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Prescription Golf Sunglasses Review & Guide

Prescription Golf Sunglasses and Lens Tint Guide

Prescription Golf Sunglasses & Lens Tint Guide

When choosing prescription sunglasses for golf, there are a few basic factors to consider.  Frame design and fit, lens material and knowing which lens tints maximize your vision on the course, are the primary considerations. However, other variables such as polarized vs. non-polarized lenses and whether Transitions lenses would be beneficial for you can have an impact on your enjoyment and ultimately the functionality of your prescription golf eyewear. Read more for some thoughts on each of these topics.

Fit: In golf specific eyewear it’s important to have a secure “athletic three point” fit. This typically includes some form of hydrophilic rubber on the earpieces and nosepiece and a frame design that keeps the lenses from resting on your cheeks. Although an athletic fit is not absolutely necessary, glasses that slide around during your swing are never going to improve your score.

Frame Design:  Styles that have a semi-rimless lens design are recommended so that there is no frame to see when you are addressing the ball. This may seem like a minor detail, but once you use a semi-rimless design to pay in, you will wish you had done it earlier. Many prescription golf specific frame styles also feature lenses that are interchangeable so that you can maintain excellent vision in a variety of light conditions.

Lens Material:  An impact resistant lens material is an absolute must. This usually means a high grade polycarbonate or a lightweight composite material like Trivex. We do not recommend glass lenses for golf. 

Polarized vs. Non-Polarized:  This is really a personal preference issue. If you currently use polarized lenses and you are pleased with the way the world looks through them, then you will likely be happy with one of the golf specific tints in a polarized lens. For example Oakley sells their best golf tint (G30 Iridium) in non-polarized and polarized versions and recommends both for golf, which indicates that they believe the tint is more important than whether the lens is polarized. However, many people feel that polarized lenses are not good for golf because they minimize the reflections from blades of grass and from the dimples on golf balls. Theoretically, that could make it harder to distinguish variations and undulations in the course and the greens as well as make it a little more difficult to pick up the ball in flight. Again, personal preference is probably the determining factor.

Lens Tints:  Most people prefer a medium to high contrast lens for golf. These are typically rose or violet base lenses, although a few others, like Oakley’s Fire Iridium, are standout performers on the course. Although many people prefer a grey based lens for casual wear, we wouldn’t recommend it for golf.

Recommended Oakley Prescription Golf Sunglass Lens Tints:  we would recommend either the non-polarized or polarized versions of these lenses:

  • PRIZM Golf - A ruby base tint with a 30% VLT this lens was designed specifically to optimize your optical experience on the golf course.  The lens is tuned to provide better contrast and separation of color which gives you better depth perception allowing you to be able to gauge distance and changing grass conditions. What You Can Expect: An improved contrast between cyan and greens of healthy grass as well as the yellows, oranges and reds of unhealthy grass. This lens also allow you to  read the greens by separating the shades of green you are able to easily spot the fairway, fringe, and rough transitions and also improve your depth perception.  The ability to spot grass textures and the grain direction on the putting green that you might otherwise miss is a game-changer for your golf experience.
  • VR28 Black Iridium – This is a great option if you like rose based lenses, but want something darker. The light transmission is cut to 18% and the Iridium coating on the lens helps to increase the contrast and definition
  • Fire Iridium – Fire works well in bright conditions and while not originally developed as a golf specific lens, this tint has been adopted by golfers who live very sunny locations.
  • Positive Red Iridium - This rose base lens has a 15% VLT making it darker than the VR28 Black Iridium.  Even though it is a dark lens the rose base makes this a gret high contrast lens which is ideal for golf.  This is a great lens options for extremely bright sunlight conditions or sensative eye
  • Ruby Iridium- While this lens has a red base it is a neutral lens so you will not experience the same increase in contrast as you will with the PRIZM Golf, Positive Red Iridium, VR28 Black Iridium or Fire Iridium.
  • G30 (discontinued replaced with PRIZM Golf)– Violet based lens, colors on the course look fantastic, this lens lets 30% of visible light through. While definitely still a sunglass tint, G30 is on the lighter side of a sunglass lens – this is a staff favorite
  • VR28 (discontinued) – Rose based lens that lets 28 % of the light through. This lens is a close second to G30 and is great on the golf course. You know what they say about rose colored glasses…

Oakley Semi-Rimless Prescription Golf Sunglass Frame Suggestions: semi-rimless frames are going to be ideal for golf as it will prevent any vision obstruction that you would get from the lower portion of the frame

 

Oakley Radar EV Pitch Prescription Sunglasses: The Pitch lens is going to be the largest of the Radar lenses and the recommended lens shape for larger faces and sports where full coverage is recommended as it offers the most coverage. The EV is the updated frame style to the Radars and is available in a Pitch or Path lens.  So the frame is the exact frame with either a larger or smaller lens options.

