Over the past few years, the definition of “golf equipment” has expanded to include shoes, gloves, spikes, and even tees as manufacturers have argued that with technological improvements, their products can affect a player’s performance.
So why not sunglasses?
Quality shades can help your game as well as your well-being. Besides protecting you from harmful ultraviolet rays, glare, and the onset of headaches, advances in lenses can make it easier to see the target, read greens, and judge distances. Correct information can make you more confident, and as every instructor will tell you, confidence leads to better shots and scores.
Over the next few weeks, as I write about what I saw at the recent PGA Merchandise Show, I’ll introduce a number of sunglass companies that impressed me with their products and technology. The order is purely random, having nothing to do with quality or preference. I think they’re all good.
First up is Sundog Eyewear, a Canadian firm that boasts Paula Creamer, Hunter Mahan, and local boy Mike Weir on its staff.
Last year Sundog introduced Mela-Lens, lenses infused with synthetic melanin—the chemical in our bodies that produces freckles and tans and protects us from the sun’s harmful effects. Like nearly all the products I saw, Sundog glasses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays (which can cause all manner of eye damage, including cataracts) without any distortion of the image or color. Mela-Lens lenses are said to be especially good at improving contrast by filtering, rather than blocking, harmful “blue” rays, sharpening detail without distorting colors.
Mela-Lens—available in the Paula Creamer and Hunter Mahan lines and the company’s Core Collection—come in two colors: brown and gray. Gray is the all-purpose choice, especially good in brighter light. Brown produces better contrast, making it the choice in low-light and shadow. New this year, Mela-Lens is also available in either polarized (glare-reducing) or Photochromic (the lenses darken as the light gets stronger) versions.
Sundog offers a lot of tech at a reasonable price, most of their glasses costing between $45 and $150. They’re available at many off-course golf stores, such as PGA Tour Superstores, Golf Galaxy (U.S.), and Golf Town (Canada), and at more than 5,000 top public and private clubs around the world. For much more information, check out their website.