A Review of Golf's Finest Eyewear Print

 

By Jason Bruno

 

It's that time of year, warm temperatures, blue skies, intense sunshine,

beaches, convertible sports cars, vacations and best of all - 36 hole days

of golf. For all of these activities a good pair of sunglasses can be a

needed friend, and with Father's Day on the horizon we thought it would be

a great time to roll out our review of the finest eyewear in golf.

Six companies contributed to our review: Oakley, Bolle, Tifosi, Electric, Reks

and Under Armour.

 

 

 

Sometime in the early 90's I discovered how important quality eyewear is

when I visited an ophthalmologist to examine a growth on my right eye called

a pinguecula. I was only 25 years old and indestructible. The eye doctor told me

that the growth was harmless, but lectured me on how quickly my 20/20 vision

would deteriorate without wearing proper eye protection daily (especially living

in the Sunshine State). As someone who's office has been primarily in the sunshine

since 1987, it was probably a smart move to heed the advice and get some type

of premium shades. Since then, having top quality eyewear has been a priority.

 

 

 

 


From wraparound sporty to the more classic Wayfarer style like Electric's

Knoxville model (front row center). Picking out a new pair of specs is much

more like selecting the right pair of golf shoes than it is getting fit for a new

driver. All of the shades in this review offer superior UV protection, so it

really boils down to preference in tint, frame style, size, fit and cost. Although

each model features high tech innovation and space age materials, we'll try

not to bore anyone too many times with words like hydrophilic, grilamid and

polycarbonate (forgive me if I slip one in every now and then). We rated each

according to lens clarity, capability for green reading, functionality, quality,

versatility and style.

 

Rating Table:

 

♦ = Marginal quality and less than ideal for golf activities

♦♦ = Limited in reducing glare and picking up turf contrast detail

♦♦♦ = Good sunglasses, but just average for golf

♦♦♦1/2 = A solid overall performer that provides excellent clarity

♦♦♦♦ Versatile. enhances green reading, handles everything

you can throw at them regardless of conditions.

♦♦♦♦1/2 = Quality and style worthy of being your "go to" shades.

♦♦♦♦♦ =  Supreme Gamer shades - "Must Have"

 

 

 

 

 

Bolle offers a vast assortment of golf specific eyewear choices -

our test subjects included: 6th Sense (back left), Ransom Folds

of Honor Limited Edition (back right) and Fly Air (front).

 

 

 

 

 


BOLLE RANSOM - FOLDS OF HONOR LIMITED EDITION

Folds of Honor V3 Golf Limited Edition - for every one sold, Bolle

makes a donation to the FOH to help the families of fallen military.

Ransom model features bClear lenses formulated to keep your vision

clear all day long and to repel moisture and smudges. The wrap-around

shape has become the standard in golf eyewear, and certainly that's a

good thing since side glare can be a problem. Green reading with the

bclear V3 lens (amber/bronze tint) is significantly enhanced.

 

Pros: Ransom is the most versatile style of the 3 Bolle options we tested.

Cons: Nothing really stands out about these, shiny black frames and

extended length nose section can be slightly distracting while addressing

a golf shot. Fit: Med/Large  $99 Rating: ♦♦♦

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOLLE FLY-AIR

Bolle Fly-Air is new for 2017 and features all of the performance features

of Ransom, but in a sleeker less cumbersome frame profile. Pros: Most

prefer the Fly-Air styling because of the matte black frames and oval lens

shape, these are both sporty and classic in style (and few golf specific shades

can boast that). Cons: The smaller profile provides less lens coverage

Fit: small/Medium $105 Rating: ♦♦♦♦

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOLLE 6th SENSE

Bolle Golf's 6th Sense is just an all out UV shield of the highest order. Also

popular in cycling, 6th sense is all about intense "get after it" competition.

The golf specific model features the same bClear V3 Modulator lens that's

now Bolle's standard for enhanced turf contour clarity. Bolle now offers the

6th Sense in a Ryder Cup Edition that will be popular in France for the 2018

matches. Lee Westwood wears these out on the PGA and European Tour.

After wearing these for a round in the intense South Florida sun, 6th sense

easily exceeded our expectations in virtually everyway.

