Why Don’t Professional Golfers Wear Sunglasses? Exploring the Reasons

If you’ve ever watched a professional golf tournament, you may have noticed that most players don’t wear sunglasses. This may seem odd, especially on a bright, sunny day. So, why don’t professional golfers wear sunglasses? 

Professional golfers avoid wearing sunglasses because they can affect depth perception, hinder their ability to read greens and create distractions. Additionally, sunglasses can impact the golfer’s vision when transitioning from shaded to sunny areas on the course.

In this blog post, we will explore the factors that influence their decision and shed light on why sunglasses are not commonly seen among professional golfers.

5 Reasons Why Golf Pros Don’t Wear Sunglasses

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Golf pros are often seen without sunglasses on the course, and there are several reasons behind this choice. While sunglasses offer protection and style, their absence among professionals serves specific purposes in the world of golf.

Depth Perception And Contrast

Golf is a game of precision, where judging distances and perceiving depth accurately are crucial. Sunglasses can reduce the contrast between objects, making it challenging to read greens, judge distances, and spot subtle changes in terrain. 

By avoiding sunglasses, golf pros maintain optimal depth perception on the course.

Visual Clarity

Sunglasses, especially those with tinted or polarized lenses, can alter the perception of colors and affect visual clarity.

 Golfers rely on accurately distinguishing different shades and hues on the course, such as reading subtle changes in the grass or identifying the flagstick against the sky. 

Opting to forego sunglasses ensures uncompromised visual clarity for golf pros.

Changing Light Conditions

Golfers experience various light conditions during a round, from bright sunlight to shaded areas and cloudy skies. 

Wearing sunglasses would require frequent adjustments or changes to adapt to these shifting lighting conditions, which can be distracting and time-consuming. 

Golf pros prefer to maintain their focus on the game without the hassle of constantly modifying their eyewear.

Peripheral Vision

Peripheral vision is essential in golf, as players need to be aware of their surroundings and potential hazards. 

Sunglasses with wide frames can limit the golfer’s field of vision, hindering their ability to spot objects or movements outside their direct line of sight. 

Golf pros prioritize an unobstructed peripheral view for optimal awareness and performance.

Traditions And Sponsorships

Golf has a rich history and strong ties to tradition. Sunglasses have not been a prevalent accessory among professional golfers throughout the years, maintaining a classic and traditional image of the sport. 

Additionally, golf pros often have sponsorships with specific eyewear brands, requiring them to wear prescribed sunglasses during promotional activities but not necessarily during actual gameplay.

Alternatives To Sunglasses For Golf Pros

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Sunglasses are commonly used by golf pros to protect their eyes from the sun’s glare and enhance their vision on the course. However, there are alternative options available that can provide similar benefits. 

Let’s explore some alternatives to sunglasses for golf pros.


Visors are a popular alternative to sunglasses for golfers as they offer shade and protect the eyes from direct sunlight while allowing maximum airflow. 

They also provide a clear line of sight without obstructing peripheral vision.

Polarized Clip-Ons

Polarized clip-on lenses can be attached to regular prescription eyeglasses, providing the benefits of polarized sunglasses without the need for a separate pair. These clip-ons reduce glare and enhance visual clarity, making them a convenient choice for golfers who wear prescription glasses.

Hat Brims

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can effectively shield the eyes from direct sunlight. Hats with darker undersides or built-in glare-reducing technology can further enhance their effectiveness. 

Additionally, the brim can help keep the golfer’s face and neck shaded, reducing the overall impact of the sun.

Golf-Specific Eyewear

Some companies manufacture specialized eyewear designed specifically for golfers. These glasses often feature tinted lenses with enhanced color contrast to improve visibility on the green. 

They may also have anti-glare coatings and lightweight frames for optimal comfort.

Contact Lenses With Uv Protection

Golfers who prefer not to wear sunglasses or other eyewear can opt for contact lenses with built-in UV protection. 

These lenses not only correct vision but also shield the eyes from harmful UV rays. It’s important to consult an eye care professional to ensure the lenses are suitable for outdoor activities.

Eye Drops

While not a direct alternative to sunglasses, using eye drops specifically designed to reduce dryness and irritation can help golfers maintain clear and comfortable vision on the course. 

Lubricating eye drops can also provide relief from glare-induced eye strain.

