After throwing on a hat or visor, you’ll also need a pair of the best sunglasses for golfing to protect your vision while the game unfolds. Not only do golf sunglasses shield your eyes from harmful UV rays that can wreak havoc on your vision, but they also enhance color contrast and sharpen your focus, making it easier to view the fairways and greens laid out before you. Sure, you could play golf indoors on a golfing simulator, but that should be an option of last resort. With a variety of styles and lenses to choose from, there’s never been a better time to find the perfect pair of golf shades to elevate your game and leave your opponents in the bunker.
With fair weather around the corner, we’ve rounded up the following collection of golfing sunglasses from some of the industry’s most popular eyewear manufacturers. We’ve considered different budget ranges and needs, and when style comes into question, we’ve looked into classic designs, athletic cuts and high-tech frames. The team at Our Golf Shop suggests that the most important factor to consider when choosing sunglasses is how much of the sun’s harmful UV rays they block. “Ideally, the best golf sunglasses will block out 100% of the UV rays without limiting your vision,” they explain.
Callaway is one of the world’s most prominent makers of golf clubs, balls, apparel and accessories. That fact in and of itself doesn’t mean they make great sunglasses, but California label managed to do just that with these polarized Sungear Kite offerings.
The durable-but-flexible plastic frames hold polarized crystal lenses with a mirror coating. They’re light on the face, and their shape provides breathing room between skin and plastic to keep moisture at bay. With a price tag just under $100, Callaway is offering top-shelf eye protection that blends style and value when compared to its rivals.
What the reviews say: “I bought these exclusively to play golf and am very happy with them. They fit under my golf hat (Dad Cap), with the bill slightly curved. Very clear lenses, which helped me read the greens. Only complaint is that my golf game has not improved, which I blame squarely on these sunglasses, as there is no other logical explanation!”
Good depth perception
100% UVA protection
Polarized to reduce glare
Tifosi Crit Polarized Sunglasses
Tifosi specializes in making stylish optics that keep the sun at bay without burning a hole in your pocket. In the case of these Crit Sport Performance Polarized Sunglasses, the polarized polycarbonate lens is covered in a scratch-resistant, shatterproof coating that offers plenty of helpful contrast. The frame shape lets the vented lenses boost airflow to reduce fogging and sweating, so you won’t lose track of the hole on your next chip shot.
At less than $80, these shades serve up fashionable flair for less. Tifosi throws in adjustable rubber nose and ear pads that keep the glasses in place through any golf swing.
What the reviews say: “I bought these sunglasses specifically for playing golf and to help me find golf balls as many of the holes on our golf course have hidden landing spots. They are really good at helping the golf balls show up even among blown leaves.”
Adjustable nose and ear pads
100% UV protection
Vented lenses to reduce fogging
Oakley Holbrook Sunglasses
The lines of the Oakley Holbrook sunglasses are as classic a style as the fashion world can manage. With their simple, solid and straight edges cutting a narrow profile across your face, the Holbrooks provide a dose of confident functionality to your game.
It’s their common, reliable fashion that make the Oakley Holbrooks easy to match for prescription lenses. For golf purposes, their plastic frame sits on the face comfortably enough, and the polarized lenses include Oakley’s UV Protection Coating, which ensures they’ll protect your eyes from tee to green. Choose from nearly 20 different lens and frame combinations to find the pair that meets your needs and elevates your kit.
What the reviews say: “What more can you say… these are Oakley Holbrook sunglasses with my own lenses in! I asked about my personal, older pair being reglazed and it worked out cheaper to get a totally new pair, with red iridium prescription lenses fitted! Quality is what you would expect from Oakley, so no need to comment.”
Lightweight, comfortable frame
Wide range of colors
Some users find them to be tight at the temples
Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Sunglasses
What makes these Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Sunglasses stand out from the rest isn’t their vented lenses or sporty styling, but their novel ability to swap different lenses on demand. Oakley makes a selection of plastic lenses that plug in and out of the Half Jacket’s very modern plastic frames, so you’ll never find yourself competing with lenses that aren’t fit for the occasion.
You can select mirrored or shaded lenses with polarized or non-polarized coatings and amidst those options, you can choose between different color tints that fit your preferences, please your eyes or match your outfit. Each pair comes with a complementary leash to prevent the shades from wandering off, and a care kit to keep the lenses in tip-top shape.
What the reviews say: “These are the best sunglasses for golf! The instant I put them on I knew I’d love them. You can see the slopes in the green so clearly and I can track the ball off the drive so much better than my regular polarized glasses. I have a narrow face and these XLs are much better than the newer XLJ model.”
In this case, the name says it all. The Under Armour Big Shot Sunglasses are made with Ultralight ArmourFusion Frames that improve strength and durability. You can keep these in your golf bag and carry them from dale to dale with confidence. They’ll bounce to duty when 18 holes call, and they’ll never let you down along the way.
The Under Armour Big Shot Sunglasses include non-polarized polycarbonate lenses with a UV protection coating. Under Armour makes the lenses with contrast enhancement that allow you to read the green more easily, and a UA STORM lens coating adds additional sun protection.
What the reviews say: “These were a good buy for the money. They are very similar to my Oakley sunglasses for a lot less money. I got these primarily for golf but I have used them for driving and general wear and they have worked great. Would buy them again.”
Maui Jim Castles Polarized Aviator Sunglasses
They might not be as ergonomically athletic as some of the more goggle-ish sunglasses in this collection, but if on-course style is important to you, then you can’t go wrong with a pair of aviator shades from Maui Jim.
The Castles Aviator Sunglasses are as classic as aviators get these days. Still, to do the very real job of protecting your eyes from outdoor glare, the Maui Jim lenses serve up the traditional, metallic frame (nickel, in this case), while the polarized lenses are made of glass instead of plastic. That’s unusual for modern consumer sunglasses, but we really appreciate the attention to detail that helps these puppies stand out at the local country club.
