Golfers, are you sick of staring into the sun? A clear & sunny sky that invites us outdoors to play also serves as a challenging obstacle. Showing up to the club without adequate preparation for the sun is setting yourself up for a tough day. It’s time to quit squinting across the fairway and shielding your eyes with your hands. We’ve put together a buyer’s guide covering the best golf sunglasses you can wear to see clearly and painlessly on the golf course.
Your sunglasses have an enormous impact on your field of view. Not only do they darken the bright light, but they protect you from harmful ultraviolet rays that can damage your vision. Cheap sunglasses may darken your view, but they don’t have the protection, sharpness, durability, or style flexibility that bona fide golfing sunglasses offer.
How Did We Choose?
Just like your other golf gear, golf sunglasses are designed with a range of specifications in mind. You might think that any old athletic glasses would be sufficient for golf, but cutthroat golfers look for anything and everything to give themselves that extra edge. Industry giants such as Oakley and Nike have taken up the task of refining sunglasses with the golfer’s needs in mind. We looked at their shades, plus numerous others, to find the best golf sunglasses around. Here are some of the factors we considered:
You’ll find that your needs will differ depending on where you’re playing. Different lens colors are optimized to block different wavelengths of sunlight.
For example, red polarized lenses are particularly good for increasing contrast on cloudy days. Yellow and granite colored lenses are better for increased sharpness on bright sunny days. And you can dim down the bright blue sky with a pair of shades in copper or brown. Green lenses maintain color balance but give you sharper contrast and better depth perception.
Finding the right frames is tough. You might even find yourself ordering and returning several pairs of golf glasses (though our buyer’s guide should help reduce the need!) The best golf sunglasses will have a fit that’s snug enough to handle whipping around on your head, but comfortable enough that you barely notice them.
Some sunglasses are made to be rigid and strong, while others are made to be lightweight, and, sometimes, even bendable. Ultimately, it’s a matter of comfort. The golf-related needs behind your sunglasses have more to do with the lenses. For your frame, it’s all about fit, comfort, and reliability.
The most forgettable, but possibly most important component of the frame is the grip. You’ll find grips at the nose bridge and the ear pieces, where the vast majority of glasses are designed to rest on your face.
As you’ll read in our buyer’s guide, high-end sunglasses often feature their own grip technology, but for the most part, grips should be soft rubber cushions that allow the frame to rest comfortably without squeezing or digging into your skin. Beyond comfort, it’s important for grips to grab your skin and resist sliding down your face. Golf involves a lot of sweat and a lot of head motion – a recipe for disaster for eyewear that isn’t built for sport. The best golf sunglasses will have grips that don’t budge, but also feel like they aren’t even there.
"You'll never want to settle for a pair of budget shades again!"
Great for changing light conditions
XYZ Optics technology enhances contrast and field of vision
Lightweight, but durable
The grand prize on our toplist goes to Oakley. Their golf sunglasses are, unsurprisingly , the best in the business. These shades have large lens coverage, keeping those UV rays out of your eyes from all angles. Oakley’s patented XYZ Optics coating gives their lenses a level of clarity that’s a cut above all the rest. However, since Oakleys are the best of the best, the Flak 2.0 golf sunglasses come with a hefty price tag.
Oakley’s O-Matter frames are gentle, comfortable, and highly durable. Their aptly-named Unobtanium earsocks and nose pads give the frames a rock-solid grip, but a very subtle and cushioned feel against your face. They grip well against perspiration and a lot of movement, so you don’t have to worry about them going anywhere.
Oakley sunglasses for golfers are so jam-packed full of awesome technology that there’s no doubt they deserve the top spot. Once you’ve worn them, you’ll never want to settle for a pair of budget shades again.
Callaway makes anything and everything a golfer might need. They’ve taken the bold step into athletic eyewear with their ultra-stylish Sungear Kite golf sunglasses. Not only do they feature polarized lenses made for the golf course, but they look downright stunning.
The Sungear line is made with a hydrophilic coating on the temples that actually help them grip better through moisture. The nose pads are easily adjustable to find your perfect fit. The Kite is great for medium or large sized heads, though, admittedly, smaller-headed golfers might find them a little too bulky.
Callaway’s polarized lenses are fit to an 8 base configuration, which is a fancy way of saying they wrap more completely around your field of vision. This means you get the utmost in UV protection from all sides. However, the lenses themselves allow more light to pass through than most sunglasses, allowing for greater depth perception on long shots.
Callaway’s simple-but-powerful golf sunglasses give you the clear vision you need no matter the conditions. The Sungear Kite glasses keep you looking sharp and shooting sharp all at the same time.
The Propel golf sunglasses are simple and elegant, yet still functional and practical on the golf course. They’re offered in several frame styles, so you can even pick your favorite!
The tint creates a startling contrast with the earth tones you stare down during a round of golf. The polarized lenses are designed to make it easier to follow the ball, read the greens, and identify hazards from a distance. They’re even patented with UA’s ArmourSight lens technology, which gives them all-around visibility with no distortion from any angle.
Propel features a three-point grip scheme, which is simply means they sit snugly on your face and won’t slide or stumble. They come with a “no-slip” grip with rubber temples and nose pads that cling stubbornly against sweat and centrifugal force.
One of the nice features that sets apart the Propel sunglasses is their ultra-high resistance to scratches and smudges. They carry a trademarked Multiflection coating that keeps them clean and blemish-free even through rough handling. Don’t abuse your sunglasses… but don’t feel like they’re so delicate you can’t wear them for sport!
