I’m a big hat-and-sunglasses guy on the golf course, especially in the summer. Even though it’s a great way to give your face — and your eyes — some added protection, there’s also something about the sunglasses that helps me focus better. It seems to narrow my focus ever-so slightly, and the tint on a good set of sunglasses means the color of the ball really pops.
Maybe that’s just my inner David Duval wannabe coming out, but either way, here are a few different hat-sunglasses combinations that I’ve rocked throughout my time. Find one that you like, or mix and match.
Combo No. 1: The casual visor
Yes, I’m aware this isn’t a hat, but I don’t care. I’m a big visor guy, and think they’re woefully underrated. I’m sure they’ll have a renaissance at some point fairly soon, but even the most ardent visor-wearers don’t always think to pair them with sunglasses.
Part of that is by design — a wide-brimmed visor can offer your face more shade than most hats — and sometimes, they struggle to find the right kind of sunglasses. The key is finding something with a subtle temple and earpiece, so they feel comfortable enough to wear on their own. Pair that with a visor, and you get lots of breathability and shady protection.
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Keep the sun out of your eyes without losing an ounce of your on-course style with the Johnnie O Chevy visor. The Chevy Visor features an embroidered logo at the front and includes a high crown, a terry sweatband, and adjustable buckle closure.
Oakley’s Holbrook Mix is reimagined from the popular Holbrook sunglasses, known for having streamlined good looks and style versatility. The Mix retains the shape of Holbrook, but with some refinements such as stainless steel temples, an Unobtanium grip for a nonslip hold, and an O Matter frame material that offers durability and lightweight comfort. Then lenses are HDPolarized to minimize glare, making it easier to see your way on bright sunny days. The Holbrook Mix a top contender if you want to look your coolest on the links without sacrificing a lick of performance.
If your skin is especially sensitive to burning and your goal is maximum protection, you should take a good, hard look at a bucket hat. They’re a divisive choice among some, but they’ve come back into style recently and their 360-degree protection really does make them genuinely useful.
Chances are, if you’re after something this protective, you’re probably wearing it beyond just the golf course, so I’d invest in a pair of durable, all-purpose sunglasses you can wear everywhere, and take on and off easily.
The Nike UV Bucket hat provides 360 degrees of coverage; its wide brim circles the entire head to keep the sun out of your eyes and the heat off the back of your neck. The hat is designed and created with Dri-FIT fabric that pulls sweat away from the head for quick evaporation. Moisture is also managed with side vents and laser perforations that make sure your head stays ventilated. The hat is reversible and sports an adjustable removable draw cord.
The Oakley Split Shot sunglasses are made for watersports, but they double as a fantastic option for golfers on the go or who walk when they play. These shades feature an Integrated Retainer System with a detachable leash to keep the sunglasses on and secure no matter what you’re doing or how windy it is. Additional features include a no-slip Unobtanium nosepad, a three-point fit for comfort and alignment, impact-resistant lenses, high definition optics for crystal clear vision, and HDPolarized technology that minimizes glare. The frame is made from O Matter material for durability and lightweight comfort. Comes with a handy water-resistant eyewear case.
Perhaps not the most stylish of the bunch, I grant you, but that’s ok. This one isn’t about style, it’s about function, and if you’re a golfer who loves a good cold weather round, you need to invest in a winter hat.
The key to pairing sunglasses with it is finding a pair whose earpieces grip easily on their own, and can sit up on the hat itself. If you try to wear your sunglasses under your winter hat, it won’t fit properly and will look strange, too.
Adidas Golf Crest
Stay extra warm during cold-weather rounds in the Adidas Golf Crest beanie. The knit construction offers a comfortable fit and ensures lasting durability all winter long.
For the player who wants to make a statement and stand out from the crowd, the Oakley Mercenary sunglasses feature a on-fleek double-bridge design and larger, rounded lenses for a wider field of view. The durable O Matter frame and Unobtanium nosepads provide a comfortable fit with lightweight material and excellent grip to secure the eyewear. Also worth noting, these sunglasses are frameless on the bottom of the lens, which is handy for golfers who tend to look down towards the lower section of the lens.
Rocking a pair of aviator-style sunglasses on the course is definitely more of a look, but frankly, I like it, and if you like it too I’d tell you to go for it.
They key to making the look work is the hat selection. Sunglasses like these are wider and bigger, so you won’t want a hat that looks shrunken alongside it. For that reason, go for a hat with more structure, with a flatter, wider brim.
Nike AeroBill Pro STMT
Like all of Nike’s AeroBill caps, the Aerobill Pro STMT provides maximum comfort and breathability. Constructed from a lightweight ripstop fabric, the Pro STMT features embroidered eyelets, and a terry sweatband for performance, plus a flat bill and snapback closure for a modern look.
The Getaway M from Under Armour is an Aviator with a full rim metal frame for strength and durability. It features an adjustable nose pad and wire core temple design, also adjustable. ArmourSight lens properties protect against the sun for excellent optical clarity. Includes a microfiber pouch and clamshell hardcase.
Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.
An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.