Aviator styling might not stay in place as well as some of the head-pinching, wrap-around designs in this gathering, but you’ll look fashionable even while hitting a lousy shot.
What the reviews say: “Magnificent sunglasses. Regular aviators are too long for my face but these fit perfectly. Whatever Maui Jim does to their glass is more than just marketing, it’s like seeing the world through an entirely clearer and more focused view. Zero glare and zero distortion.”
Durable and high-quality construction
Great clarity and color enhancement
Limited peripheral vision
Nike Golf Cross Trainer Sunglasses
Cross training is a familiar word in Nike’s famous climes, and these Nike Golf Cross Trainer Sunglasses serve perfectly well on the golf course before accompanying you to whatever athletic activity comes up next.
These shades are made up of an acetate frame, and the composite—but non-polarized—lenses have a mirror coating that takes advantage of Nike’s patented Max Optics Lens Technology to capture what the company terms “precise visual information at all angles of view.” Suffice to say, you can see clearly whether you’re teeing off on Saturday or toeing the line before a big race come Sunday.
What the reviews say: “I’m very picky about the fit of my sunglasses and I couldn’t be more pleased with these Nikes. The sunglasses arrived in perfect condition but don’t come with a hard case or cleaning cloth. The fit is awesome and I don’t even know they’re on my face when I’m wearing them.”
Lightweight and comfortable
Design stays on your face
Doesn’t ship with a case and cleaning cloth
How We Chose The Best Sunglasses For Golfing
Selecting only a handful of top-tier golf sunglasses from hundreds of models poses something of a challenge. When selecting the very best sunglasses for golfing, we started by rounding up the top options from the golfing industry’s most popular eyewear manufacturers, as well as models we’ve tested or own.
From there, we considered different budget ranges and needs, along with different style preferences. We sat down and pored over customer reviews as well as personal feedback courtesy of our network of contributors, and from there, we finalized a list of shades we consider to be the best for every need and ability.
As golfing sunglass models are continuously being updated with better optics or new features, we regularly update this list to reflect the latest and greatest findings. This roundup was most recently updated May, 2023.
Why Trust Forbes Vetted
Here at Forbes Vetted, we take every aspect of golfing as seriously as the pros, from the front nine to the back nine. We’ve spent time on some of the world’s most famous courses, talked with Tour professionals and tested equipment to ensure it’s worth the money. When rounding up the best sunglasses for golfing, we considered frame materials, optic coatings and the final price tag, and after hours of avid research and investigation, we’re confident in our final picks.
What To Consider When Shopping For Golf Sunglasses
In many ways, golfing sunglasses are similar to the shades you wear every day, but there are specific variables you should consider when making the leap from traditional sunglasses to those designed specifically for golf. These include:
If your golfing sunglasses don’t fit your face, odds are you won’t wear them. Generally speaking, sunglasses should fit comfortably around your ears and across your nose. If they leave marks along your temples or feel too tight, look for a wider pair. And keep an eye out for models with adjustable nose pads and temple tips that offer a custom fit.
The lens material will affect the clarity and durability of your sunglasses. Polycarbonate lenses are a popular choice for golfing sunglasses because they’re lightweight and shatter-resistant. Glass lenses, on the other hand, offer refined clarity, but they’re a bit more fragile.
Lens color is a matter of personal preference and playing conditions. For example, grey or green lenses are good for bright days, while brown or rose-colored lenses are suitable for low-light conditions.
Some golfing sunglasses come with special coatings that enhance clarity, reduce glare and protect against scratches and fogging. While lens coatings aren’t essential, they may prolong the life of your sunglasses if you wear them all the time.
Look for golfing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Keep in mind that UV protection and polarized lenses are two separate things. The former protects your eyes from harmful UV rays emitted by the sun, while the latter reduces glare that might otherwise force you to squint.
The frame material will directly impact the comfort, durability and weight of your glasses. Nylon frames are lightweight and flexible, while metal frames are durable and sturdy.
Golfing sunglasses come in a variety of styles, including wraparound, aviator and rectangular, all of which we’ve featured on this list. The style you choose should match your personal preferences, complement your face shape and aid your efforts on the course.
Golfing sunglasses come in a range of prices, from budget-friendly options to high-end designer brands. Consider your budget and how often you plan to use the sunglasses before investing.
Do Golfers Need Polarized Sunglasses?
Generally speaking, polarized lenses are well-suited for golf because they help reduce glare and enhance visual clarity—traits that are particularly useful when playing on sunny days or near water hazards. However, it’s important to note that not all polarized lenses are created equal, and some may not be suitable for golfing.
For example, some lenses may be too dark, which can make it difficult to see the ball on cloudy days. Therefore, if you’re considering using polarized lenses for golf, it’s best to choose sport-specific lenses, and to test them out in different lighting conditions.
What Color Polarized Lenses Are Best For Golf?
When it comes to polarized lenses, the best color choice for golfing can vary based on personal preferences and lighting conditions on the course. Gray lenses are a popular choice because they provide natural color perception and reduce overall brightness without distorting colors, and they can be used in a variety of lighting conditions. Brown or copper lenses, on the other hand, are a good choice because they enhance contrast, which makes it easier to see the ball against the green grass, especially in low-light conditions.
Which Style Of Golf Sunglasses Work Best With Contact Lenses?
Prescription sunglasses swap in for standard lessons when a bespectacled golfer sets out to play. However, for contact lens wearers, any non-prescription lenses with sufficient tint will do. Fans of contact lenses need comfortable space between the tinted plastic and eyeball, and for that reason, we recommend you look to wrap-around frame designs that arch the sunglasses out and around the face.