Under Armour is a premier player in sports apparel, and products like the Propel golf sunglasses show you why. They’re simple and accessible, but they’re among the most durable on the market and they come packed with great features.
Nike makes our list of top picks with their Show X2 E sunglasses, which feature an impressive 8 base lens configuration, meaning they’ve got some of the best wrap-around protection of any golf sunglasses on the market. The patented Nike Max Optics is a lens technology that maintains clarity and sharpness from all angles, anywhere in your field of vision.
The nylon frames are extremely lightweight, making them comfortable but without sacrificing durability. The ear pieces are made with an adjustable silicone wrap that gives the glasses a custom fit with a strong grip that doesn’t slip or slide. The same material is built into the nose bridge, which is ventilated to avoid lens fog and to make the glasses more breathable.
We also like that the frames are tapered in a way that fits comfortably under the bill of a hat. Most golfers do wear hats, after all, and nothing can get in the way like awkward apparel that doesn’t wear well together.
Not only are they practical, but they’re diverse. The X2 golf lens is interchangeable, and can be swapped out with different colored lenses to fit any light conditions you might face on the golf course.
Oakley makes our list yet again with their Targetline sunglasses, built with the Prizm Golf technology that gives them unparalleled clarity and contrast.
The frames feature a fully integrated side shield that diffuses glare from the rear, and its tall-body lenses block light penetration from above. The lenses are also less curved than they are on most athletic sunglasses, allowing for more variety in available prescriptions.
Targetline also boasts Oakley’s Unobtanium nose pads. This patented technology clings to your nose even through sweat or against the fast motion of your swing. These frames aren’t going anywhere. However, they don’t sacrifice comfort for functionality. The frames rest so delicately on your nose and ears it’s as if you’re not wearing any sunglasses at all.
Oakley makes a stylish pair of sunglasses, and they even fit that style to a golfer’s practical needs. The top of the Targetline frame tapers off at a low angle that’s perfect for wearing a hat over top of them. Even with a curved bill, your hat and your frame won’t mingle.
For the price, Oakley sunglasses are nothing to sneeze at. But if you aren’t sold on their top-tier performance after learning about them, then we have to ask… are you really serious about your golf sunglasses?
Tifosi (Italian for “fan”) designs sunglasses for athletes of all disciplines, and golfers are no exception. Tifosi frames are made of a unique flexible nylon material, which makes them pliable but ultra-durable. The frames themselves are nearly indestructible. This does make them a bit lighter than some other golf sunglasses, but most golfers prefer a lighter frame, anyway. The hinges are fully integrated, making them less susceptible to wear and tear.
The nose piece and ear pieces are constructed from a hydrophilic rubber material that helps the glasses grip your face even better in wet conditions. No need to worry about the sweat – this frame is too stubborn to slide away!
The lenses themselves are polarized and coated with Tifosi’s patented “Glare Guard,” which, as you can imagine, guards against the glare! This filters out some of the most piercing sunbeams and softens your view so you can see clearly and confidently. You’ll enjoy full UV protection in a pair of Jets.
Not only are they highly functional, but Tifosi Jet sunglasses are sleek and stylish. Their low profile appearance combined with sharp design make them a slick choice even for casual wear. Plus, they come in six different color combinations so you can pick the ones that fit your style.
Our other choice for Under Armour fans is the Igniter series. It was hard picking the best sunglasses from Under Armour, as their products share many features for golfers. You could really call the Propel our choice “A” and the Igniter our choice “#1.”
After all, the Igniter also features the patented ArmourSight lens technology, offering a major improvement in full-FOV protection and combating distortion. They’re treated with the Multiflection coating, as well, giving them superior scratch and smudge protection.
The Igniter sunglasses also feature the three point grip technology with “autogrip” temples, giving the frames a firm and secure fit with practically no pressure. You’d forget you were wearing them, if not for the strong tint!
What sets the Igniter apart from the Propel is its maximum-durability ArmourFusion frames (also a patented UA technology). These bad boys are so strong that even if they fly clear off of your face, the combination of the ArmourFusion and the Multiflection innovations will protect them against even the most perilous mishaps. But don’t worry… like we said, the autogrip temples won’t let this happen under normal circumstances.
The added durability and reliability of the Igniter puts it a cut above the competition. That’s why we’re proud to call it our Editor’s Best Value. You won’t find a better bang for your buck, especially at this low price point.
You won’t find another pair of golf sunglasses on our list that’s quite like the Maxx Domain. That’s because we wanted to include at least one real budget pair for our readers with shallower pockets.
Maxx golf sunglasses are common enough that you might find them just walking into any pro shop around the country. So, when you think “budget,” don’t think “cheap.” There’s a reason that Maxx is a prolific budget brand: they just work.
Their half frame design allows room for more lens to cover your field of vision, an absolute must for low-cost golf sunglasses. The rubber nose pads give them a standard grip that you can trust in moderate conditions. We won’t promise they work as well as Oakley’s Unobtanium grips, but they get the job done for the price. The plastic polymer frame is also reliable, just not indestructible.
While you may not want to brag about these sunglasses in competition, you can absolutely count on them if you forget your good shades and need to pick up an emergency pair when you get to the course.
After curating our list of the top 8 best golf sunglasses on the market, we’ve whittled our “Best of” picks down to these:
Editor’s Choice: Oakley Men’s Flak 2.0 Prizm Golf Sunglasses
Best Value: Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses
Best Bargain Price: Maxx Domain HD Golf Sunglasses
Are you wearing any of our favorites right now? How do they impact your golf game? Make sure to leave us a comment to tell us about your experience!
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