Nearly every public and private golf shop in Monterey County sells Maui Jim Sunglasses so we regularly field questions from patients about whether they can wear their Maui Jim’s for golf. Maui Jims really are a phenomenal product — but not for golf. Reading greens and hitting from uneven lies on a golf course requires an extreme awareness of contour (the curves, slopes, lumps and bumps in the ground).
Our eyes and brain use many cues in order to calculate the effects of the ground’s contour on that little white ball and one of the most important is the way light reflects off of the blades of grass. All polarized sunglasses are designed to eliminate reflections and glare. When fishing, sailing or driving this glare reduction is essential but on a golf course it makes all of the grass look flat which makes reading putts nearly impossible.
UV exposure increases macular degeneration risk, eyelid melanoma and speeds up cataract formation so every golfer should wear sunglasses on the course but they should be a golf-specific tint without polarization in order to provide you with optimal contrast for tracking those long drives and reading the greens on those match saving putts.
So for your next road trip wear those polarized Maui Jims the entire way but make sure the sunglasses in your golf bag fit your game as well as your new driver does.
By Dr. Trevor Fogg, OD