Sunglasses and Golf

The RBC Canadian Open Golf Championship is heading into the fourth day. Jim Furyk is holding a 3 stroke lead over Tim Clarke and seems near impossible to beat. Graham DeLaet shot even par on moving day and will take a miracle to win his national title. The Royal Montreal Golf Club is living up to its hype and today’s final round should be exciting and fun to watch.

sunglasses and golf

For the first three days, the weather was normal for the Montreal area with plenty of sunshine. The grass and trees are very green and when the sun shines an aura of brilliant colors surrounds the players and gallery alike. Interestingly, many players wear sunglasses either all the time, or at least during some aspect of their round. Personally, I do not wear sunglasses while playing, but wonder if it provides an advantage.

Sunglasses when fitted properly are very comfortable. According to my research, it is also important that they have the proper UV protection. It is only recently that professional golfers started wearing sunglasses and according to Robert Allenby are a must.

“Australian-born professional golfer Robert Allenby, one of the first pros on the PGA tour to wear sport sunglasses during tournament play, has said that he prefers polarized copper-colored lenses with a 50 percent transmittance rating for golfing.

“Polarized lenses help take glare and shine off the green so I can see the line better . . . The color helps me see the definition of the grass and covers all climates and light scenarios,” Allenby said in the February 2008 issue of Eyecare Business magazine.

Allenby mentioned that wearing sunglasses has helped him perform better on the links by relieving the need to squint, which keeps him more relaxed.

Following Allenby’s lead, many young players on the PGA tour are starting to wear sunglasses during tournament play, including Zach Johnson, winner of the 2007 Masters Tournament.

Also, Annika Sorenstam, perhaps the best woman golfer to play the game, with 72 career LPGA victories, has worn sports sunglasses during most of her tour wins. (AllAboutVision.com)

Sunglasses are definitely here to stay. The fact that many players sign endorsements to wear a particular brand has helped cement their place as must-have golfing equipment. I definitely see the benefits of wearing sunglasses, but I find it difficult to read the greens with them on. Now, it might help if I paid more that 10 dollars for a pair, but I am not really sure.

So Grateful Golfers, it is time to help me out:

  • Do you wear sunglasses?
  • If so, what brand?
  • Do you have a special lens colour?
  • What style do you like?
  • Would your recommend wearing sunglasses while playing golf?

Sunglasses are here to stay and if an advantage can be gained from wearing them, we all would like to know.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

15 thoughts on “Sunglasses and Golf

  1. Hi Jim,

    I wear a pair of Nike sunglasses for golf (similar to these http://www.nikevision.com/products/pdp/EV0620/#EV0620_001) and really enjoy them. I use the stock grey/black lenses, but have considered trying some different ones. They fit under my hat well and I like the rubber nose piece for comfort and the rubber on the arms helps them stay on the back of my hat nicely when I’m not wearing them. Another thing I like is that the frame doesn’t go around the bottom of the lens and cause any distraction to your vision.

    I never hit the course without them, but will sometimes take them off to read greens if it’s cloudy and things start to look a little too dark behind them. I haven’t really found any credible correlation to the quality of my golf and wearing them or not wearing them, I do it mostly for the good of my eyes, and it’s more comfortable not having to squint on a sunny day, so I have to imagine it helps me.

    Cheers
    Josh

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    • Josh

      Thanks for the great advice about what style and brand of sun glasses. You hit the nail on the head when you mention wearing your sunglasses as required. The reading of the green in darker light without glasses is particularly helpful.

      Cheers
      Jim

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  2. Jim, I always leave a pair of cheap but sturdy polarized sundogs in a hardcase in my bag. It’s especially useful for those after work, almost twilight, rounds- where you end up looking right into the sun looking up after your shot.

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      • Jim- I’ve seen a basic pair go for under $15 at golf town on sale so I stock up whenever they’re at that price. I think the polarized lens is key and to my untrained eyes- it does the job as well as a of pair of polarized Oakleys- except I don’t have to worry about scratching the lens anymore.

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  3. I squint badly in the sun, so wearing sun glasses is a must. Tried lots of different ones before finally finding the best. I am wearing Oakley, with blue wrap around lenses. The wrap around stops sunlight coming in through the sides.

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  4. When I first started playing golf in 1999 I always wore my prescription sunglasses. With my glasses on I was left eye dominant and without glasses right eye dominant. This is because I have an eye muscle alignment problem called strabismus. I have had 4 eye muscle surgeries then in 2008 I had laser eye surgery on only my left eye. This made my left eye the better eye and I became left eye dominant all the time. Since the laser surgery I stopped wearing sunglasses while golfing. I tried them once and had a hard time so I stopped wearing them. I might try them at some point on the range to see how it goes. With strabismus your eyes don’t work together and you don’t have depth perception. I believe that is why it took me so long to become proficient at basketball, golf and squash. I think overtime my brain figures things out. So I will give sunglasses a try, but you first Jim.

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    • Mac,

      Thanks for the comment. It is interesting how your eyes have improve / changed over the years. I am going to try sunglasses, but before I do, I have to invest the money in a good pair. I keep looking, but have not found any that fit comfortably when playing golf.

      Cheers
      Jim

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  5. Jim, I do wear sunglasses for several reasons. One, my eyes are really light sensitive. Muck like the Allenby blurb, my shades take the strain off (also don’t get headaches!). I have played with the name brands over the years and when I was a club pro, I was lucky enough to be given a number of options to try for free…

    Currently, I have a lower end pair of Sundog glasses. The lenses do filter a bit and I just feel like my images are clearer. It’s probably different for everyone, but I think there’s something to it.

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  6. Jim, I do wear sunglasses for several reasons. One, my eyes are really light sensitive. Muck like the Allenby blurb, my shades take the strain off (also don’t get headaches!). I have played with the name brands over the years and when I was a club pro, I was lucky enough to be given a number of options to try for free…

    Currently, I have a lower end pair of Sundog glasses. The lenses do filter a bit and I just feel like my images are clearer. It’s probably different for everyone, but I think there’s something to it.

    Like

  7. Jim, I have tried sunglasses nut found them distracting so I abandoned. Maybe just never found the right pair. I am interested to see what others recommend. Thanks. Brian

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