Check out the competitors at any given pro tournament these days, and you’ll notice how many of them now wear sunglasses when they compete. But what may not be so apparent is how technical those products have become – and how golfers are donning them as much for the performance they provide as the look.
One of the most technical brands out there is Maui Jim. And the latest development from that privately held concern, which is based in Hawaii and has offices in 13 countries, is the Maui HT (for High Transmission) lens that is designed to give greater eye protection as it also enhances color, contrast and depth of field.
“Maui Jim offers four types of lens,” says John Romaine, director of golf worldwide for the company that was started in the early 1980s by someone actually named Maui Jim. “And the HT, which was designed with golfers in mind and first came out last summer, is our newest. Its mellow, palm shade green color combines with our patented PolarizedPlus2 lens technology to give 25 percent visible light transmission while blocking 100 percent of sunlight glare. The HT also has scratch-reducing coatings that repel water and grease, which is especially good for golfers who lather up with sun block before they play. The lens is particularly well-suited for early morning and late afternoon activity as well as overcast days or when lights conditions are very changeable.”
There are two distinct types of Maui HT lens. One is made entirely of a material called Polycarbonate. Injection molded and optically correct, they are geared for more intense or extreme sports because they are lightweight, comfortable and impact resistant. The other lens is known as Maui Evolution, and it is comprised of a proprietary fusion of Polycarbonate and the company’s SuperThin glass.
Maui HT lenses are also available in prescription, both single vision and progressive. And every pair of Maui Jim prescription glasses is made in the company’s 50,000-sqaure-foot lab, with precision robotic technology to ensure the highest ophthalmic quality.
According to Romaine, Maui Jim boasts more than 200 styles of sunglasses. And he considers two of those – the Banyan HT (412-02) and the Canoe HT (208-02) – ideal for golf. The Canoe has a frame that goes around the entire lens. The Banyan, on the other hand, is a so-called “sports” model, with frame covering about half the lens.
Maui Jim is growing its presence in the green-grass channel, where Romaine says it is the No. 1 sunglass brand. He adds that the company prides itself on service, not only when it comes to the supply and the sale of new sunglasses but also in the repair of product that have been broken or damaged through normal use.
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