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Spotlight-Product   pic1 Poor vision is an unfortunate fact of life for many of us, and those of us that wear glasses often struggle to find stylish, effective sunglasses for the golf course. Golf Rx, a division of Sports Optical, handcrafts custom prescription lenses specifically designed for golf for use in the latest high-end frames from companies like Oakley and Rudy Project. Golf Rx recently reached out to THP and after some personal consultation, they built a custom pair of sunglasses for us to check out.

About Golf Rx and Sports Optical

Golf Rx is a division of Sports Optical – an independent optical shop in Denver specializing in custom, handmade prescription sports lenses and eyewear.

In the early 1990s Sports Optical pioneered the technology to put prescriptions into curved-format sport lenses. Since then, we’ve been hard at work perfecting our craft. Today, our lenscrafting pedigree is second to none and we ship our glasses all over the world for athletes of every kind. We pair our technology with a deep knowledge and understanding of what makes for an excellent sport lens, and we deliver this with the best customer service we can offer.

Why Custom Sunglass Lenses?

According to Kyle at Golf Rx, the difficulty introduced when crafting prescription lenses to sport sunglasses is that they are tasked with taking a prescription designed for a flat lens and adapting it “for the curvature and shape of a wrapped lens.” Golf Rx, specifically their master lenscrafter Bret Hunter, actually led the way with this technology and has applied it to eyewear for a number of uses, including shooting, tennis, golf, and many other sports.  

Kyle notes that Bret, “literally looks at each prescription, each frame and each lens style, and decides how the optics of each lens will work best. Then, he orders the lens materials to his specs. They arrive in a large-format “blank”, approximately the size of your palm, which he then grinds down by hand, which is a loud, physical process from which he emerges sweaty and covered in polycarbonate dust.”

The benefit to this of course is that glasses-bound golfers are no longer stuck with traditional prescription sunglasses that lack things like peripheral coverage, golf specific tints, modern style, light weight builds, and non-slip designs. With these custom lenses, “the curvature mirrors the shape of your eye and presents a perspective unique to both your standard, flat glasses, as well as to your contacts. Compared to your glasses, the most notable difference is the peripheral vision.”

How to Order

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Golf Rx consults with customers and creates their sunglasses out of a small shop in Denver, CO. Those customers that aren’t in the Denver area are asked to call (303) 455-3369 or contact the company via email at sportsoptical@yahoo.com. While Golf Rx showcases their products on their website at www.prescriptiongolfglasses.com, online ordering is not available. This is by design, as a great level of detail is required to ensure they provide the best possible finished product for their customers. 

Consulting on the design of the custom sunglasses shown in the pictures was done via email with Kyle and was a timely, friendly process. Customers will need both a current prescription as well as a measurement called ‘pupillary distance’ that can be obtained from a local optician. From there, a number of options are presented, including choice of frames and lens tints. Kyle was willing to assist and very capable of answering questions to make the needed decisions easier.

It should be noted that unlike many items in our world of instant gratification, these glasses can take 3-4 weeks to produce and added treatments and finishes can add to that time frame.

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Based on the information provided to him, Kyle recommended the Rose-Copper tinted lenses; a color he believes is “quite versatile, as good in the bright sun as it would be on an overcast day or in the shade.” For those familiar with Oakley lenses, the Rose-Copper is somewhat similar to their G30 lens. The red hues “give really sharp contrast”, which is something that can help with things like spotting subtle breaks on the green and the borders between the fairway and rough.

The lenses provided were polarized in addition to the tint. Polarization can be a somewhat controversial topic, but the basic premise is that it works as a filter. By reducing reflection and sheen we are able to avoid squinting, which allows us to open the eyes more fully. The net effect of this is that vision is improved and fatigue is less prevalent. The polarization on the Rose-Copper lenses is rather light at 75%, but options are available for those looking for something more. In that case, the polarized Brown or a Drivewear options might be more suitable. As a player that likes eyewear for both bright and cloudy conditions, the Rose-Copper strikes a perfect medium.

