Playing golf with your friends is one of the best ways to spend your time away from the busy life of most cities. However, as the weather gets good, the sun also starts taking its toll. And while hats work fairly well, you often need a bit of extra protection for your eyes. Getting the best golf sunglasses will not only protect your eyes from UV-rays but will also enhance your vision by increasing the contrast and help you make more accurate reads on the greens. Depending on the tint, some models will also help you find your golf ball easier!
Below, we will take a look at some of the top models for 2021, compare their features, and then discuss their most notable pros and cons. After that, we will do a deep dive into all the individual characteristics you will have to look for in a pair of golf sunglasses. Now, let’s jump into this!
Golf Sunglasses Comparison Chart
Oakley Men’s Half Jacket 2.0 XL Sunglasses
It cannot be a list of some of the best sunglasses without an Oakley pair being among the first models. More specifically, the Oakley Men’s Half-Jacket 2.0 XL pair of sunglasses is one of the best deals from the brand currently and is excellent for everyday tasks and casual golf.
The glasses boast a durable construction made out of polycarbonate. That is a type of very durable and flexible plastic that is UV-resistant and quite lightweight compared to other cheaper forms of plastic. The lenses on the Half Jacket 2.0 are also plastic and have a Prizm tint to them. That allows the glasses to enhance your depth perception and improve the contrast of the green field. Also, they aren’t polarized, since most professional golfers choose to use non-polarized glasses that don’t interfere with depth perception. Lastly, the lenses also have UV-coating on top to further help block harmful UV-rays.
The actual frame and the temples are wide and comfortable finished with a rubberized coating. That helps the glasses stay in place throughout the 18-hole game. It also makes them stick to your head even when you’re sweating. The lenses also wrap nicely around your eyes, resulting in uninterrupted peripheral vision. One thing I would’ve wanted out of these sunglasses is for their frame to be slightly slimmer so that they can work with golf hats better.
- Decent price for an Oakley pair
- Flexible and durable frames
- 62mm lenses
- UV-protection coating
- Prizm tint
- Very comfortable
- Not great with hats
- Sizing is often an issue
- Lots of counterfeit products
- A bit expensive compared to other mid-tier glasses
Bolle Bolt Sunglasses
If you pay close attention to what some of the golf pros use, you will see the brand Bolle pop up quite a few times. Despite the slightly higher price tag of models from this brand, there are quite a lot of good reasons to get these for your everyday life and golf Sundays. For starters, they have some of the most ergonomic and comfortable frames out there. It is made out of contoured polycarbonate which has holes in it for added strength and breathability. This prevents the glasses from sweating you up during your 18-hole game. Additionally, it keeps the weight of the glasses way down, especially when compared to other glasses in this class.
The area above the ear and the nose pad are covered with soft yet sturdy silicone material. This really makes you feel as if you’re not wearing these lightweight glasses. The lenses upfront are also made out of plastic are a non-polarized. They aren’t very wide at 43mm but thanks to their phantom brown gun tint, they are absolutely perfect for the golf course. That particular tint enhances your depth perception, improves your contrast, and helps you find your golf ball when playing on the green.
These full-wrap sunglasses also come in 4 more tint options, which are also good for both golf and other sports, as well as everyday activities such as driving. As a whole, at that price, the competition is very tough but the Bolt Sunglasses by Bolle manage to stay a step ahead thanks to their comfortable and innovative design.
- Ergonomic design
- Very comfortable
- Full-wrap design
- Durable and lightweight frame
- Non-polarized lenses
- Phantom Brown Gun tint
- Excellent for golf courses
- A bit expensive
- They scratch easily
- The nose pad tends to peel off after some time
Callaway Sungear Kite Polarized Sunglasses
When it comes to golf products, Callaway is one of the leading brands in terms of quality and affordability. Their Sungear Kite Sunglasses are one of your best bets if you’re looking for something that won’t burn a hole through your pocket and is incredibly innovative. One of the standout and slightly controversial features of these glasses is the fact that they’re polarized. Now, typically golf players prefer non-polarized lenses since that won’t alter their depth perception. However, the P2X polarization technology used here is designed specifically for golfers. It only lets the right kind of light in order for your depth perception to actually work better with them
On top of all that, the polarization also eliminates glares, making these glasses perfect for other activities as well. Another great feature here is the fact that the frame is ultra-lightweight and has an adjustable nose pad. This makes the glasses very easy to wear and also quite comfortable, even on hot days. The lenses are also coated against UV-rays that provide protection against UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. Being almost full-wrap, these lenses also cover most of your peripheral vision. They are also quite tall, giving you a good look at your ball and your target when you’re shooting.