 

Pros: More lens/less frame is ideal for most sports, with golf it's a game

changer, these have zero visual distractions. The pliable arms allow for a

custom fit that stays put regardless of how furious the activity. The hardcore

linkster will find (as we did) these are right at the top of the list of golf

specific shades. They may be Tour de France style, but easily the yellow

jersey of Bolle's Golf rotation. Cons: none. Fit: Large  $158

Rating: ♦♦♦♦1/2

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELECTRIC KNOXVILLE

Electric is a California company that brings their classy shoreline vibe

into the golf market. Their Knoxville shown above debuted 10 years ago

and is the company's best selling eyewear model of all time. Is it golf

specific? No, but it's quality and style of the highest order and that scores

points no matter what the activity is. Born in Cali, crafted in Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, since the Knoxville is not a golf specific eyewear product, I'll

break from my earlier statement and give some actual tech data

on the product line: Knoxville Features a mold injected Grilamid

frame and OHM polycarbonate bronze lens that protects 100% UV

protection as well as 98% blue light protection. According to Electric,

their VLT 11% bronze tint offers vibrant landscapes and surroundings.

We don't disagree (weighs 30 grams).

 

Pros: Superb quality. The matte finish Tortoise shell wayfarer style

frame easily is the timeless classic of this group of sunglasses.

Knoxville can be worn anywhere anytime. As an all-around pair of

shades they're top shelf.

 

Cons: If this was a review on sunglasses in general, these would

easily garner a higher rating. As far as golf is concerned there are

a few small items needed for these to be considered as serious gamer

shades (for example: the nose and ear pieces don't provide any kind

of non-slip contact point). Fit: med/Lg $99 Rating: ♦♦♦1/2

 

Shop Electric: http://www.electriccalifornia.com/sunglasses.html

 

 

 

 

 


OAKLEY GOLF - EVZERO STRIDE w/PRIZM

Oakley is the most well known brand in sports sunglasses. PRIZM is

the company's latest lens innovation and aims to set new standards

in definition and clarity in high performance eyewear. According to our

friends at the "O" that we met with at the PGA Show in January - "By

fine tuning individual wavelengths of color, PRIZM sharpens visual acuity

to reveal nuances that would be missed by the naked eye." Their EVZERO

STRIDE (above) was our model for this review.

 

 

 

 

 

Planet X frame design and color scheme is an edgy vibe. EVZero

features Oakley's lightest frame and a 180 degree rimless lens for

a completely unobstructed view. Oakley's unobtanium ear socks and

nose pad handle the no-slip chores

 

 

 

 

EVZERO Stride is definitely a large fit for those with bigger facial

features. Perhaps the cleanest aesthetics of any eyewear on the

market. PRIZM filters 100% of all UVA, UVB UVC and harmful

blue light upto 400nm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Pros: Similar to Bolle's 6th sense, the EVZERO Stride leaves nothing

to chance. It's ultra light, has comprehensive UV coverage and the

most advanced lens technolgoy in sports to keep you performing at

your best. Since there are zero visual obstructions from the frame

and they weigh practically nothing (just over 20 grams), you practically

don't even realize you're wearing them. Reading greens and observing

course details is a great experience with PRIZM. You won't miss even the

smallest of intricacies.

Cons: If you don't care for the ultra bright tint of the PRIZM lens there

isn't an option to swap out for a different lens. Fit: Large $170

Rating: ♦♦♦♦1/2

 

Shop Oakley: http://www.oakley.com/en/prizm/

 

 

 

 

 

 

REKS OPTICS

Reks Optics is a South Florida company that claims southern Palm Beach

County as it's home base. Innovation and value is what Reks is all about.

We tested out their Sling-Blade Lumolux, an un-breakable black satin-touch

flex frame that fits perfectly to those with a small/medium facial profile.

According to Reks, "Our polarized lenses withstand impact 1000% better

than glass or plastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sling-blade comes in Black, Raspberry and White frames. Polarized

Lumolux rose/amber polycarbonate lenses have 5 different coatings

and an embedded polarized film that provides superbly crisp optics.