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Finally, the lenses were treated with a slight mirror effect as seen in the pictures. Besides looking cool, mirroring serves a couple purposes. First, it reflects blue light that can cause headaches and secondly, it adds more robust UV protection.

Wearing a custom pair of wraparound lenses from Golf Rx for the first time is a very unique experience and unlike wearing any other prescription sunglasses. Though extremely difficult to put into words, the difference compared to normal glasses is immediately apparent. Besides having full coverage in the periphery, the effect is almost like the difference between 2D and 3D vision, though that is slightly exaggerated for lack of better terms. On both cloudy and sunny days the Rose-Copper tint proved to be useful at reducing glare and providing contrast without being too dark. This is highly important, as having to switch from sunglasses to regular glasses is an annoying process on the golf course.  Though the frames aren’t part of this review, it should be noted that they weren’t noticeably heavier with the custom lenses, making them comfortable enough to wear for an entire round of golf.

Final Thoughts

Having access to modern sport-specific eyewear is a luxury that many people don’t have thanks to their reliance on prescription glasses. Golf Rx has managed to find a way to open up a number of options to the consumer that are both stylish and functional. With a solid customer service culture, the company also seems to be devoted to providing their customers with individual attention that ensures they will be pleased with their investment. More information, including a list of lens tints and frames, is available at www.prescriptiongolfglasses.com.

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  1. Freddie Kong says:

    As someone that wears RX glasses in everyday life and sunglasses on the course, I’ll be looking into this.

  2. Michael Gutierrez says:

    My eye prescription is not that strong so I’ve gone the way of contacts & even thought about lasic. With contacts being an adventure each morning and expensive, this seems like a great alternative. I will definately be looking into these.

  3. Kevin Beausoleil says:

    This is something I must look into. I have famiky history of dry macular degeneration, I’ve spent big money on RX Sunglasses from Oakley and they are horrible. The Bifocal in the lenses makes me dizzy when I spend a lot of time putting. Thanks for the spotlight THP!

  4. #Cookie says:

    I’m lucky in that I don’t need corrective vision (since I had LASIK years ago) but this is definitely a fantastic option for those that could benefit from it….if it’s affordable.

  5. Miller Time says:

    This is good timing because my next pair of glasses will be RX Sunglasses. I hate golfing or doing anything athletic activity in my glasses, so the custom lenses with peripheral coverage is something I will be looking into.

  6. v.man says:

    Very informative article and their website is as well–definitely worth a look. These look very, very interesting.

  7. Steve says:

    Good selection, as well as price. As someone who wears prescription sunglasses, I’ll have to do some comparison shopping for my next lenses!

  8. amsmith61 says:

    These are interesting for sure. I don’t have a strong prescription and have previously found trying to put a prescription in a pair of sunglasses to an enormous pain.

    Definitely will have to look into these.

  9. Smallville says:

    One thing that should be noted, is that the larger the lenses in the glasses, if you are nearsighted, they are going to have more curve to them. I did not get this kind, but I got a pair of this style of sunglasses and since my eyes are different prescriptions, one side curved more than the other.

    One side fit ok, but the other fit much closer to my face and was very uncomfortable. Luckily the store I got them from let me return them and get a more normal pair of glasses. I am 20/30 in one eye and 20/50 in the other. The 20/50 is the one that fit bad.

  10. Canio says:

    I would love to have prescription, wrap around sunglasses!!! Excellent review!

  11. royalwulff says:

    I will definately have to check this company out since I live in Colorado. Thanks for the write up.

  12. Johnny Mojo says:

    Will certainly check into these. It is time if ya know what I mean.

    JM

  13. musicmaster6921 says:

    Seeing as i wear glasses I think i really might have to look into a pair of these. Would love to have a pair of sunglasses that are Rx for golfing, fishing, archery, driving etc. really have my interest here.Great write up.

  14. This is amazing, thank you for the excellent report, im going to get an ‘pupillary distance’ measurement today

  15. ole gray says:

    I wonder if they are going to offer the bi focal version for those that need it? Good looking glasses for sure and I would be open to wearing them if the price was right.

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