The glasses come with a lens cloth, a soft pouch to carry them in, and an additional hard case with a hanging clip. All in all, this is one of the best deals out there when it comes to value for your money.
- P2X polarization
- Designed with golf in mind
- Ultra-lightweight frame
- Comfortable and adjustable nose pad
- UV protection
- Full-wrap coverage
- Come with lots of accessories
- Lenses scratch easily
- Not great at tracking your golf ball mid-air
- Not always a good fit
Oakley Men’s Portal X Sunglasses
If you’re after the more traditional type of glasses that will also be cool to wear outside of the golf course, then the Oakley Men’s Portal X Sunglasses are just the right choice for you. Although a bit expensive, these glasses are perfect for the golf course for one very good reason – their grey tint. See, grey is a very neutral color when it comes to sunglasses tints. This makes it ideal for the golf course as it will just enhance your contrast, improve y our depth perception, and help you track the ball easier mid-flight.
Apart from the lenses’ properties, the frame of the glasses is also quite sturdy and durable. However, it is quite thick and has a full frame around the lenses which limits your peripheral vision to an extent. The straight arms of the frame make the glasses a good fit for most head types and allow them to work well with hats. The lenses are UV-coated and non-polarized which is essential for sunny days on the course. And while the bridge isn’t adjustable, it measures 15mm which is more than good enough for most people.
Another great thing is that these Oakleys come in 12 different color combinations depending on your favorite tint and look. You can also select between three lens widths – 53, 28, and 59 millimeters. In conclusion, if it weren’t for the high price tag, these would’ve been a great all-rounder to wear on and off the golf course!
- Work well with hats
- Prizm Grey tint
- Durable frame
- Slightly limits your peripheral vision
- Very neutral in their contrast
- Very expensive
- A bit heavy
MaivNz High-Definition Golf Ball Finder Sport Glasses
Jumping off from the premium models to the budget tier, the MaivNz High-Def golf ball finder sports glasses are one of your best bets if you’re looking for a pair of golf sunglasses at a bargain price! While they don’t boast the same premium build quality of superior lens coatings, these are more than capable of improving your golf game in more than one way.
The frame here is made out of TR90 which is a special polymer that is lighter, more flexible, and more durable than most other plastic polymers out there. It is also cheaper, which is one of the main reasons glasses like these manage to keep the price tag low.
The lenses are also made out of plastic but it is polycarbonate. While it keeps the weight down, they do scratch easily. Still, they have a mirror coating and a non-polarized yellow tint to them. This helps you track your golf balls mid-air and have a better contrast on the course. The glasses also block glares and reduce eye fatigue. That, combined with their lightweight frame, makes them ideal for long days at the golf course.
If you aren’t a fan of yellow tints, these also come with 3 more color options for the lenses and 2 color options for the frame itself. As a whole, thanks to their low price, they are one of the best options for golf games if you’re on a limited budget!
- Very cheap
- Great for golf
- Good for beginners
- Lightweight and durable frame
- Mirror coating
- UV coating
- The frame is a bit wide
- Lenses scratch easily
- The brown tint is better for ball-tracking
Oakley Men’s Radar EV Path Sunglasses
The Oakley Men’s Radar EV Path Sunglasses are one of their best products and also one of the most expensive ones. While they are a part of a huge family of differently tinted glasses, the Prizm Golf lenses on this specific model are what make it the go-to choice for golf professionals.
Being made in the USA, this model boasts an incredibly high-standard build quality with an acetate frame and plastic lenses. The lenses are also made out of a plastic polymer and are non-polarized, as most other professional models out there. They are 38mm in width and have a UV-protection coating. They aren’t mirrored but the Prizm tint does a superb job at blocking most of the sun glare. It is also great for tracking the golf ball and it improves your depth perception out on the green.
The Radar EV Path Sunglasses also come in 35 more color options both for the frame and the lenses. You can also choose between multiple lens widths starting from 38mm ranging all the way up to 138 mm for some cycling models. In short, I would’ve put these glasses right at the top of my list if they weren’t also the most expensive ones on it. Still, if you’re looking for the best possible eyewear product for golf, this has to be it.
- 36 tint options
- Different lens width options
- Lightweight durable acetate frame
- Full-wrap lenses
- UV protection
- Extremely expensive
- Not very scratch-resistant
- Fit isn’t true to size sometimes
Infi Polarized Sunglasses for Golf
The Infi Polarized Sunglasses for Golf are another budget option that comes with lots of cool features that can help you improve your golf game. One of their biggest drawbacks is that they are polarized which is known to slightly alter your depth perception. However, this makes these glasses great for everyday use, which is one of their main appeals.
