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The Style Report
  • STYLE INSIDER

    Product Spotlight: Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Sunglasses

  • Oakley’s PRIZM Golf Lenses’ High Definition Optics (HDO) dial back distortion for sharper, clearer vision on the course. (Courtesy)Oakley’s PRIZM Golf Lenses’ High Definition Optics (HDO) dial back distortion for sharper, clearer vision on the course. (Courtesy)

Most golfers, when considering a purchase to possibly improve their play, are more apt to look for something that goes in their golf bag, rather than on their face. However, Oakley with it’s PRIZM Golf lens, makes the latter worth considering.

Before we get into the “how” of Oakley’s PRIZM Golf lenses, consider this possibility: the better you see, the better you’ll play.

Think about everything a golfer has to process in the course of planning and executing shots (and putts). In addition to being able to more clearly see a white golf ball against the blue sky, a golfer benefits from more clearly seeing transitions between fairway and rough, and from being able to more accurately see a lie in the rough and process depth cues on an approach from the fairway.

On the putting green, the ability to more clearly discern grain and undulations is a welcome one.

Oakley’s PRIZM Golf Lenses’ High Definition Optics (HDO) dial back distortion for sharper, clearer vision. According to the company, the PRIZM family of lenses began with an environment-optimized lens for snow and a solution for the loss of visual acuity that’s common in wintry environments. Oakley engineers learned that if they could control and filter light, wearers could see better.

The technology has evolved into, among other things, PRIZM Golf Lens technology. According to Wayne Chumbley, Oakley R&D Engineer Manager, PRIZM Golf lenses are a ultimately a tool for golfers to facilitate better information — to better leverage the strengths of their eyesight, and to compensate for natural weaknesses. The lenses allow “good light” through (which enhances contrast and aids depth perception) while filtering out “bad light” (which creates visual confusion).

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A look at the difference in light when filtered through the PRIZM lenses (left). (Courtesy)

“You have to trust the information to make the right choice,” Chumbley said, pointing out the fact that golf course architects and superintendents often try to create visual confusion with blurred transitions, false fronts, and other techniques.

So, does what does a golf course looks like through PRIZM Golf and PRIZM Golf Dark lenses?

First, as all golfers know, golf is played in a predominately green landscape. The lenses work primarily to reduce the dominant green tones and amplifies colors adjacent to green. Among other effects, this amplifies the white of the golf ball, allowing golfers to track it better against the backdrop of both course and sky.

By contrast, a traditional lens is very flat with no colors amplified and little color separation. By creating peaks and valleys across the spectrum and color separation, PRIZM Golf lenses are able to deliver more beneficial information to golfers’ eyes.

PRIZM Golf vs. PRIZM Golf Dark: What’s different about the two?

Drilling down further, Oakley has two golf-specific lenses. PRIZM Golf and PRIZM Golf Dark. The company has found the Dark Golf lens, which presents a more balanced, less contrasting view, is more appearing to the weekend warrior.

Initerestingly, the pros, perhaps because of their already heightened on-course visual acuity, prefer the standard PRIZM Golf lens with its more pronounced color amplification and higher contrast.

Additionally, Oakley says PRIZM Golf is ideal for low to medium light with a VLT of 30% and has a lighter tint, and PRIZM Dark Golf will excel in bright and sunny conditions and has a darker tint with VLT 22.

Both lenses feature Plutonite lens material, which blocks 100% of UVA and UVB rays up to 400nm.

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Flak 2.0 XL

The company’s most popular frame for the PRIZM Golf lenses, not surprisingly, has been the flagship Flak 2.0 XL.

An iconic Oakley style, Wayne Chumbley called the Flak 2.0 XL “a sport frame that has crossed over for universal appeal” citing the fact that it fits a vast number of head shapes and sizes.

With an O-Matter frame for durability, the Flak 2.0 XL is considered Oakley’s most comfortable frame offering “performance fit with lifestyle comfort,” according to Chumbley.

As a final note, PRIZM Golf lenses are available in prescription, and a few of the PGA TOUR professionals you’ll see in the lens are actually sporting the prescription variety.

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