Oakley Radar Path Prescription Sunglasses: The Path lens is going to be smaller than the Pitch but larger than the discontinued Edge lenses were.  The Path also features a scalloped edge on the bottom of the lens so that the lenses do not rest on your cheeks.  The EV is the updated frame style to the Radars and is available in a Pitch or Path lens.  So the frame is the exact frame with either a larger or smaller lens option.

Oakley Radar Edge Prescription Sunglasses: (discontinued only available in lens only) The Edge lens is going to be the smallest lens option available in the Radar.  Not only is the lens the smallest it will also have shorter temples and a smaller bridge than the Radar Pitch and Radar Path. These features make it ideal for women or for small or narrow faces as well.

Oakley Radarlock Edge Prescription SunglassesThe Radarlock Edge, like the Radar Edge, will have shorter temples and a smaller bridge the rest of the Radarlock collection.  This is traditionally seen as a women’s frame but will also work for small and narrow faces.  The Radarlock Edge feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock is recommended for golfers that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Radarlock Pitch Prescription SunglassesThe Radarlock Pitch, like the Radar Pitch, lens will provide optimal coverage for average size faces.  The Radarlock Pitch feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock is recommended for golfers that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Radarlock Path Prescription Sunglasses: The Radarlock Path, like the Radar Path, is going to be smaller than the Pitch and larger than the edge.  The Radarlock Path feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock frames are recommended for golfers that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Radarlock XL Prescription Sunglasses:  (discontinued only available in lens only) The Radarlock XL, is the largest of the Radar or Radarlock frames and lenses.  The Radarlock XL is going to have a wider and taller lens that is best suited for large faces.  The Radarlock XL feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock frames are recommended for golfers that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Radarlock XL Straight Prescription Sunglasses: (discontinued only available in lens only) The Radarlock XL Straight is the largest of the Radar or Radarlock frames and lenses as it has the same lens as the Radarlock XL that is wider and taller making it best suited for large faces. It differs from the Radarlock XL in the temples.  The Radarlock XL Straight has just that, straight temples.  This frame was specifically designed to be worn with baseball hats as the straight arms of the frame allow it to fit comfortably under a ball cap.  The Radarlock XL feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock frames are recommended for golfers that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Flak JacketFlak Jacket XLJ, and Flak Jacket 2.0 XL Prescription Sunglasses: These are also a great option for golfing sunglasses. Both frames have a larger offering of prescription lens tints than what is available in the Radar or Radarlock.  The lenses are also easily interchangeable making them ideal for golfers who require multiple lenses when playing in different light conditions.  The Flak Jacket and Flak Jacket XLJ is the exact same frame but the lens height will be different.  This means that you can put a Flak Jacket XLJ lens in a Flak Jacket frame and vice versa.  The Flak Jacket XLJ is typically preferred for golfing as it has a taller lens height and provides more coverage than the regular Flak Jacket.  These frames also have a straight stem that allows them to easily and comfortably fit under a baseball cap.

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 and Half Jacket 2.0 XL Prescription Sunglasses: Similiar to the Flak Jacket the Half Jacket 2.0 and 2.0 XL are also great options for golfing sunglasses. Both frames have a larger offering of prescription lens tints than what is available in the Radar or Radarlock.  The lenses are also easily interchangeable making them ideal for golfers who require multiple lenses when playing in different light conditions.  The Half Jackets are slightly smaller than the Flak Jackets, with a different temple and a rounder lens shape.  However, like the Flak Jackets the Half Jacket 2.0 and Half Jacket 2.0 XL have the exact same frame but the lens height will be different.  This means that you can put a prescription Half Jacket 2.0 XL lens in a prescription Half Jacket 2.0 frame and vice versa.