5 Golf Pros Who Don’t Wear Sunglasses

There are a few notable golf pros who prefer to showcase their skills on the green without wearing sunglasses. These players rely on their natural vision and expertise to navigate the course and make precise shots.

Let’s look at five golf pros who eschew sunglasses and excel in their game.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods, considered one of the greatest golfers of all time, rarely wears sunglasses during his rounds. His focus and concentration on the course are legendary, allowing him to read the greens and execute shots with remarkable precision.

Rory Mcilroy

Another prominent golfer who avoids wearing sunglasses is Rory McIlroy. Known for his powerful swings and exceptional ball-striking ability, McIlroy relies on his keen eyesight to assess the course conditions and make strategic decisions without the aid of sunglasses.

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson, a left-handed golfer with an illustrious career, is often seen without sunglasses on the golf course. His mastery of shot-making and ability to analyze the game without visual aids have contributed to his numerous victories in major championships.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth, known for his strategic approach and exceptional putting skills, typically plays without sunglasses. 

His ability to read the greens and make accurate calculations without the use of eyewear has helped him secure multiple victories on the PGA Tour.

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka, a formidable force in professional golf, opts not to wear sunglasses while competing. With his impressive distance off the tee and consistent ball-striking, Koepka demonstrates that clear vision and precise judgment are crucial elements of his game.

5 Golf Pros Who Do Wear Sunglasses

While some golfers prefer not to wear them, there are several professionals who recognize the benefits of protecting their eyes from the sun’s glare and other environmental factors. 

Here, we will explore five golf pros who do wear sunglasses and how this choice may contribute to their game.

Henrik Stenson

Known for his meticulous approach to the game, Henrik Stenson is often seen sporting sunglasses during tournaments. The Swedish golfer has cited the need to shield his eyes from bright sunlight, which can affect his focus and depth perception.

Michelle Wie

Michelle Wie, an accomplished golfer known for her powerful swing, is another pro who opts for sunglasses on the course. 

As someone who has battled with eye sensitivity, she recognizes the importance of maintaining clear vision and protecting her eyes from harmful UV rays.

Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia, a Spanish golfer renowned for his precision and shot-making abilities, also joins the list of pros who wear sunglasses. He has mentioned that sunglasses provide him with a sense of calmness and aid in reducing distractions while lining up shots.

Lexi Thompson

Lexi Thompson, an American professional golfer, often incorporates sunglasses into her on-course attire. Besides offering protection against sun glare, she has mentioned that sunglasses help her maintain a consistent visual perspective, especially on long drives and putts.

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas, a prominent figure in the world of golf, is another pro golfer who frequently dons sunglasses during tournaments. 

He has stated that sunglasses not only shield his eyes but also contribute to his overall mental composure, allowing him to stay focused and block out unnecessary distractions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Golf is a sport that requires keen visual perception and precise depth perception. Despite the sun’s glare and potential eye strain, professional golfers choose not to wear sunglasses during play. Here are some common FAQ related to the topic.

Does Wearing Sunglasses Affect Depth Perception?

While sunglasses can reduce glare, they may also affect a golfer’s ability to accurately perceive distances and judge the contours of the course. Maintaining precise depth perception is crucial for hitting accurate shots.

Can Sunglasses Hinder Visual Acuity?

Professional golfers rely on exceptional visual acuity to spot subtle details on the course. Wearing sunglasses may diminish visual clarity and compromise their ability to assess the terrain and make strategic decisions.

Do Sunglasses Impact Peripheral Vision?

Peripheral vision is essential in golf, allowing players to be aware of their surroundings and potential hazards. Sunglasses can limit the field of view, impairing a golfer’s ability to perceive peripheral objects and potential obstacles.

Can Sunglasses Affect The Feel Of The Game?

Golfers often rely on their sense of touch and feel to execute precise shots. Wearing sunglasses can create a barrier between the golfer and the game, potentially altering the feel and touch required for delicate shots.

Are Sunglasses Impractical Due To Changing Light Conditions?

Golfers face varying light conditions throughout a round, from bright sunlight to shade and cloud cover. Constantly adjusting sunglasses or switching between lenses can distract the golfer’s rhythm and focus.


Professional golfers typically avoid wearing sunglasses on the course due to concerns about depth perception, visual clarity, and adapting to changing light conditions. 

While some players do choose to wear sunglasses for eye protection and visual enhancement, it remains a personal choice. Ultimately, golf pros prioritize their natural vision and minimizing distractions to read greens and make accurate shots.