Spanish eyes! - Jimenez and his Maui Jim's
As the lyrics of Engelbert Humperdinck’s song says, “You and your Spanish eyes will wait for me”. Well, the Spanish eyes belong to Miguel Angel Jimenez, eyes that survey the golf courses of the world through a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. For the uninitiated, Maui Jim is establishing itself as the sunglasses for both work and play. In golf, as in all sports, you need quality sunglasses that are going to perform to the highest standards so that you can do the same. And, as the brand boldly states, these glasses are ‘created on the Hawaiian Islands to make the colours shine’. And they should know, as the island of Maui is one of the lushest and most vibrant places you could possibly find on this earth. Yet its intense sunlight creates conditions that can hide its beauty. That’s why Maui Jim sunglasses, which are designed to go beyond shielding your eyes from glare and harmful UV rays, also reveal and enhance the world’s true colours.
THE GOLF AMBASSADOR. So, you create the best sunglasses possible, what better way to prove their capabilities than to put them over the eyes of one of the world’s most flamboyant and respected sports stars, the talented and charismatic golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez. The fifth son of a family of seven brothers, Jimenez left school at the tender age of 15 to work in a garage. This was soon followed by a job picking up golf balls on the driving range at Torrequebrada Golf Club near Malaga in Spain, where he eventually progressed to caddying. After watching the great Seve Ballesteros in the Spanish Open in 1979, Miguel felt inspired to play himself, turning professional only three years later in 1982. His first victory came at the Piaget Belgian Open in 1992. He has always stated that he owes everything he has to the world of golf, which is why in 2007 he decided to put something back into the game and promote the Open de Andalucia, a European Tour tournament staged near his home in Spain. He has also developed the Miguel Angel Jimenez Golf Academy and is the promoter of the Miguel Angel Jimenez Junior Circuit, which gives kids the opportunity to learn, play and compete. Now 52, Jiménez was once asked the secret of his longevity within the game. He replied, "There is no secret. Good food, good wine, good cigars and some exercise!”
THE MEETING. We caught up with Jimenez after his round at the BMW Championship at Wentworth.
How did the partnership with Maui Jim come about?
Well, I have to wear glasses when I play. I tried several different brands but when I tried Maui Jims, I thought, wow, these are beautiful. They really cut out the glare while enhancing the colours. They are so light you hardly know you are wearing them. You know, as you get older, you need to protect your eyes even more; these glasses do that as well as giving me fantastic clarity.
So you consider Maui Jim to stand out against the other brands?
Maui Jims are good because they have no weight, and no distortion, and they also look great. For me, they really stand out as being better than the other brands, they are not cheap, but they are very good.
Do you have a selection of the glasses for different conditions?
Yes, I have many pairs that I can use depending on the weather and also where I am playing. It could be cloudy so I will have a pair that works for that, or if it’s very bright sun so I may wear a different pair – whatever helps me.
How many pairs do you have?
A lot! But I always have my favourites. At the moment it’s the Maui Jim Mavericks. Wherever I am playing in the world, I have will have my Maui Jims with me.
MAUI JIM. Maui Jim began in 1980 as a small company selling sunglasses on the beach in Lahaina, Hawaii. Seeing a need for technology that could combat intense glare and harmful UV rays, while also bringing the brilliant colours of the island to life, the company engineered the revolutionary PolarizedPlus2® lens. There are now over 125 styles, all of which are polarised and offer 100 per cent protection from UVA and UVB rays. In 1999, Maui Jim was listed in Forbes Magazine’s '100 Things Worth Every Penny' article and in both 2015 and 2016, the brand was selected as the Best Sunglass Company in Vision Monday and 20/20 magazine's EyeVote Reader's Choice awards.
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