By DENIS LANGLOIS
Many baby boomers will soon be packing up their golf shoes, golf glove and a favourite golf shirt for their annual winter getaway down south.
Companies like Transitions Optical, Bollé and Shamir Canada say it would be wise for snowbirds to tuck one more thing into their suitcase — a pair of glasses with lenses specially designed for a day on the links.
“As baby boomers shift into retirement, they have more time for their favourite leisurely activities, like golf. However, as we age, the quality of vision declines naturally – the eyes’ ability to control light diminishes, weakening the ability to focus on the critical details on the fairway and green,” says Isabelle Tremblay-Dawson, senior marketing manager, Canada, for Transitions Optical.
The company has created two lines of adaptive sunglasses that make sports, such as golf, more visually comfortable by changing darkness as the light outside changes throughout the day.
Callaway NEOX Transitions sunglasses, which are made in Callaway frames, solve problems encountered with typical non-prescription sunglasses, such as distortion in both colour and object sight and decreased depth of field.
“These lenses deliver golfers increased depth perception, better distance vision and superior clarity,” says Tremblay-Dawson.
The Nike Max Transitions golf tint adapts to the light on the course whether it’s in full sun or under the clouds, she said.
“These lenses improve contour recognition on the green and increase the ball to pop; muting visual information you don’t need and amplifying the ball to help you track your shot.”
Bollé, meanwhile, has developed Bolt Golf sunglasses with Modulator V3 lenses.
The specially designed photochromic lens constantly adapts to the environment on the golf course so contrast and subtleties are always visible. The lenses are also designed to cut glare on sunny days and are lightweight, anti-impact and have hydrophobic coatings on the outside and anti-fog coatings on the inside to keep them moisture free.
“All golf enthusiasts will benefit from these technical golf sunglasses. You will find there is less strain on your eyes and it will be easier to determine subtleties on the course,” says Rene Gerber, marketing manager of eyewear at Bushnell Outdoor Products Canada.
Shamir Canada has also developed lenses for the golf course. Shamir Golf lenses are designed to provide a sharp focus at the three focal points that are most important to golfers: close for filling out a scorecard; mid-range for looking down at the golf ball at their feet; and far for peering out at the fairway or green.
While Shamir says all golfers can benefit from their golf lenses, they can be especially valuable for older Canadians, says national sales and marketing manager Martin Bell.
“Most boomers wear progressive addition lenses for their daily activities, including reading and computer use. It is the computer use area of the standard progressive lens that impedes the golfer,” he says.
That focal point is about 80 to 100 centimetres and is positioned at or just below the mid-line of the frame.
Golfers looking through that lens will see a blurry ball on the ground or tee.
“To correct this, the golfer usually tilts the head down so they can view the ball clearly. This causes neck strain and compromises their swing and their accuracy,” Bell says.
“With Shamir Golf, this intermediate zone is focussed at 1.5 to two meters or so, giving the wearer clear focus to the ball. No special head position, no blurring and better accuracy — just what any golfer is looking for.”
Shamir Golf lenses block out ultraviolet light, are curved to protect the skin around the eyes and are designed to give golfers a clear peripheral vision zone. They also protect against impact and reduce glare from water or sand.