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Golfing with Sunglasses

Playing Golf with Sunglasses: Bad Idea or Not?

Does playing golf with sunglasses improve your game? Should you wear polarized sunglasses or try out tinted lenses? Will it actually help hit the golf club better?

These are some of the most common questions from golfers.

Because let’s face it, we buy golf clubs for better performance on the tee box, from the fairway, and the putting green. But buying golf sunglasses can help your game more than you might think, not to mention help with UV protection.

The right pair of sunglasses is key to block out the sun’s glare and bright sunlight. Ultimately, the perfect pair of golf sunglasses might be just what your game needs.

Sunglasses in Golf – What to Know

Key Takeaways

  • Golf sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes and improve your game.
  • A good pair of golf sunglasses can help you find the golf ball easier, read greens better, improve depth perception, and play with more confidence.
  • Finding the right golf sunglasses is key as some are specifically designed for the sport. Some pairs have transition lenses, interchangeable lenses, colored lenses, and more.

Keep reading to learn the benefits of sunglasses, how to wear them for lower scores, and our picks for the best golf sunglasses.

Benefits of Sunglasses 

If you want to take care of your health, wearing sunglasses on the golf course has tons of benefits. Here are the biggest benefits according to Nationwide Vision:

UV Protection

Arguably the biggest benefits of sunglasses are the protection from damaging UV rays.

As the article mentioned, “Protecting your eyes is important because too much exposure to UV rays for extended periods can increase your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis (sunburn of the eye). 

By wearing sunglasses blocking UVA and UVB Rays, you can reduce UV exposure and the chance of developing eye diseases.” 

Don’t let golf contribute to injuries or any health issues – simply wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. 

Reduce Eye Strain

The second benefit is that glasses will help reduce eye strain that can cause blurred vision and headaches. Your eyes are forced to work extra hard in sunlight and it’s common for golfers to overuse them reading greens or trying to find the ball in the air. 

Wearing glasses can help minimize eye strain so your eyes muscles are less stressed too. 

Playing Golf with Sunglasses On

Skin Cancer Prevention

The third benefit is that they can help with skin cancer prevention. Paired with sunscreen, arm sleeves, and possibly a sun umbrella (which attach to push carts) can help protect your skin. 

Read our full post on sun protection for golf.

Debris Protection

Another benefit is that sunglasses can protect your eyes from debris like dirt, dust, and even bugs.

As the article mentioned, “They are also the best solution for keeping the wind from hitting your eyes. Getting hit by wind can lead to eye irritation, watery eyes, and red eyes.”

This is very important if you wear contacts as they can get dried out on windy days.

Block Out Glare 

Finally, they can help block out glare which can cause issues on the golf course – especially on overcast days. 

Plus, a good pair of shades can also help you show off your personality and unique style. Bottom line – there are tons of benefits to wearing them on the golf course. 

Here’s how to wear golf sunglasses without interfering with your game.

How to Wear Golf Sunglasses

Despite nearly endless benefits to wearing sunglasses on the golf course, most professional golfers don’t use them… why not? 


A lot of golfers feel that a pair of shades can get in the way of their swing or how they read the greens. They’re playing for millions of dollars each week and the smallest details matter. If a pair of glasses gets in the way of green reading or fly off mid-swing, this can become an issue.

Reading Greens

The wrong fit is nearly impossible to play with and some might even fall off your face. I agree to an extent that the wrong pair of glasses can hurt your game but it’s about finding the right pair and wearing them strategically on the course.

For example, a lot of players that wear them only use them between shots. They’ll take them off and put them on their hat or hand them to their caddy to hold.

While there is a small percentage of golfers that actually keep them on for full shots. One of the most notable examples is Phil Mickelson who has sported shades a lot since joining LIV Golf. He’s still able to hit bombs and work his short game magic while looking like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. 

Remove Glasses Strategically 

If you feel like the glasses might fall off during your swing, remove them before hitting.

If you feel like they could hinder performance – such as seeing the ground below your glasses – it’s also a good idea to remove them. But put them on when you’re back in the cart or walking to keep harmful UV rays at bay.

