All you want to do is head out to the course for a refreshing 18 and hopefully come out with the win, or at the very least, avoid a triple bogey. The question is, which lenses will aid you in achieving the desired result?
Some golfers swear by pink tinted lenses, others go for a brown tint, whereas some prefer to keep it neutral with a grey. The question that doesn’t seem to have a definitive answer is whether polarized or non-polarized should be worn out on the links. Do polarized lenses actually hinder your performance or is that a myth bandied about the course and punted around golf discussion boards?
We’ll lay out the facts insofar as they have been proven, the pros, the cons, the yeas and the nays, and when all is said and done, you may have yourself an answer.
The Case Against Polarized
Those who swear up and down that polarized lenses for golf are a poor decision claim:
- Polarized lenses alter depth-perception
- Distort vision
- Cause an inability to properly read the green
- There has been no research that suggests that polarized lenses negatively alter depth perception. In fact, a 2008 study concluded that the sharper contrast provided by polarization aided in enhancing depth perception.
- Unless your lenses have a distortion in them or you’re sensitive to polarization (it can cause headaches, nausea, or dizziness for some people), polarized lenses have never been proven to distort vision. It’s more likely that those against polarized lenses either ended up with a defective pair or are simply ill-suited to them.
- This does have merit. The sheen of the green used to determine the lay of the grain is caused by reflected light. Since polarized lenses cut this glare, you won’t be able to see this sheen any longer. However, if there isn’t any sheen to begin with, then wearing polarized lenses won’t have any impact.
The Case for Polarized
- The average 18-hole round takes about 4 hours, and vision needs to be sharp throughout. A polarized lens will let you finish a round with fresher eyes because your eyes won’t be fatigued from squinting through the glare reflected off bunkers, water hazards, and even the grass.
- Enhances contrast, so the ball stands out in greater relief from the greens and as it leaves the tee.
It would seem that the negative effects of wearing polarized lenses while golfing are negligible, and they may actually improve performance. Just pull them off while reading the green if you need to take into account the sheen of the grass. However, the weightiest measure in the case of polarized vs non-polarized isn’t a matter of science or research, nor can it be broadly applied across the board.
And that’s simply because it’s a matter of personal opinion.
You are the defining factor in determining whether polarized lenses will mess up your golf game. Because if you’ve got that in your head, every time you make a poor drive or read the green incorrectly, a nagging part of you may blame (at least in part) your polarized lenses. It’s the placebo effect but in reverse. If you believe polarized lenses are going to hurt your game, you might end up with an abysmal score.
So, when it comes to the case of non-polarized vs polarized lenses for golf, personal experience is the ultimate decider in which is better. If you’re on the fence and don’t know which is right for you, start out with polarized lenses. If you come across any issues, swap out your lenses for some non-polarized lenses, and then simply return whichever pair doesn’t work out for you.
Revant offers a 60-day return policy, so feel free to take them out on the course a few times to get the feel, and then make your decision. Whichever you think improves your game is the lens for you.
Our Top Pick for Golf:
Dark Brown heightens contrast, making them very effective when on the fairway and reading the greens. Not only do they improve contrast on the green, but Dark Brown enhances the white of the ball against the blue sky, making it easier to track the flight of a ball and see where it lands.