Oakley Fast Jacket and Fast Jacket XL Prescription Sunglasses (discontinued only available in lens only): The Oakley Fast Jacket Prescription Sunglasses are known for their innovative Switchlock system that not only allows for fast and easy lens changes, but also securely suspends the lenses to prevent stress that could distort your vision. This provides crystal clear optics that can adapt to diverse light conditions quickly and hassle-free.  Similiar to the Radarlock Switch the Fast Jakcet is recommended for golfers who frequently change their lenses.  One fo the benifits of the Fast Jackets are that they are available in a larger lens offering than the Radarlocks. Two versions of the Fast Jacket are available; the XL differs by having the larger lens shape.

Oakley Full-Rim Prescription Golfing Sunglass Frame Suggestions: the below Oakley frames have a full-rim which is typically less ideal for golfing then a semi-rimless prescription sunglass as the lower portion of the rim can obstruct your vision.  However, if you are looking for a multi-sport or everyday sunglass that will also work well for golfing the following frames will be a great option as they are both fashionable and have sport performance features such as Oakley's Unobtanium earsocks and nose pads that prevent the sunglasses from slipping or slidding down your face as you perspire.

Oakley Prescription ValveOakley Prescription Jupiter, Oakley Prescription Forehand, Oakley Prescription Straight Jacket, Oakley Prescription Chainlink, Oakley Two Face, Oakley Prescription Turbine, Oakley Thinklink, Oakley Mainlink

 Oakley Full-Rim Wire Prescription Golfing Sunglass Frame Suggestions: the following frames are all wire frames that features Oakley's Oakley's Unobtanium earsocks and nose pads that prevent the sunglasses from slipping or slidding down your face as you perspire.  While wire frames aren't typically recommended golf as they are more of a fashion frame then a sports sunglass these wires do have Oakley sport features and are a great value option for patience looking for one prescription sunglass that will work for everyday use as well as golf.

Oakley Prescription C-WireOakley Prescription WhiskerOakley Prescription Ti Crosshair,Oakley Prescription CrosshairOakley Square Wire, Oakley Prescription Blender

Oakley Women’s Prescription Golfing Frame Suggestions: the same as the men's frames, the below women's Oakley prescription golfing sunglasses have Oakley's sport performance feaatures such as Oakley's Unobtanium earsocks and nose pads that prevent the sunglasses from slipping or slidding down your face as you perspire.  Again, a semi-rimless frame will be the ideal prescription golfing sunglass for women as the lower portion of the frame won't obstruct the patients vision and perspiration won't pool in the lower part of the frame either.

Oakley Prescription RPM SquareOakley Prescription Break PointOakley Prescription RPM EdgeOakley Prescription Commit SQ, Oakley Prescription Backhand, Oakley Prescription Breakpoint, Oakley Prescription LBD, Oakley Prescription Urgency, Oakley Prescription Overtime, Oakley Prescription Pulse, Oakley Prescription Obsessed, Oakley Prescription Dispute, Oakley Prescription Hallpass

Oakley Youth Prescription GolfingSunglass Frame Suggestions: 

Oakley Prescription Quarter Jacket: (youth or small/narrow faces) this is the only youth specific sport prescription sunglass that Oakley offers but it is a great style that works for both youth and adults with small and narrow faces.  The Oakley Quarter Jacket prescription sunglasses will perform like the Oakley Half Jacket and Flak Jacket with just a smaller fit.

Recommended Smith Prescription Golf Sunglass Lens Tints:  we would recommend either the non-polarized or polarized versions of these lenses:

  • Smith's Prescription Ignitor Lens: Smith’s Ignitor lens tints is a rose base lens that helps to sharpen visual acuity and perform best in flat or low light conditions. They provide increased color contrast to better see details and identify changing contours. Ignitor lenses are great for fishing in low light or cloudy conditions.
  • Smith's Prescription ChromaPop Polarchromic Ignitor Lens: The ChromaPop technology in this lens makes color more vivid with increased clarity and chromatic contrast.  Smith recommends this lens for settings where you will be experiencing shifting light conditions as the Polarchromic allows the lens tint to be self-adjusting and decreases or increases the Visible Light Transmission as the light conditions change.  This lens is the only Polarchromic lens option in the ChromaPop lenses.  An Ignitor lens is going to maximize an objects definition, enhance depth perception and is recommended for medium to overcast light conditions.
  • Smith's Prescription ChromaPop Polarized Brown Lens: The ChromaPop technology is most apparent in the Brown Polarized lens, offering the most enhanced contrast and amplified colorations of the ChromaPop lenses.  Smith recommends this lens or medium to bright light conditions making it a great option for the golf course.