As a whole, the construction quality here is pretty similar to other budget models. The frame is plastic which helps keep the weight down. However, the lenses aren’t made out of regular plastic. Instead, they are made out of tri-acetate cellulose. This makes them better against sun glares and more scratch-resistant. There is a mirror coating and UV protection on top that further helps with glaring and sun rays. And while the lenses don’t cover much of your peripheral vision, the lenses are pretty tall which makes it easier to keep an eye on the ball and target at the same time.
With the glasses, you get a soft pouch, a cleaning cloth, and a carrying loop that will keep the glasses safe during your golf game. All in all, for this price, there are quite a lot of other budget options but these offer certain everyday practicality that the rest just don’t.
- Great for everyday use
- Very cheap
- Blue tint is ideal for golf
- UV protection
- Tri-acetate cellulose lenses
- The lenses are polarized
- A bit heavier than some premium sunglasses
- The frame isn’t very sturdy
Hulislem S1 Sport Polarized Sunglasses
Last on this list is a pair of sunglasses that are great for most outdoor sports but definitely come with a few major setbacks. However, their main appeal is that they cost a fraction of the cost of some premium models. The Hulislem S1 Sport Polarized Sunglasses are a decent option for anyone on a budget. However, their polarized lenses make them less-than-ideal for golfing. Additionally, their frame isn’t very durable and their weight isn’t on par with some more expensive models. That is pretty much where all the downsides end, though.
The good thing about these glasses, apart from being cheap, is that they have wide full-wrap lenses. They are UV and mirror coated which helps prevent long-term damage to the eye and sun glares. I would’ve loved for the frame to not be as thick around the lenses as it is here but that is just nit-picking at this point. The glasses come in 9 different lens tints meant for different spots and boast a traditional F1 design language.
- Very cheap
- F1 design
- 9 color options
- UV protection
- Anti-glare mirror finish
- Full-wrap lenses
- A bit heavy
- Wide rim around the lenses
- Not very durable
Golf Sunglasses Buyer’s Guide
In this part of the guide, we will take a closer look at all the parts of a pair of sunglasses. Additionally, we will discuss the lens types and lens properties that some of the top models have. We will also take a look at the various advantages you get from using sunglasses on the course.
If you’re interested in improving your skills on the golf course, I highly suggest my article on some of the top putting drills! Now, let’s take a deeper look at all of the features that define a good pair of golf sunglasses…
Features to Look For
Most people think that buying a pair of golf sunglasses should be just the same as getting a normal pair for the summer holiday. However, golfing sunglasses have unique features that they share with other sports sunglasses. To find more about these, we will go through all of their important characteristics one by one:
- Fit & Comfort
- Materials & Durability
- Sizes & Styles
When it comes to the frame of the glasses, there are a few things that you have to consider. First, check the sunglasses’ grip. This is one of the most important features of any pair. Not only will it help keep the sunglasses on your head but will also keep them optically aligned throughout your whole game. This is why most golf sunglasses will have rubber grips on their temples and on the nose pads. These will prevent the sunglasses from moving around even when you’re sweating.
How light the frame is plays a major role in the overall comfort of the glasses. There are plenty of new materials on the market, as well as a few old ones that are proven to be very tough as well as lightweight. One of the most common materials used in making lightweight frames is Nylon. The reason for that is because it is extremely durable and also resistant to UV-rays. This makes it a good choice for a frame that has to last quite a while and also not weigh much. Other materials include TR-90 or other polyamides like Grilamid.
The last thing about the sunglasses’ frame is the temples. Look for models that have straight temples. While these won’t stay on your ears better than some curved models, they will work great with a good golf hat.
Fit & Comfort
One thing that is absolutely essential for any pair of golf sunglasses is for them to have a good fit. Most people enjoy wearing their sports sunglasses off the green as well, meaning they have to fit well and look good. As I already pointed out, rubberized temples and nose bridges are some of the most important features for the glasses to have a good fit. Another thing is the actual size of the glasses. It isn’t uncommon for models to come in different size options. The sunglasses that offer multiple sizes will typically come with a chart that lets you compare your head circumference to the ideal size.
For a better fit under a hat, look for straight temples that are also slim in their design. As a whole, slim frames work well with anything you put on your head and also weigh less, making them even more comfortable. If you’ve had issues with other sunglasses’ nose bridges before, look for models that have those adjustable.
