5 best sunglasses for golf in 2023
What to look for when shopping for golf sunglasses
Looking to up your golf game? Don’t expect to do so with any old sunglasses. Look for something that not only blocks glare but also sharpens vision — specifically to help you see that little white ball you just whacked across the tricky textures of the green. And don’t forget about UV protection.
You also want sunglasses that fit securely, don’t shift with your swing, block the wind and protect your eyes from any sand you may kick up in the pit.
Sounds like a lot to ask.
Luckily, eyewear manufacturers have been perfecting their own game, applying scientific analysis to materials and design aimed specifically at golfers.
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The best shades to sharpen your golf game in 2023 and the golfers who love them
If you follow the sport, you’ve seen your favorite players show up on the course in all manner of sporty sunglasses. So, just what are the top-ranked golfers wearing to make those awesome shots?
1. Oakley Mercenary: Justin Rose
Oakley sunglasses, designed specifically for golfers, have gained favor with some of the most visible golfers on the planet. In the process, the golfers’ Oakley sunglasses have helped put the brand on the map with golfers and their fans.
Ranked among the top 50 golfers in the world, Justin Rose wore his Oakley Mercenary shades to the 149th Open Championship in 2021. Oakley’s Mercenary sunglasses feature a lightweight, minimalist frame, plus a larger lens for better protection.
The Mercenary is available in a variety of frame–lens combinations. The “Prizm Golf” and “Prizm Dark Golf” lenses help golfers see variations in grass texture by enhancing the contrast between various shades of green. These lenses have been precisely tuned to maximize contrast and enhance visibility.
2. Oakley Flak 2.0 XL: Ian Poulter, Bubba Watson & Rickie Fowler
English-born Ian Poulter is an Oakley fan, known as much for his colorful fashion sense as his ranking among the world’s top golfers.
Poulter favors a sleek, retro half frame and is not shy about color. He’s been known to wear pink frames coordinated with pink ensembles. But Poulter prefers the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL fitted with the purple Prizm Golf lens.
Bubba Watson is another familiar face on the pro circuit with an affinity for Oakley shades. He’s known for his playful down-home charm and super long drive — he’s been known to hit a ball over 350 yards.
Watson is a colorful character, and so are his sunglasses. When Watson plays golf, he leans toward the sporty wraparound Oakley Flak 2.0 XL with the same purple/green prizm lenses.
Rickie Fowler, also among the best golfers in the world, revealed he doesn’t just wear his Oakley shades to look good or even to merely shield his eyes from the sun. His Flak 2.0s are prescription sunglasses, and he has been known to wear them even in low-light conditions.
Fowler has won the PGA five times, but in recent years noticed it becoming more difficult for him to see the ball. “It’s not enough to where I really wanted to try going to LASIK [surgery] or anything like that,” he said. “The only time I start to struggle with some depth perception is in low-light situations, so early-morning or as the sun’s going down.”
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3. Nike Maverick: Brooks Koepka
The Nike Maverick Free sunglasses fitted with Nike Course Tint lenses enhance contours and increase contrast in the landscape — ideal for golfers. The Maverick Free lenses are interchangeable and accommodate a variety of options for any lighting condition.
Brooks Koepka, eight-time winner of the PGA tour and among the top 20 golfers in the world, favors the Maverick Free sunglasses. These shades are a semi-rimless take on the popular Nike Maverick.
Both the Maverick and Maverick Free are known for a lightweight frame, ideally suited for all-day wear. The flexible temples also enable them to stay put. Plus the basic shape makes them easy to wear with hats.
4. The Iceman 3.0: Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson has earned an Open Championship, a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, 11 European Tour victories and four other PGA Tour wins. He started the brand, Henrik Stenson Eyewear, in 2017, after meticulously designing and developing sunglasses that met his perfectionist standards.
Stenson is known as “Iceman” for his chill, laid-back demeanor on the golf course. He opted to use his nickname when labeling the pair of sunglasses he designed himself and wears on the course.
The Iceman 3.0 is the third iteration of Stenson Eyewear’s Iceman. The 3.0 features an updated frame with interchangeable nose pads for best fit, a uniquely shaped lens that reduces glare and other design upgrades.
“I have good eyesight. I don't want to brag too much about it, but I guess that is a combination of genetics and protecting my eyes over the years,” Stenson has said. “There are a lot of reasons you should wear sunglasses. Obviously, if you do, I’d like you to wear my line, but it’s important to protect your eyes no matter what.”
Stenson elaborated on why he never heads outside without the proper eyewear: “I'm light sensitive, so that was one of the reasons I started thinking more seriously about eyewear. I also have some allergies, and I think not getting grass pollen in my eyes and stuff during certain times of the year helps a lot.”
CONTINUED READING: Sports vision
Page published on Monday, September 23, 2019