I am sure that being the 5th Top Golfer in the world has it’s perks, but even before Hunter Mahan reached that benchmark he was asked to co-design a style of Under Armour Performance Eyewear that could potentially help him on the course. Just maybe you could say that, the sunglasses had something to do with his success?
Hunter Mahan’s Under Armour sunglasses, aptly named UA Drive, have a bunch of interesting features that are making spectators of golf give sport sunglasses a second thought. Between the floating lens, adjustable nose pad, and three point grip, there are many new specs to these glasses that could help you on the golf course.
Lucky for you, we got to correspond with Alan Tipp, the Director of Design at Under Armour Performance Eyewear.
EA: What was the initial thought process in getting Hunter involved in the design of the UA Drive sunglasses?
AT: We take a user-centered approach. It’s important to go directly to the source to discuss the frame’s role and how it affects performance in their particular game. This insures that the design adapts to his requirements.
Hunter trying on one of the original prototypes.
EA: In regards to helping Hunter’s performance, what were his biggest concerns with how the glasses are able to improve his performance?
AT: Hunter explained how proper fit was essential to eliminate distraction. He asked if we could eliminate cross-peripheral distraction in the nose pad area so that he could look downward and scan side to side across the green without seeing the nose pad. We were able to design for this requirement by press fitting two ventilated nose pads to an independently mounted, adjustable metal bridge. Now, users of all bridge types have the ability to adjust the flare/opening to properly suit their needs and offer unencumbered field of view.
Orginal sketch with some of the features Hunter sought after.
EA: What is YOUR favorite feature of these glasses?
AT: The construction of the frame allows the lens to float which stabilizes optics and eliminates the typical “squeeze” people encounter with a one-size-fits-most solution. The frame’s Titanium Grilamid material allows it to flex and creates an ultralight fit for all day wearability. We also introduced an element of fun by creating swappable logo badges of various colors to coordinate with the clothing of the day.
EA: After they were created, what was Hunter Mahan’s reaction to wearing the glasses while playing golf?
AT: Hunter views his glasses as an essential piece of equipment and he relies on them to win. Upon making the the switch to UA Drive, Hunter went on to win the Accenture Match Play Championship, The Shell Houston Open, and is now ranked as one of the top 5 PRO golfers in the world. His reaction has been positive, to say the least. He feels that they suit his needs and appreciates the customized touches that we’ve added like the incorporation of the embossed hm logo on the bridge and perforated dimple texture on the temple grip that simulates the leather found on his golfing gloves.
Field testing after the glasses were finished.
EA: Do you see any changes with these glasses for 2013?
AT: I don’t foresee any cosmetic changes in 2013, but we are considering new color ways and possibly a SWITCH version of UA Drive which would allow the lenses to interchange with magnets. This would give users the ability to switch out the lenses to adapt to various light conditions.
This all sounds great to us, but then again, he had us at sunglasses! Let us know what you think. Do you like Hunter’s UA Drive sunglasses? Would you wear them on the course?
If you have any more questions for Alan in regards to the UA Drive sunglasses, we would be happy to reach out to him!