Everyone knows that sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes from the damaging effects of UV light, but there are also very different aspects to the performance of sun lenses for different activities. I’m going to discuss two very different types of performance eyewear: driving glasses and golf glasses. Traditionally, many drivers wear grey lenses, which provide the lowest light transmission and are a good choice in the brightest sunlight. However, brown or amber lenses increase contrast, enabling drivers to better read road contours. These advantages also allow drivers to wear brown/amber lenses earlier in the day and later in the evening.
Polarized lenses are also very advantageous when driving. The polarizing filter blocks reflected glare from the road and blinding glare bouncing off of other car windshields and bumpers. They may also add to your safety and security by allowing you to see the drivers and passengers in nearby cars instead of seeing the reflection of the sky on the windshield. We have several ways of demonstrating the advantages of polarized lenses here in the shop.
Polarized lenses may, however, be less advantageous on the golf course. The purpose of golf glasses is to improve the eye’s ability to see and track a golf ball against varying backgrounds and light levels. Grey is usually not used because it is a neutral filter. To conquer the haze created by evaporation on a typical course, one must suppress blue light and increase green contrast. That is best performed by colors which suppress the blue end of the spectrum, such as brown, amber and green.
When a golfer “reads” a green, they’re trying to subconsciously process how the following factors combine to influence ball speed and trajectory during putting:
- Grass length
- Moisture level (in and on the grass)
- Base (firmness of the green)
- WindGrain (direction the blades of grass are facing)
Visual evaluation of these factors is accomplished through discrimination of differences in the amount of light reflected by individual blades of grass. This is why most performance golf glasses do not use polarization. Your perception of light reflection changes as you move, and reflections are greatly decreased through polarization, making it more difficult to read a green.
Here at Eye Elegance we have the answers to all of your sunwear needs, from driving to golf to just great fashion! Stop in and let us find the right sunglasses of ALL of your activities.
(Thanks to Barry Santini from 20/20 magazine for much of this info!)