As a whole, the overall comfort of any pair relies mainly on its weight, the way the frames are built, and the way it fits around your face. Full-wrap lenses tend to be slightly less comfortable but are far better at protecting your eyes against UV-rays. They aren’t as well-ventilated as some other lenses that won’t cover as much surface but give you a better and more uninterrupted view out.
Materials & Durability
The durability of any pair of sunglasses is important, especially if it is going to be used in a sports activity. Sunglasses frames are typically quite flexible and can withstand a hit with little to no issues. Some materials used in them are also scratch-resistant. Most nylon or poly frames have aluminum or titanium cores that make them even tougher compared to frames that are fully plastic.
However, when it comes to durability, the weakest link of sunglasses is their lenses. Accidents happen, and you can always drop your sunglasses for one reason or another. This is why you should always look for glasses with impact-resistant lenses. Not only will these withstand a drop on a hard surface but are also typically scratch-resistant and won’t break even if something hits them directly.
One of the most common impact-resistant materials used in sunglasses lenses is polycarbonate. Other patented materials include different poly blends such as Trivex. There are still sunglasses that use glass lenses, especially the ones with prescriptions. However, glass lenses are heavier, break easier, and can also scratch easily. That makes them a less-than-ideal choice for the golf course and ranks them second in terms of comfort.
Buckle up, because there are a ton of things we are going to discuss in this section. When it comes to the sunglasses lenses, the things you need to look for are:
- Contrast & Tint
- Prescription lenses
Each of those factors plays a major role in how the sunglasses will perform on a bright day, as well as an overcast one. Let’s start with the coverage…
The coverage of the sunglasses basically means how big the lenses are. They are divided into two types – full-wrap lenses and partial lenses. Sunglasses with full-wrap models will have their lenses wrap sideways around your face. This will improve your peripheral vision which is often a very important factor in gold. It will also block sunlight coming from all directions. This is essential for full protection against UV-rays but isn’t a mandatory feature.
Apart from the sideways wrapping of the lenses, it also matters how tall they are. Lenses that are tall will cover more vertical space. That will allow you to look up and down without your eyes having to re-adjust. This is perfect for golf as it allows you to look at your ball and target through all while watching through the lenses. The improved height also allows the glasses to have a more progressive filter, or simply put – the darker top part will have a better gradient towards the brighter bottom.
When looking at the lens’s coverage, also look at the rim. Glasses with thicker rims will block your view down on the ball if the lenses aren’t very tall. Prescription glasses typically come with a wider rim that will house the glass lens better. If you get such sunglasses, make sure you also have a side shield to keep sunlight from entering from the sides.
We already discussed the different materials that could be used in your lenses but let’s sum them up again. For the best type of impact resistance, look for polycarbonate lenses. These are lightweight, can withstand a hit, and will most likely never break. Glass lenses are common only among prescription sunglasses and have no advantage over polycarbonate ones. They break easier, can’t be molded to a full-wrap design, weigh more, and a more expensive.
Contrast & Tint
As you might’ve observed, most sports sunglasses have a certain tint to them. This is done in order to enhance contrast. However, different tint colors put forward different parts of the light spectrum and enhance different things. Some companies use a mix of colors to create the perfect blend for the golf course. Other use already established tints that are known to work well. Such tints are brown, rose copper. For overcast days, amber is also good since it is lighter. As a whole, the main purpose of an enhanced contrast is to be able to read the greens better and have improved depth perception.
Grey lenses are the most common neutral choice that won’t distort any colors and won’t affect the depth perception. However, they also don’t enhance your depth perception, especially when it comes to green colors such as the majority of the golf course.
Red tint tends to distort colors but it does one of the best jobs at enhancing your contrast. Yellow and orange will improve depth perception and contrast but will make it harder to do reads off the green.
Brown, green, and amber in any type of combination or on their own are known to enhance your depth perception. They also improve contrast and clarity when out on the golf course. Another great quality of these tints is that they reduce the glare. However, one notable downside is that they don’t work well on very bright days.
There are plenty of coating types when it comes to sunglasses but on the golf course, only one matters – the mirror coating. While darker tints will help protect your eyes from UV rays, mirror coatings take things a step further. As their name suggests, this type of coating is made in order to reflect most of the sunlight away from your eyes.
The mirror coating and the tint of the glasses could be two different colors, which is why most sunglasses with a mirror coating will look one way from the outside and in a completely different tint/color from the inside. This typically adds to the coolness factor but most manufacturers prefer using the same color for both of these properties.
