Golf Rx is on a mission to bring golfers specialty prescription eyewear at the same level of quality and craftsmanship they expect from the rest of their gear and equipment. It’s about time.
In the early 1990s Sports Optical pioneered the technology to put prescriptions into curved-format sport lenses. Since then, They’ve been in the trenches daily and hard at work perfecting their craft.
Today, their lenscrafting pedigree is second to none and ship their glasses worldwide to almost every imaginable athlete—including, of course, golfers.
For the past twenty years, via their parent company, Sports Optical, Golf Rx have been highly innovative leaders in the prescription sport optics industry and developed their own, proprietary formulas and methods for crafting their lenses.
Currently, there exists a gap regarding the importance of a golfer’s eyesight, not only in terms of visual acuity and performance but also with regards to general eye health as we golfers spend hours in the sun hitting great shot after great shot (we can pretend, right!) so with Golf Rx you get the best of both worlds.
Let’s do a bit of quick math here to set the proper context. Roughly, there’s a domestic demographic of approximately 30 million golfers, with the core market being somewhere in the 15-20 million range, depending on how you define that core group.
The industry average of US adults who wears glasses is generally agreed upon in the 60% range (with another 10% choosing other forms of corrective lenses either via contacts or Lasik)
We’ll go right in the heart of the core market (between 15-20) and say 17.5. 17.5 x 60% = 10,500,00. Even if slightly skewed (one way or the other) that’s a whole bunch of “Fore-eyes” playing golf!
Basically, it’s a quite a complex, highly specialized process to adapt a prescription lens to a curved-format sports frame.
It requires numerous optical adjustments and formulas to make the prescription hold true in the peripheral areas of the lens in order to provide clear, distortion-free optics.
All of Golf Rxs’ prescription lenses are fully customized and handcrafted in their labs.
Some of the more popular lenses include a polarized lens which can drastically cut the glare and sheen that comes off the grass and water on the course. The polarization means you’ll squint less, which will reduce eye fatigue. These can include Polarized Rose-Copper, Polarized Brown, Polarized Grey—talk to Golf Rx as to which ones may be most beneficial to you (see pic below)
Other lenses can include Photochromic (a sunglass lens that changes from a light sunglass to a dark) which is flexible in terms of adapting to various lighting conditions. Unfiltered and clear lenses are also available.
I won’t go into all the science of “lens-ology” (My new made-up word) but they are true master craftsmen and optical innovators who have been at it over 20 years to become the leader in prescription sports optics.
Style does matter, of course. We don’t want the coolest optics in the world sitting in unstylish and ill-fitting frames now do we? A lot of people don’t understand that prescription eyewear and sunglasses can be made in the most stylish of ways.
A lot of this is personal choice. Golf Rx are official retail partners (and dealers) of world-class brands like Oakley, Rudy Project and Smith Optics.
Some of these companies do offer Rx sunglasses but their primary business is non-Rx sunglasses. Golf Rx on the other hand is a specialist in custom, prescription lenses and leave the frames to folks who specialize in designing sports frames.
The bottomline is that you want the frame that fits your level of style and comfort best. Golf Rx is happy to recommend frames that have found to be exceptional and time-tested on the course OR they can also make custom prescription lenses for the frames you already have! Now that’s flexibility.
Indeed, there are competitors like Oakley, Rudy Project, Kaenon, Nike; these are all eyewear companies, or eyewear divisions of other companies, prominent in the golf scene who offer prescription lenses for some of the sunglasses they make.
Agreed, these are some of the top and best-marketed companies in the world AND they make some of the best sunglasses in world, bar none. They are not, however, founded upon their optical abilities or their innovations in the realm of prescription sport lenses, nor do they really try to be.
They’re competitors only in the sense that when someone is shopping for prescription lenses for sport glasses they have the option of going through Oakley or coming to Golf Rx.
The product supplied would be quite different, both in the math and formulas applied to the prescription to ensure optical clarity in curved-format sport lenses, and also in the lenscrafting process.
The phones at Golf Rx are answered by opticians who play sports and sell exclusively prescription lenses and glasses. The phones at Oakley are answered by sales people in a call center.
The other lenses are made in a machine far away from the call center or retail store. Golf Rx lenses literally require physical effort to grind the lenses, which they do right in their lab, on-site.
Says, Kyle Ross, Optician and Director of Marketing at Golf Rx,
It’s the difference between someone getting a suit off the rack at Macy’s and getting one custom tailored. We prefer it when the customer decides to go the custom route, but we’re a fully different choice.
COOL OR PRACTICAL
Even though it’s fun to get cool prescription sunglasses for the hobby we love, the other side of the story is that it’s a legitimate medical device for our eyes and we often forget that.
It’s a unique balance, the coolness and style weighed against the importance and gravity of eye issues. It’s not a trivial matter. At a minimal, please consult with Golf Rx so you are at least getting proper and accurate information.
HOW TO ORDER
Basically the ordering process begins with a phone call or an email. Prescription details are shared and focal style you are looking for — distance vision, lined-bifocal or progressive-bifocal.
Next, comes the frames — any special needs are addressed. For example, things like fogging, light/wind sensitivities, face and head size, etc. and also discuss what you are looking for with regards to style, because style matters.
Finally, the next discussion is where the rubber meets the road — lenses. If a customer knows exactly what they’re looking for in a lens, great. That can be accomplished quite easily.
If not, questions are asked about the light conditions in which you play, and any special conditions they might have.
For example, what do you typically wear, do you feel like it’s ever too dark or too light? Nearly all of the frames have an interchangeable lens system. Are you looking for one lens for all conditions or are you open to a two lens set-up?
The process takes approximately 3 weeks and then shipped out.
There are two things to look at here—the frame price and the lens price. Frames range from $109 to $329 and lenses begin at $209, with special treatments like polarizations, transitions, multi-focal prescriptions bringing the lens costs up.
Surprisingly, Golf Rx prices are often lower than the costs charged by Oakley, Rudy Project or other manufacturer’s Rx lens options. Why? because they can that’s why! Also because of their size [those companies] are really not in the business of providing custom information, advice and education like Golf Rx can.
Golf Rx works to keep their prices in a reasonable range so they can be accessible for all. Keep in mind, this is considered a medical device so think in terms of an investment for the health of your eyes.
Note: Many customers submit their purchases for insurance reimbursement or use their Flex-Spending/Health Savings accounts.
Eyewear, both prescription and non, is extremely relevant to the game of golf and Golf Rx is a true, innovative resource for golfing eyewear, both for purchasing eyewear, but also as a place to consult and find information, on a personal level, for the best frame and lens options custom designed for YOU.
Golf Rx is a division of Sports Optical – an independent optical shop in Denver specializing in custom, handmade prescription sports lenses and eyewear.