Remember those oversized blue lenses that were supposed to help you look for lost golf balls, but made you look like the course nerd instead? Thankfully, they’ve gone the way of the wooden driver, replaced by links-specific sunglasses meant to actually help improve your game, even while preserving your sense of style.
For instance, Under Armour’s UA Tuned Golf Lenses are designed specifically to enhance your ability to read greens, gauge distance and identify terrain nuances. The lenses are tinted—but not darkened—with a light-filtration profile that enhances vision in both sunny and shaded areas. Under Armour considered each potential shot, so the lenses are versatile enough to be worn throughout your round. You get all of the protection you need when teeing off into the sun, but won’t have to remove your glasses to evaluate the distance of an approach shot in the shade. The lenses are fitted into Under Armour’s Assist frames ($99, at bottom), which resemble Ray-Ban’s classic Wayfarer, but are made with lightweight and durable high-grade polyamide frames for functionality. Over a long day of golf, the Assist rests comfortably on the nose and above the ear without restricting or slipping with perspiration. Afterwards, you can switch into the UA Tuned Recovery Glimpse ($110, second from bottom), with blue-tinted lenses for a restorative effect.
Run-of-the-mill shades block only low-energy UV-A rays. Oakley’s Targetline ($153, second from top) filters out UV-B, the medium-wave rays that cause short-term eye sensitivity and impair your game. The frames, made from a nylon-infused plastic that Oakley calls O-Matter, are created to be strong yet flexible and stay comfortable for longer periods of time. For the nose bridge, Oakley uses what it calls Unobtainium, a material also used on motorcycle handlebar grips for its ability to retain friction when wet.
Roka’s new Halsey performance sunglasses ($170, top), founded in 2013, places a variety of high-performance lenses inside fashionable lifestyle frames. Each model is designed for a specific sport, while the lens options cater to particular light conditions. For golf, we recommend the high-contrast, dark-bronze mirror lenses for bright to variably sunny conditions. These lenses come in a dark tortoise-shell frame that complements casual evening wear just as much as they do the modern golf getup. Wear them on the course, and afterwards on the patio with your post-round cigar.