So, you purchased the latest high street brand golf bag, perfectly matching your brand new $800 irons. Of course you did, after all, you wouldn't want your clubs getting all damaged in some pencil bag. You purchased the latest driver from whomever, only setting you back another $400 or so, maybe more or you got it with a custom tour shaft that is suited perfectly to Tiger Woods, or your favorite golfer, but probably not you. It even came with a magnetic head cover, "state of the art" they say, and again, you don't want your latest investment getting damaged do you? I bet you even have a nice travel bag for those two trips a year you make to keep your clubs from getting knocked about on the plane.
Well, how about your biggest asset? The one thing, the only asset you could not possibly go without, where if they got damaged, you are looking at not hundreds, but possible thousands of dollars to get fixed, maybe, they could not be fixed at all. Yet, so many of us, myself included, and writing this even now makes me think twice about the last summer, are not protecting our invaluable sense of sight. Yep, that's right, I'm talking about our eyes.
With so many of us travelling now during the winter months to find fun in the sun, and get away from our winter blues, we find ourselves in the most beautiful vacation spots with golf courses galore in which we can indulge ourselves.
With so much vacation fun around the corner, and summers getting warmer than ever, we need to make sure we keep our eye sight up to scratch. We all know about global warming, some believe, some don't, but the ozone layer is getting thinner and thinner and more harmful UV rays are reaching our delicate little eyeballs.
This is where so few manufacturers actually want to look after the customer. Not their slice, or their distance, but their eyesight. And this is where Tifosi enters. Unlike some manufacturers that diversify their product line to access as many revenue streams as possible, Tifosi are a concentrated brand that do exactly that. They focus their efforts on the specialization of optics; and they do so with professionalism and class.
Tifosi know sports. They make specific sunglasses designed for all the sports that us enthusiasts play, and in our case, golf too. After recently getting my hands on the Envy model, which I chose for the slim fitting, and unobtrusive appearance, I was pleasantly surprised.
The Envy model are designed as a unisex model, now this doesn't mean they look girly with flowers, quite the contrary, they are clean and elegant, and a good fit for women also. Why? Because the measurements are only 125mm wide, and that includes the frames around the lens. So for us who have a more slender face, they do not look daunting or overpowering, and for those who may have a slightly larger noggin, they should fit just fine too.
What I really liked about the Envy, which I chose to get in black for the sleek "fast' look, is the arm and frame blend beautifully into one. There isn't that big hinge section that clearly defines where the arm and frame join, but instead, just a smooth continuation from one to the other. This continues all the way through to the bridge joining both lens frames as though it has been designed for a "one-piece' look, and not multiple pieces, joined by screws, pins, levers, and what not.
The one downfall I did find with the appearance, is when wearing them, especially with a particular lens, which I will discuss shortly, is that the soft rubber nosepiece is a distinct black color that almost makes them look like the protective goggles you might see at a shooting range instead of a driving range.
When it comes to comfort, the Tifosi Envy are in a class of their own. The form fitted arms wrap nicely around the temples, just far enough away that they don't feel loose, but not so tight to give you a headache. Actually, after wearing them for long car journeys around the USA, I actually forgot I was wearing them at times, a sign of them being lightweight, weighing in at just 21 grams and comfy enough to not have to worry about wearing them.
Both the arms have a rubberised plastic section from approximately halfway down the arm to the end. Again the rubber is not thick and obtrusive, but aligns gracefully with the arm, providing enough grip that you could even throw your head around lashing out slice after slice with your new driver, and they will not budge. Even when looking down at your putts, the rubber on the arms, and the rubber nosepiece give you peace of mind that they won't be slipping down your face.
According to the website, the frame is made of Grilamid TR-90, a homopolyamide nylon characterized by an extremely high alternative bending strength, low density, and high resistance to chemical and UV damage. What does that mean to us? It means a lightweight yet extremely durable product, that has enough "give" as well as strength that you could accidently sit on them and not have them be permanently bent out of shape. It also means, that you can wear them all day every day in the gorgeous Florida sun and still have that fresh out the box, brand new look. No discoloration, no sun damage, just the same color Tifosi sunglasses you ordered. Take a look at the following link, and you will see you can bend them, twist them, hammer them, and as they say, they are virtually indestructible.
Now most of us don't have exactly the same shaped head, and a manufacturer certainly isn't going to make sunglasses of every millimetre, but what the Tifosi's do nicely, is have an adjustable ear and nose piece, for a customizable, comfortable fit.
Now for the exciting part, the lenses they come with (all interchangeable of course). The Envy Black Gloss come with three different lenses: GT, EC and AC Red.
The GT, which stands for Golf and Tennis are designed to help illuminate objects in flight, aiding your ability to watch your golf ball soar through the sky, hopefully onto the fairways and greens. Now, I don't know if I was expecting something spectacular or ultra impressive, but I can't say they made it noticeably easier to watch the golf ball going through the sky, either on a cloudy or sunny day. I did find it helped take glare or extreme brightness out of the sky, so I didn't find myself squinting, trying to watch that nice high push draw I hit, so maybe that is why it was somewhat easier, but certainly not like the golf ball was highlighted for easy tracking. The GT's were more of standard sunglasses quality, making me feel like I did not have to strain to see where my ball was going. The GT lenses have 23.2% L.T. (Light transmission) meaning it lets through 23.2% of the light. Please note, ALL lenses, yes, EVERY lens is 100% UVA and UVB protected, so no harmful rays are damaging your eyes, all you see, is the golf course in front of you.
The ECs, which are the purple looking ones, I did find quite impressive. When kneeling down, making my tiger tunnel vision to see the line, I definitely found there was some improved clarity seeing where some of the more subtle undulations where and over larger areas, where certain ridges were that I had missed before. Where this improved my putting I can't say, but it most certainly gave me some positive reinforcement that I had chosen the correct line and could see my curve or line with more distinction. The EC lenses have 36.2% L.T. (Light transmission) so there is more contrast with your surroundings. This is achieved because "the hue of EC increases light contrast by filtering the blue light spectrum that is responsible for optical blurring and decreased contrast in bright light conditions."
AC Red Lens
The AC Red, are designed for those days that just aren't quite so sunny, but its bright enough, particularly in vacation spots, where you definitely want to keep your eyes protected. These have 27% L.T. (Light transmission) but even what may seem like they are dark, actually brighten up the cloudy, overcast days. I actually preferred to call them "sunny glasses" as wearing them seemed to just amp things up a little, giving things that nice glowing look we all like when we are out in the sun, and a warmth feeling to our surroundings. Mind you, people did look the smallest bit orange, now I mean the smallest bit, but that is only when you first put them on with this lens, because you are used to how things have been looking normally, but you get used to that rapidly. These are ones I found I wore quite a lot, and it seemed like when I took them off, everything got that little bit more dreary and dull, like I was back in England, so I hastily pushed them back up my nose and enjoyed the "sunny glasses" again.
I hear you sigh. "Ok, so maybe I should look after my eyes a bit more" you say. "How much is this going to set me back?" Well, take a sigh of relief, because these high quality, and reliable sunglasses are under $60. That's right, only $59.95 for bendy yet strong, three-lens interchangeable sunglasses. Some lenses on their own from certain manufacturers go for that price, but with Tifosi, you get the reassurance of quality frames, three lenses, 100% UVA/UVB protection and great care for your pretty little eyes.
Tifosi's slogan, "Enthusiastic EyeWear." I could not agree more.
This article was written by James Hirshfield, a golf instructor, former collegiate golfer, and long-time reader of The Sand Trap.