February 01, 2019
By Greg Monteforte, PGATOUR.COM
- Andrew Putnam wears Oakley's new Mercenary line of sunglasses. (Courtesy of Oakley)
Tune into any PGA TOUR event and you will see numerous players sporting sunglasses. This wasn’t always the case, though. Decades ago, players were forced to trade sun protection for performance and comfort issues.
A turning point for shades on the fairways occurred when Oakley began producing golf-specific eyewear that was comfortable and didn’t compromise performance. Of course, David Duval gave Oakley and the entire golf sunglasses movement a huge boost when he fired a final round 59 to win the 1999 Desert Classic while wearing the brand’s M Frame model.
Since then, Oakley has remained an innovative leader in golf eyewear technology. Models like the Half Jacket and Flak brought smaller, lighter, and more stylish options to the course while golf-specific lenses, such as the G28 and G30, took on-course optics to new levels. Now, 20 years after Duval’s historic win in the desert, Oakley has launched the next generation of golf frames and lenses—the Mercenary and the PRIZM Dark Golf lens.
With the Mercenary, Oakley has completely redesigned the look of high-performance eyewear. Its minimalist design blends on-trend fashion elements with cutting-edge technology. Compared to Oakley’s popular Flak 2.0 model, the Mercenary features a larger lens shape for an extended field of view. The double bridge architecture, often used in off-course styles, is a new and fashionable design for athletic eyewear.
The frame of the Mercenary is constructed from Oakley’s durable yet lightweight O Matter™ material. Adding to the comfort and performance are Unobtainium® nose pads and temples. This unique substance was the first material patented by Oakley and it is a key element in the performance and comfort of its sunglasses. Most materials become slick when they interact with perspiration. Unobtainium, on the other hand, increases its grip when coming in contact with sweat. This helps to keep the frames in place without slipping, even in hot and humid conditions.
The Mercenary is available in 8 different frame and lens combos. The best option for the course is the Matte Carbon frame with the PRIZM™ Dark Golf lens. PRIZM showcases just how far Oakley’s lens technology has evolved over the years. According to Oakley, the PRIZM technology fine tunes vision for specific sports and environments. PRIZM Golf and PRIZM Dark Golf help players see changes in grass texture by improving the contrast between various shades of green. As a result, players can better gauge distances and more easily spot transitions between greens, fairways, and rough. When deciding between the two PRIZM lenses, let Mother Nature make the decision for you. For bright light conditions, go with the PRIZM Dark Golf. While playing in low to medium light, opt for the PRIZM Golf.
Look for PGA TOUR players Andrew Putnam and Richy Werenski sporting the new Mercenary model in the coming weeks.