Smith Semi-Rimless Prescription Golf Sunglass Frame Suggestions: semi-rimless frames are going to be ideal for golf as it will prevent any vision obstruction that you would get from the lower portion of the frame it will also prevent perspiration from pooling in the lower portion of the frame.

Smith Approach and Approach Max Prescription Sunglasses: The Smith Approach and Approach Max are a great semi-rimless option for golfing sunglasses. Both frames are available in Smith's Chromapop prescription lens tints, including the Chromapop Photochrmic Ignitor Lens.  The lenses are also easily interchangeable making them ideal for golfers who require multiple lenses when playing in different light conditions.  The Approach and Approach Max are the exact same frame but the lens height will be different.  This means that you can put an Approach Max lens in an Approach frame and vice versa.  The Approach Max is typically preferred for golfing as it has a taller lens height and provides more coverage than the regular Approach.  These frames also have an adjustable nose piece that can be moved up for down for a customized fit.

Smith Full-Rim Prescription Golfing Sunglass Frame Suggestions: the below Smith prescription sunglass frames have a full-rim which is typically less ideal for golfing then a semi-rimless prescription sunglass as the lower portion of the rim can obstruct your vision.  However, if you are looking for a multi-sport or everyday sunglass that will also work well for golfing the following frames will be a great option as they are both fashionable and have sport performance features such as Smith's Hydrophilic temple pads and nose pads that prevent the sunglasses from slipping or slidding down your face as you perspire.

Smith Pivlock Overdrive Prescription Sunglasses for Golf:  Smith's Pivlock Overdrive prescription sunglasses are a great options for golfers who frequently change their lenses.  The Pivlock Overdrive was designed to allow you to quickly, and easily change your lenses based on changing light conditions.  The PivLock Overdrive is also ergonically adjusted so that the sunglass frame fits comfortably under a baseball hat.

Smith Chief Prescription Sunglasses for Golf: The Smith Chief prescription sunglasses have an 8 base lens curvature, which means they offer full peripheral coverage for sun, wind, rain, and debris.  The Chief prescription sunglasses are going to be a good full rim option for golfing for patients who are looking for a sunglass with a medium fit and medium to large coverage.

Smith Dockside Prescription Sunglasses for Golf:  The Smith Dockside prescription sunglasses are a good option for Smith full-rim prescription golfing sunglasses as they have an 8 base lens curvature offering full peripheral coverage.  The Dockside sunglasses also have a large fit with large coverage making them a great option for golfers with larger faces.

Smith Dover Prescription Sunglasses for Golf: Another good option for a full-rim prescription golfing sunglass is the Smith Dover as it has an 8 base lens curvature, Hydrophobic nose and temple pads, and large coverage to protect the eyes from sun, wind, rain, and debris.  The Dover Rx sunglasses have a medium fit making them best suited for average size faces.

Smith Tenet Prescription Sunglasses for Golf:  The Smith Tenet prescription sunglasses are a full-rim frame that have an 8 base lens curvature making them a great option for golf as they provide full peripheral coverage.  The Tenet Rx sunglasses are also one of the few frames that are available in Smith’s prescription Techlite Polarized Photochromic glass lenses.  While we typically do not recommend glass lenses for golf, some patients prefer glass lenses for their scratch resistance.

Smith Backdrop Prescription Sunglasses for Golf:   The Smith Backdrop prescription sunglasses are a great option for full-rim prescription golfing sunglasses that will transition over into lifestyle sunglasses.  The Backdrop has a bold style with an 8 base lens and Hydrophilic nose and temple pads that keep the frames in place while playing and offer full peripheral coverage.

Smith Precept Prescription Sunglasses for Golf: The Smith Prescept prescription sunglasses have a medium fit and our recommended for patients looking for a full-rim prescription sunglass for golfing who have a medium size face.  The Precept has a smaller lens height which gives it more of a traditional sunglass look than the oversized styles that are currently popular.

Smith Discord Prescription Sunglasses for Golf: The Smith Discord prescription sunglasses are new for Fall 2014 and have a medium to large fit with full peripheral coverage to protect your eyes from the sun, wind, rain, and debris.  The Discord Rx sunglasses are a great golf full-rim prescription sunglass for patients who want one sunglass for everyday use as well as golfing.

Smith Dragstrip Prescription Sunglasses for Golf: The Smith Dragstrip prescription sunglasses for golf are a full-rim sunglasses with an 8 base lens for full coverage and Smith’s Hydrophilic nose and temple pads that keep the frame in place while playing.  New for Fall 2014, the Smith Dragstrip Rx sunglasses have a large fit and are recommended for golfers with a large head.

