IN THE U.S., MORE THAN 25 MILLION PEOPLE AND APPROXIMATELY 47 MILLION ANGLERS ARE LICENSED TO AND THEY ARE EXTREMELY PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR RESPECTIVE SPORTS. COMPETING ON THE GOLF COURSE OR THE OPEN WATER—FOR BOTH PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES AND WEEKEND WARRIORS—REQUIRES UNIQUE LENS AND FRAME REQUIREMENTS THAT GROW MORE TECHNOLOGICALLY SAVVY BY THE SEASON.
Performance eyewear for golfing and angling is a critical piece of equipment, just like the right driver or rod, according to Terri Ossi Hannah, senior marketing manager for Costa. “Once these water enthusiasts try polarized sunglasses they immediately see them as a necessary part of their gear versus an accessory for the day.”
Polarized lenses block blinding sun glare in addition to helping to see through the water’s surface to the fish and contours below, according to Rob Maser, commercial sales director for Wiley X. Anglers also face multiple safety issues. “Fishing can be harmful to the eyes due to direct sunlight, reflected light off the water, lures and hooks that spring unexpectedly from the mouths of fish into the eyes, not to mention wind and debris that can be hazardous when traveling in a boat at high speeds across the water,” Maser pointed out. “ANSI Z87.1 safety rated frames and lenses will protect from unexpected impacts.”
When it comes to golf, optics and protection play an important role in eyewear selection, according to Carmine DiChiara, VP of product development for Liberty Sport. “Contrast from the tint of the lens as well as UV protection are crucial to vison performance. Fit, wrap and comfort of the frame play a key role in long duration wear and element protection,” DiChiara said. “This is a growing category due to an increase in the Baby Boomers in the U.S. as well as climate, making the opportunity to provide a unique eyewear solution to golfers and for ECPs.”
The landscape of green on golf courses set against blue skies presents a distinct challenge for those wielding a club; the golfer needs excellent depth perception and must be able to see the contrasts on grass beds and dropoffs. Wiley X offers two polarized models for this sport. Omega07 has an amber tint under a mirror emerald coating, and this combination improves a golfer’s contrast vision and depth perception while allowing 18% light transmission for a brighter environment. The semi-rimless Saint04 has a smoke green tinted lens, also for improved contrast.
Liberty Sport’s Glide is a gray/ green lens with flash mirror coating designed to highlight the ball against blue skies and the greens. A wrap style with interchangeable lenses for different light conditions that attach using embedded magnets, Switch H-Wall also features vented nosepads that minimize fogging on the lenses. For women, the functional yet fashionable Bayou also comes with a gray/green lens and silver flash mirror.
Oakley has invested a lot in this category, offering seven distinct options: Crossrange, RadarEV XS Steel, Radar EV, Flak 2.0 XL, Mainlink, Silver and Turbine. All Oakley golf styles come with proprietary Prizm technology that enhances detail in order to improve performance and provide precise color tuning, according to the company. These lenses enhance grass texture, making reading the greens much easier.
Under Armour’s new collection from Eyeking for golfers features a lens specifically designed for ball play called Game Day. The UA Octane style features this lens and is one of the first styles to emerge from the brand’s new California design lab headed up by Scott Betty (formerly of Oakley).
Saltwater, blinding sun glare and flying ocean debris can make for a challenging day on a boat catching fish. With its “Born on the Water” tagline, there’s no mistaking that Costa is a go-to brand for anglers. The company’s new Sunrise Silver lens, which is ideal for dusk and dawn performance, comes in various Core and Lifestyle frames such as Blackfin, Isabela and Southpoint. This Sunrise Silver Mirror lens allows 30% light transmission versus the typical 10% to 12%.
Recognizing the distinct needs within fishing styles, Oakley has Prizm polarized lenses for shallow and deep waters. The Prizm shallow water is designed to enhance greens and coppers while keeping whites bright, making it easier to see hiding spots and into the shadows. Deep water filters out shades of blues that tend to overwhelm an angler’s vision on more open waters. This lens enhances greens and reds while keeping whites bright in order to catch flashing fish and see below the surface.
Columbia’s Stealth Lite from Marchon features hydrophobic, polarized lenses, a lightweight injected frame for long-lasting comfort, rubber nosepads embedded in the frame, an omni-wick evaporation pattern inside temples and a PFG cable/leash that fits into holes at the temple tip.
Wiley X’s Gravity04 with Filter 8 polarized lens technology for fresh and saltwater anglers comes with a removable foam facial cavity seal that blocks light from every angle and prevents flying objects from getting into the eye. The green tinted lens and blue mirror coating give anglers visual clarity to see fish and bottom contours.
The Angler from SPY comes with a bronze, polarized, black-mirrored lens that allows anglers to fight the glare from the water as well as the bright sunlight. Gray green, bronze, and bronze with polar green are lens options depending on the frame color of choice.
Under Armour’s STORM lens repels saltwater, bug spray and sunscreen. The newest style, UA STORM Polarized Force Multiflection, has a host of benefits including a mirrored lens coating that lowers light transmission and adds a layer to protect against scratches and smudges.
Michelle Titzkowski is the practice manager at Vision Clinic Dr. Savin and Associates in Racine, WI. Michele Silver is managing editor, VCPN.
WHERE TO FIND IT: adidas eyewear 800.626.8684 • adidas.com/eyewear // Aspex Eyewear 800.277.3979 • AspexEyewear.com // ClearVision Optical 800.645.3733 • CVOptical.com • CService@CVOptical.com // Costa 800.447.3700 • CostaDelMar.com • Sales@CostaDelMar.com // Eyeking LLC 866.393.5464 • UAEyewear.com // Liberty Sport 800.444.5010 • LibertySport.com • RYoung@LibertySport.com // Marchon Eyewear 800.645.1300 • Marchon.com • CS@Marchon.com // Oakley, Inc. 800.733.6255 • Oakley.com // SPY 800.779.3937 • SpyOptic.com // Wiley X, Inc. 800.776.7842 • WileyX.com • Info@WileyX.com