Golf Course Best Practices: Why Sunglasses Matter

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All About Vision

Sporting sunglasses while golfing used to be a matter of personal preference. However, the sun wasn’t burning as bright a few decades ago, and the ozone layer was intact, so most recent studies have shown that wearing sunglasses while engaging in any kind of outdoor activity can actually make a difference.

Some would argue that sunglasses may obstruct your vision, reduce your spatial awareness, or hinder your ability to discern colors. While this may be true to some extent, golf shades also offer a plethora of benefits.

Today we’ll talk about some of the biggest advantages golfing sunglasses offer and why wearing a pair can help improve your game.

UV protection

The most obvious benefit is the shielding effect. UV rays are harmful in more ways than one, but before anything else, they can cause cancer. Studies have shown that golfers are prone to developing various eye-related diseases, especially cancer, due to high exposure to sunlight.

Most golf courses do not offer enough shade as cover from the sun, and even driving in carts can’t help in the long run.

Nearly all sunglasses offer UV protection to a certain degree; budget shades can protect the wearer’s eyes from UVA rays, which are the least harmful and not even cancerous, but shielding from UVB and the most dangerous UVC rays is something only a small number of sunglasses can offer.

For reference, UVA rays have the longest wavelength, can penetrate the skin without causing burns or cancer, and can easily penetrate clouds and most types of glass. UVB rays are linked to cancer, can damage skin’s DNA, and typically cause sunburns.

UVC rays have the shortest wavelength and are substantially more dangerous than UVA and UVB combined. Fortunately, these rays almost never reach the surface as the ozone layer absorbs them. Even so, the locations above which the layer is damaged (ozone holes) are susceptible to UVC rays.

Eyesight protection

Eyesight and vision degrade over time, but frequent staring in the direction of the sun can significantly contribute to the rapidity of this process. Sun’s rays can pierce the skies even on cloudy days; even though in this particular case golfers won’t glare as much, the exposure to UV rays is still affecting their eyesight.

Furthermore, glasses also offer protection from wind and any debris they may carry on (pieces of grass, leaves, or wood splinters).

Better focus and eye-tracking

Golfers need to maintain a high level of focus throughout the course for their shots to be accurate. Fatigue decreases focus, but so does physical stress and strain the eyes have to endure when measuring the distance between the ball and the hole, as well as when scanning the surroundings, and so on.

In a nutshell, a pair of sunglasses can help golfers maintain their focus for longer by eliminating glare caused by sunlight. Shades of a certain color are even more efficient at improving focus; gray lenses in particular offer a non-distorting prism while reducing glare.

Polarized sunglasses enhance image sharpness and clarity

Even though polarized sunglasses have existed for almost a century, they weren’t as popular until the early 2000s. Given that most golfers avoided sunglasses in wide circles until recently, to begin with, most hobbyists and enthusiasts aren’t aware of the benefits this type of sunglasses has to offer.

The first and most notable advantage of polarized sunglasses is substantially enhanced image sharpness. The tiny filters integrated into polarized sunglasses reduce the quantity of the reflective light, making the images appear much sharper.

Furthermore, some polarized sunglasses are typically ‘upgraded’ with a bifocal coating, which further decreases reflectivity and promotes better focus. Vuarnet boasts some of the top options in this domain, you can check out a variety of models.

Colored shades and which to pick

Non-neutral color shades affect the way we perceive our surroundings, unlike gray-colored lenses that only reflect light and block ultraviolet rays.

First and foremost, each color ‘feels’ different; subjective preference plays a factor here to some extent, although there are a lot of objective advantages to be reaped depending on the color a golfer opts for.

Green-tinted sunglasses are fairly versatile, as they increase depth perception, offer greater clarity, and improve contrast. They also slightly reduce glare, although they may not feel too comfortable on exceptionally bright and sunny days.

Amber and brown-colored lenses offer the same benefits while not being as aggressive on the eyes under strong sunlight. On the flip side, brown and amber-colored sunglasses reduce contrast and vision after sunset and can reduce the golfer’s performance on cloudy days.

Red-tinted lenses may not be the best choice for golfers, as they distort almost every other color. Differentiating small objects from a distance may be harder while wearing these sunglasses, but they excel at making dark objects even darker and big objects somewhat bigger.

Yellow-tinted glasses drastically increase the golfer’s depth perception, although they also diminish the ability to read greens. Bright yellow sunglasses do not present the green-reading drawback, but they don’t reflect sunlight as efficiently.

Sunglasses prevent skin burn and inflammation

The vast majority of golfers who plan to spend more than a few hours on the course typically use sunscreen to protect their skin. However, sun lotions can’t cover every part of our body, and the skin beneath the eyes is softer and more susceptible to inflammation than the rest of the face.

Having a sunburned face is not only painful, but it can also be very fatiguing. A set of sunglasses can protect a good portion of a golfer’s face, especially models with bigger lenses. Even some of the racing models might do the trick.

Sunglasses can improve your technique

There are numerous distractions to worry about when on a golf course, and the sun is obviously the biggest. Finding the perfect position to strike is hard if you’re facing the sun directly, and it often leads golfers to take shots a bit faster than they’d want to, neglecting the technique for the sake of convenience.

Aside from the drastically reduced glare, wearing sunglasses will allow you to concentrate on your shots, which consequently means that you’ll be able to use any technique in your arsenal without external hindrances.

We hope that this brief guide was useful to you and that you’ve learned something new today on why sunglasses matter when it comes to golfing. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!