Available in Red Mirror, Blue Mirror, Brown, Gold Mirror, Rose-

Amber, Silver Mirror and Smoke. These performed as well as any

eyewear we tested on the golf course.

 

 

 

 

The advanced polymer unbreakable frames have to be seen

to be believed.

 

 


 

 

 

Pros: Stylish unbreakable satin touch frames and polarized lenses for

$50 - need we say more? Reks as a relative unknown in Golf eyewear

deserves some serious attention from those looking to get serious bang

for their buck! Easily the sleeper of our review. Fit: Small/Medium

Cons: Nada! Rating: ♦♦♦♦1/2

 

Shop Reks: https://reksoptics.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIFOSI CRIT

Tifosi Crit (Metallic Red) might be the cult hero of this review. Gaining some

momentum among golf enthusiasts in recent years for their innovative and

highly functional specs and all at a great value. Engineered for endurance sports

(and summer golf should be thought of as such), Tifosi packed Crit with tons of

features (compact, stylish, light (31 grams) and at a price tag that will shock

you.

 

 

 

 

Crit comes standard with 3 lens options so you can get optic clarity

regardless of the conditions. Smoke -15.4 light transmission, Golf/Tennis

16.4 light transmission and Extreme Conditions 39.1 light transmission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crit features adjustable arm and nose pieces for perfect fit. Vented

lenses improve air circulation and prevent fogging. Grilamid frames

and polycarbonate lenses come standard.

 

Pros: Style and quality are top shelf. 3 sets of lenses for all conditions is

a major bonus. There really isn't an option Tifosi missed with these shades.

One of our highly respected product testers thoughts on Crit "They rival any

pair of Oakleys that I've ever worn." He continued his praise, "Tried out the

EC (extreme conditions) lens, my eyes which are very sensitive to light

adjusted perfectly to them in no time." Big thumbs up!" $69.95 (We've seen

them online for $50) Cons: ZERO Size: Medium Rating: ♦♦♦♦1/2

 

Shop Tifosi: http://www.tifosioptics.com/

 


 

 

 

 

 

UNDER ARMOUR EYEWEAR

Under Armour has launched into the performance eyewear golf market

with the emergence of the uber-marketable Jordan Spieth. Test models

Octane and Igniter 2.0 shown above.

 

 

 

 

UA OCTANE

OCTANE features chrome GAME DAY multi-flection lenses that defend

against 100% of UVA/B/C rays. According to UA: "ArmourSight lens

technology provides enhanced distortion free vision." Polyamide frame

offers max strength and durability. UA AutoGrip self articulating temples

conform to any head shape.

 

Pros: A versatile all around solid shield for links application. Multi-

positioning nose pad provides a custom fit. One tester really liked the

screwless cam-lock hinges.

Cons: chrome mirror-style lens doesn't appeal to some of our testers.

Fit: med/Large $115 (seen online for under $90)  Rating: ♦♦♦1/2

 

 

 

 

UA IGNITER

UA Igniter 2.0 - Ultra-light ArmourFusion frames are constructed with

Grilamid and titanium. The satin like feel and look of the matte black

frames are a classy touch.

 

 

 

 

 

ArmourSight GameDay GREEN color enhancing lens technology

delivers 100% UVA UVB and UVC protection as well as 20% less

distorted peripheral vision. Adjustable nose pad ensures comfort

and fit.

 

Pros: Solid performer. UA's Igniter 2.0 gives you what you'd expect

in a pair of modern day golf shades. No surprises, clear enhanced

vision, clean lines and great fit. Cons: UA shades only come with a

microfiber cleaning bag. Most of the companies featured in this review

include a hard case in addition. $89 Fit: medium Rating: ♦♦♦♦

 

Shop UA EYEWEAR:

https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/sunglasses/golf/g/37agm

 

 

 

Summary: Like we stated earlier, it really boils down to preference

when you're dealing with eyewear of this quality. Decide if you prefer

a small, Medium or large fit according to the size of your facial features.

Decide if you like an amber/bronze tint lens or a brighter more vibrant

experience like Oakley PRIZM. Then decide on what your price range is,

all eyewear in this feature ranges in price from $50 - $170.  Have a great

summer and don't forget June 16th is Father's Day . . .