Short game wise this is a personal decision. Some golfers keep their glasses on when it comes to reading greens while others like to take them off.

This is 100% personal preference but suggest trying out different methods to see what works best for you.

Better Performance on the Golf Course 

Additionally, there are golf benefits to wearing them too. From green reading, to finding golf balls, and tracking them better in the air. 

For example, red and yellow lenses can help with better depth perception and contrast. This might make it easier to read greens. 

While amber and gray lenses can help with sharpness and better contrast on overcast days. This might lead to reading greens more effectively and making more putts. 

Plus, you can also get prescription sunglasses that might help read greens too. At the end of the day, it’s all about testing in practice and on the course to see what works best for you

Ready to buy a pair of shades? Make sure to read our best sunglasses for golf article now. We break down how some are better for bright days, the right nose pads, frame colors, and more.

Best Golf Sunglasses

FAQs About Golf Sunglasses

Do you have more questions about wearing sunglasses golfing? If so, keep reading to learn more now. 

Can you wear sunglasses while playing golf?

Yes, you can wear sunglasses while playing golf. They don’t violate any rules of golf and can help your face stay protected from the sun among other benefits. 

Why don’t professional golfers wear sunglasses?

It is surprising that most PGA Tour professionals do not wear sunglasses often. My guess is that more than half of pro golfers never wear them as they feel it hinders their performance. 

But some players in pro golf do wear them the entire round like Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, and others. In fact, Phil even wears his glasses rain or shine.

As noted in Golf.com, “Basically, the polarization in the lenses helps reduce the light refraction caused by water reflecting through rain droplets which, in turn, impairs our vision. It’s a pretty incredible little life hack — and one that can easily translate into a brilliant golf tip. At least Phil Mickelson thinks so.”

What kind of glasses do you wear for golf?

Any glasses are better than no glasses while playing golf. Since a round of golf takes 4+ hours, it’s a great idea to wear them even if you only do between shots. This will protect your face and eyes from potentially harmful UV rays. 

Do polarized glasses help see golf balls better?

Yes, they can help you stop losing golf balls. As RX Safety said, “Polarized brown lenses will also enhance visual acuity and contrast on the fairway, helping you see the ball easier. Add a silver or blue mirror for added sun protection and to make you a little cooler, if you like mirror coatings.” 

What color glasses are best for golf? Does lens color matter?

The lenses play a big role in how effective they are on the golf course but ultimately depends on your vision. For example, polarized lenses can help provide a sharper image on the green and help reduce glare. 

When should you not use polarized glasses?

Polarized glasses are a good idea to wear on the golf course. The only downside is that they don’t change much based on different light conditions – i.e., sunny weather vs. overcast weather. 

Who makes the best sunglasses for golf?

There are tons of different brands to choose from but Oakley is a top pick among professional golfers. Players like Nelly Korda, Rickie Fowler, Danielle Kang, and more have been spotted wearing these popular sunglasses. 

My Experience 

I’ve had some vision problems over the years so I always wear sunglasses on the golf course. Living in Arizona is very hot a few months of the year and I feel they help protect my face and eyes from bright light and intense sunlight.

But there’s a catch… I never wear sunglasses for full swing shots.

I only wear them between shots, chipping, and putting. If they get fogged up or feel like I need to study the greens more I might take them off but in general, they’re fine for the short game.

I always buy sunglasses that can be flipped upside down and put on the back of my hat. They stay there during my swing and don’t fall off even when hitting driver. This is a method that has worked well for me but shockingly I don’t see many golfers wear sunglasses in Arizona. 

Final Thoughts 

Sunglasses have a lot of benefits to help protect your eyes and face from the sun. I’d suggest wearing them at least between shots and possibly on short game shots too.

Whether you have prescription golf sunglasses, wear golf specific lenses, or buy a good pair of Oakley sunglasses, they can have a big impact on your game. Wear glasses more often in the summer and warm conditions to help protect your eyes.