which can interfere with that is going to be a problem. Alongside devices like special golf GPS systems and rangefinders which help create with vision is a non-technical aid known as sunglasses!
And not just any old sunglasses, as those designed especially for golf players are the ultimate in useful accessories. (More on the benefits of those later.)
Perhaps you have been resisting wearing sunglasses at all, believing they may interfere with how you see the greens or make it difficult to keep your eye on the ball, but that isn’t the case, and players soon get used to wearing them.
Considering that golf is an outside game there are plenty of potential hazards, from unpredictable lighting to glare from water and sand; so sunglasses are pretty much essential to carry when you are on the golf course. They easily tackle the bright rays which can be blinding without resorting to squinting or having your eyes water in an inconvenient way.
When it comes down to which type to buy it’s easy to be swayed by decisions about the brand, price, or color, and of course those things do need to be considered, but when it comes to choosing between polarized and non-polarized lenses there’s no doubt that the latter is essential for playing golf in the summer months.
Not convinced, or curious to know the reasoning behind this way of thinking? Keep reading for more about why we champion wearing non-polarized for summer golf games.
The reason people wear polarized sunglasses
In the majority of cases, these glasses are worn specifically to reduce the effects of glare. They are particularly useful when in an environment where high glare is inevitable, such as on a wide stretch of water, or taking part in some snow-based sports.
The lenses in polarized sunglasses are made with a special filter that blocks the glare and improves visibility. So, as it is unlikely that many people will experience inhibiting levels of glare on a golf course polarized lenses are really not necessary.
Can polarized lenses in sunglasses actually spoil your golfing experience?
Some people claim that polarized sunglasses can make your eyes tired, and crucially, affect your game by interfering with how you track the ball and with depth perception. Considering that these are some of the key benefits of actually wearing sunglasses it seems like they could be a poor choice.
Go for non-polarized specialist golfing sunglasses
We already established that non-polarized sunglasses are the best bet on the golf course, and glasses with UV protection are also a given, but there’s more to good golfing sunglasses than those two factors. Compared to regular sunglasses those specially made for golfers are designed for someone who looks down as much as they look ahead, which avoids distorting the ball when you go to hit it.
There are also special lenses available that can be used according to the weather conditions at the time or to lessen the effect of saying the effect of having lots of one color (green) to take in. Lenses made from polycarbonate are best as they are light an offer a lot of resistance should they be hit by anything during play.
In general golfing sunglasses have bigger (as in taller) lenses as this allows the player to see well if their eyes look up while their head is down to take a shot. The best styles are those that wrap around the face, offering more protection from wind and blowing sand or dust, and being more secure during even the most enthusiastic shots.
The last useful feature is tinted lenses, which are said to help golfers see the ball easier by absorbing the blue light given off from the largely green landscape, obviously a pretty important aspect of the game. These differ from regular tinted lenses as these darken when faced with bright light, causing loss of contrast that a golfer doesn’t want to deal with.
There are several colors of tinted lenses on the market and most have both good and bad points, but brown-tinted glasses are the most useful overall, as they make it easier to see the white ball against the backdrop of the sky.
Popular non-polarized golf sunglasses
Some people still swear that polarized sunglasses work better for them, but the best selling models all tend to be of the non-polarized type. At the top end of the price, the scale is the Flak Jacket XLJ sunglasses from Oakley’s range for men.
They look great, are lightweight, have socks and nose pads specially designed to help absorb sweat, and as you’d expect they are completely UV blocking. They don’t smudge, attract dust, or pick up static, and the non-polarized lenses deliver amazing depth perception.
What eye specialists have to say
The general opinion seems to be that while sunglasses are essential as golf players face a variety of challenges to their eyes, including frequent switches from light to shadow, the sun, sudden contrasts, and unexpected reflections, they do need to be not only specialist golfing sunglasses but with prescription lenses to suit your individual eye needs.
Regular sunglasses may help darken your vision but they also reduce contrast, while prescription glasses not just improve vision and boost your game, they can also help reduce problems like neck strain. Most experts suggest that while polarized sunglasses do reduce glare this is not a huge issue on a golf course, and the price paid is reduced perception of depth, which is much more troublesome to a golfer.
There’s really no question that non-polarized sunglasses are essential for golfing during the summer, and possibly for other seasons too if the weather creates a need for them. There are lots of benefits to wearing the correct sunglasses while golfing, so why not take advantage of the opportunity to play to the absolute best of your ability?
To see a selection of any of these golf sunglasses, head over to Golfiod.