Smith Frontman Prescription Sunglasses for Golf: The Smith Frontman prescription golf sunglasses are a bold style with a medium to large fit, and 8 base lens, and hydrophilic nose and temple pads.  These features make the Smith Frontman Rx sunglasses a great crossover style from everyday use to playing on the course.

Smith Prospect Prescription Sunglasses for Golf: The Smith Prospect prescription sunglasses are a full-rim sunglass with a narrower lens height than some of the larger Smith frames such as the Chief, Frontman, and Dragstrip.  The Prospect has a small to medium fit, an 8 base lens for full peripheral coverage, and Hydrophilic nose and temple pads.

Smith Terrace Prescription Sunglasses for Golf: For patients looking for a full-rim prescription Smith golfing sunglass the Terrace is a good option as it has all of Smith’s sport performance features but still has a signature Smith lifestyle design.  The Terrace has a medium fit will full peripheral coverage, and Hydrophilic nose and temple pads.

Smith Forum Prescription Sunglasses for Golf: Smith’s Forum prescription sunglasses are a full-rim frame with an 8 base lens for full peripheral coverage and Hydrophilic nose and temple pads. The Forum has a medium fit and offers medium coverage with its narrower lens height. 

Recommended Kaenon Prescription Golf Sunglass Lens Tints:  we would recommend either the non-polarized or polarized versions of these lenses:

  • Kaenon’s Copper C12 Polarized Lens:  Kaenon’s Copper C12 Polarized lens is Kaenon’s darkest high contrast lens. Kaenon’s Copper lenses offer a high contrast tint that enhances color contrast and detail recognition.  These lenses perform best in bright, full sun conditions where enhanced contrast is ideal. Copper lenses are ideal for sports that require high contrast such as golf since they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground.
  • Kaenon’s Copper C28 Polarized Lens- Copper lenses offer a high contrast tint that enhances color contrast and detail recognition. Kaenon’s Copper 28 (C28) lenses are great multi-purpose lenses that perform well in all light conditions. Copper lenses are ideal for sports that require high contrast such as golf and cycling since they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground.  The Kaenon Copper C28 is going to be inbetween the C12 and C15 in darkness and visible light transmission.
  • Kaenon’s Copper C50 Polarized Lens:  Kaenon’s Copper lenses enhance color contrast and detail recognition in a variety of lighting conditions. Kaenon’s Copper 50 (C50) lenses block 50% of visible light which allows maximum light transmission for the greatest detail recognition. These lenses perform best in low light and hazy conditions. For the golf the Kaenon Copper 50 lens is recommended for cloudy, overcast days.  Like the Kaenon C12 lens, copper lenses are good for golf as they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground.

Recommended Bolle Prescription Golf Sunglass Lens Tints:  we would recommend either the non-polarized or polarized versions of these lenses:

  • Brown 'TLD Dark' Lens:  Kaenon’s Copper lenses enhance color contrast and detail recognition in a variety of lighting conditions. Kaenon’s Copper 50 (C50) lenses block 50% of visible light which allows maximum light transmission for the greatest detail recognition. These lenses perform best in low light and hazy conditions. For the golf the Kaenon Copper 50 lens is recommended for cloudy, overcast days.  Like the Kaenon C12 lens, copper lenses are good for golf as they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground.
  • Rose 'Modulator' Lens:  Bolle's Rose Modulator lens is a photochromic rose lenses that self adjusts to changing light conditions and provides enhanced contrast in the light rose and dark rose state. Great for overcast as well as sunny conditions you experience while golfing.  Rose lenses will enhance contrast and make it easier to see the contours in the blades of the grass while golfing.

Recommended Under Armour Prescription Golf Sunglass Lens Tints:  we would recommend either the non-polarized or polarized versions of these lenses:

Transitions Lenses:  Historically, Transitions lenses have come in two primary tints – clear to grey and clear to brown. On the surface it might seem like the clear to brown lens might be a good choice for golf, but in reality, Transitions lenses are great when your primary intended use is as a clear lens and the secondary use is as a sun lens. The exceptions to this are a newer class of photochromic sun lenses, like Oakley’s Gold Iridium Transitions or Smith’s Chromapop Ignitor Polarchromic. Both of those lenses will perform well in a variety of light conditions including early morning and late evening play but will never be completely clear lenses.