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In Review: SunBuster Sunglasses

When Woody Austin nearly took a bite out of Tiger Woods while finishing second at the PGA Championship last Sunday, he did it with a secret weapon in his arsenal: SunBuster Sports Enhancement Eyewear.

The SunBuster sunglasses that Austin was wearing feature proprietary technologies that are designed to minimize optical distortion while enhancing your ability to read greens and see the golf course.

Is it just a marketing hallucination—or a truly new view of the game? Following is PutterZone.com’s review of SunBuster’s XCel XChg model sunglasses ($129 without prescription lenses; approximately $229 with prescription lenses).

The Storyline
SunBuster sunglasses were conceived by Steven Asman, the charismatic founder of GustBuster umbrellas, which are widely used on the PGA Tour.

Asman says that his connections enabled him to seek considerable tour player input during the development stages of his eyewear. The resulting sunglasses include two proprietary features: GolfCorrect Technology and PuttReader lenses.

GolfCorrect Technology is designed to eliminate Eye-Plane Shift Distortion (ESD), which the company calls a “common failing of sunglass lenses.” ESD is “a prismatic shift that makes it appear the golf ball has moved” as the golfer’s eyes tilt down and shift during the full swing.

According to the company: “In the past, golfers have been hesitant to wear eyewear during their round. That’s because no one has ever thought to address the problem of ESD, one of the most common problems facing golfers who wear ordinary sunglasses while they play…GolfCorrect Technology is designed and optically ground to eliminate ESD.”

As for the purplish PuttReader lens: “This optical marvel blocks much of the color green the eyes see in a putting green…This brings out the blacks, reds and yellows which are the colors the brain needs to better read the subtle break-defining elements of grain, contour and undulation.”

According to Asman, the company took four years to develop the PuttReader Lens, testing hundreds of color combinations to find just the right recipe for creating the PuttReader lens, which has a distinctive purple tint. Says Asman: “We have over 150 players and caddies wearing SunBusters week in and week out on the professional golf tours.”

The sunglasses feature 100 percent UVA/UVB protection; S-Guard scratch-resistance coating; Aqua-Pel anti-fog and water repellency treatment; and flash-mirroring coating for sunspot and sunstreak deflection.

The View from PutterZone.com
A pair of sunglasses that improves your visual understanding of the putting green? I must admit that I was skeptical, but only up to the moment that I put them on. Seeing is definitely believing with SunBuster sunglasses. More on that in a moment…

The sleek and stylish XCel XChg is one of two SunBuster models that come with PuttReader lenses. All come in a zippered black hard shell case.

The SunBuster web site isn’t terribly clear on how the technologies fit together, so allow me to explain: The PuttReader lenses are essentially the sunglasses themselves. The GolfCorrect technology is built into the PuttReader lenses. If you order a prescription version (as I did), the sunglasses come with clear rimless lenses that are attached to the inside of the sunglasses. It looks a bit strange to have lenses inside lenses, but that’s a small price to pay for the advantages of the SunBuster system.

I tested the SunBuster system against both my regular prescription glasses and my non-prescription tradition sunglasses (as well my sunglasses over my prescription glasses), and it was simply no contest.

It’s difficult to fully describe the sensation of viewing the golf course and the putting green through the PuttReader lenses. To my eyes, it boils down to enhanced contrast without loss of clarity, which is quite a feat. In other words, contours and imperfections in the putting green jump out at you—but without the washout effect that you might expect with heightened contrast. The result is pure visual enlightenment.

As for the GolfCorrect Technology, I can’t really testify to its efficacy. I can say that I tried the sunglasses out on the driving range and hit the ball as I normally would without sunglasses.

The Bottom Line
SunBuster’s PuttReader lenses are nothing short of remarkable in their ability to enhance and enlighten your view of the putting green. For the price, it would be hard to beat SunBuster’s stylish combination of protection and performance.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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