The reason most modern sunglasses are polarized is to reduce the glare from the sun. Polarization means that the vertical reflections remain while the horizontal reflections are cut off. And since golf courses don’t typically have a ton of reflections and glare, most golfers prefer not having their sunglasses polarized.
Another good argument against golf sunglasses polarization is that the depth perception is a bit thrown off and golfers can’t get a good idea of how far a hole is. All that typically boils down this particular choice to the personal preference of each person, although no professional players use polarization on their glasses, which is quite convincing by itself.
Lastly, some sunglasses come with bifocal or progressive lenses. These are prescription glasses that typically get in the way of the golf game. The reason for that is because the altered zone of the lens gets in the way of the ball when you’re shooting. And even if it doesn’t, these glasses can warp your field of view and throw you off when it comes to accurately measure distances and gaps. My advice is to go for regular single-vision lenses. These won’t help you read your golf scorecards easier but won’t interfere with your game either.
Sizes & Styles
Sizes-wise, there are typically no options when you’re choosing new sunglasses. However, certain manufacturers do give S, M, L, or XL sizes for their glasses. Most of the time, they base their sizing on the head circumference and give you a chart to help you pick the right size for you. In most other cases, though, you will be stuck with a single size that relies on its flexible frame in order to fit most head types.
One of the biggest issues with golf sunglasses is that their price range is insanely large. The reason for that is all the different coatings, lens types, materials, and tints used in the sunglasses. All these different features can either keep the pair of sunglasses in the cheap range or create a premium price tag that can easily burn a hole through your pocket.
My advice is to invest in a good pair that will have full-wrap lenses with the right tint for the golf course. The more golf you play, the more you should invest in a solid pair of sunglasses. On the contrary, if you only play golf casually from time to time, find a decent model in the mid-range that will satisfy your needs both on and off the golf course.
Benefits of Wearing Sunglasses During a Golf Game
As with all other types of sunglasses out there, golf models will come with plenty of benefits of their own. These pros will affect your game directly and will arguably make it easier to play on brightly lit days. Either way, here are all of the advantages you will get by buying a pair of sunglasses for the golf course:
- The 100% UV protection of some sunglasses will keep your eyes safe and healthy even on very bright days
- The polarized lenses of most sunglasses will keep the glare down to a minimum
- Depending on the tint, you will have enhanced contrast vision for different colors
- Some sunglasses can be paired with prescription lenses, adding more comfort to your eyes
- Your reads on the green will improve
- You will be able to track your golf ball better
If you want to check out some of the best Sunday golf bags for this year, head over to my full Buyer’s Guide! Now, let’s answer some additional questions people often have regarding this topic…
Frequently Asked Questions
Are polarized lenses better for golf glasses?
What polarized glasses do best is to remove the glare when the sunlight bounces off horizontal surfaces. And what has more horizontal surfaces than a large golf course, right? However, polarized lenses can also mess with your depth perception, which is why some professional players avoid them.
Are sunglasses good for playing golf?
Playing golf with sunglasses has a lot of advantages. First and foremost, it protects your eyes from the dangerous UV rays. In addition to that, it clears up your view, improves the contrast, and helps you get more accurate reads on the green. Last but definitely not least, having a good pair of gold sunglasses will help you find the ball much easier thanks to the improved contrast.
What color polarized lens is the best one for playing golf?
Since any typical golf course is surrounded by fairways and greens, you will need glasses that improve your contrast and definition for these colors. Lenses colored amber or brown have some of the best tints when it comes to golfing. Other glasses with more neutral tint colors are also acceptable but won’t improve much of the game but would rather just keep your eyes safe.
What sunglasses does Tiger Woods wear?
While Tiger Woods was spotted before with Oakley sunglasses (with a blue tint), nowadays he is almost always in full Nike apparel. That being said, his sunglasses of choice are the Nike Show X2 and the Siege 2 sunglasses.
Does blue tint on your sunglasses help you find golf balls easier?
As we discussed, the improved contrast that most golf sunglasses provide is already good enough to help you spot golf balls. However, sunglasses with a blue tint will increase the brightness of white objects such as golf balls. This will make the ball almost shine through the glasses, making it much easier to spot even from a distance.
Finding the best golf sunglasses shouldn’t be a very difficult task. After you’ve set your mind on a specific style, pay closer attention to some of the details about the glasses. Make sure you choose a model with a good grip and a lightweight frame. That will ensure they stay on your head even after a heavy swing. As for the lenses, the important factors you need to consider are their coverage, the contrast-enhancing tint, polarization, and the material they’re made from. A good pair of sports sunglasses should be impact-resistant and have a mirror coating to tackle the bright sun.