A golf umbrella is a must-have accessory not just for golfers, but for so many outdoor sports and pursuits. Just a little rain can cause significant issues for players and spectators. That’s why golf umbrellas are such an important accessory for outdoor pursuits all year round. A golfer is able to protect their clubs and themselves from the elements, hikers can protect themselves and their equipment, indeed there are so many sports, hobbies and activities where a golf umbrella can save the day. But what is a golf umbrella?
When the weather goes south, and a sportsperson needs a peaceful, safe, and dry place to perform, a golf umbrella is must-have item for protection from the elements.
Based on questions we receive, we’re certain some people are confused as what a golf umbrella is. In fact, they even wonder whether it’s the same thing as a regular umbrella or not. Hence, we decided to shed some light on this subject so that you are better prepared for your next adventure.
What Is a Golf Umbrella?
Golf umbrellas are primarily designed for golfers, however as we will see shortly, they give a large coverage so are often also used in other sports, by commuters and other outdoor hobbies such as fishing, hiking and bird watching. When we talk about golf umbrella sizes, we often refer to firstly the length of a rib from top to bottom (around the arc) or secondly the canopy diameter.
For most golf umbrellas, the arc of a rib can be between 26 inches and 34 inches (52 inches to 68 inches when both sides are measured) and the canopy can be up to 60 inches in diameter. This size is big enough to protect up to 3 people from the elements!
Golf umbrellas typically have premium quality features to withstand harsh weathers. Their frame is made from strong fiberglass or metal (avoid plastic frames), and the canopy is made from waterproof materials such as 190T Pongee, 210T Pongee, or even 240T Pongee fabric. These premium materials along with their superior design ensure that the umbrellas don’t break easily.
Golf Umbrella vs. Regular Umbrella
One of the most significant and obvious differences between the golf umbrella and a regular umbrella is the size. Golf umbrellas are typically 10%-30% larger than regular “stick-style” umbrellas and can be 30-50% larger than compact folding umbrellas. Secondly, the handle of a golf umbrella will typically be a straight design so it can be easily stored in a sports bag or golf bag. A classic umbrella is more likely to have a hooked handle, perhaps made of wood making it bulkier, though arguably easier to carry when not in use.
How to Choose the Best Golf Umbrella?
As we have outlined previously, one of the main aspects of a golf umbrella is its size. The size of the umbrella will help keep out more rain, harsh winds, more sunlight etc. As a general rule of thumb, look for a canopy diameter above 50 inches as this will give generous coverage for at least 1 or 2 people.
Additionally, when purchasing a larger umbrella, weight becomes a factor. Golf umbrellas with a fiberglass shaft and ribs will be lighter than those made with metal, so do bear that in mind. A strong golf umbrella need not weight any more than 1.8 pounds.
You will find a large variation in canopy colors for golf umbrellas. Choose one that is the most aesthetically pleasing to you and that suits your personality.
1. Size and Weight
We’ve previously outlined the two ways an umbrella can be measured when open, firstly using an arc measurement and secondly by measuring the diameter. For an arc measurement (measuring up one arc and down the other) we would recommend going for a measurement of 60 inches or more. Also pay attention to the umbrella’s weight, so it is as light as possible for your sporting or leisure activity. A brolly at or below 1.8 pounds will be sufficiently lightweight and won’t be cumbersome as you carry it around constantly.
Turning to the quality of the umbrella, it’s worth understanding which materials are considered premium quality so you can maximise the longevity of your purchase.
As outlined earlier, the shaft and ribs of a good golf umbrella can be metal, plastic or fiberglass. Our preferred material is fiberglass as it is super-strong and built to last. A frame that is made from fiberglass has the ability to flex a little in the wind and thus protect itself from breaking. Fiberglass is a fantastic material as it’s quite light in weight and provides ample protection from harsh weather conditions.
The nylon or polyester which is used in the canopy of the umbrella must also be high quality and have waterproof properties. Anything at or above 190T pongee is more than adequate to keep you dry from the rain and shaded from the sun where required. Golf umbrellas can also have a vented double canopy that provide air vents that allow air to pass through to regulate gusts. These can help protect an umbrella’s frame in high wind conditions as it lowers the probability of the canopy inverting.
All of the materials used to make a golf umbrella have a direct impact on its durability, quality, and functionality. It goes without saying that the stronger the materials, the better functioning and long-lasting golf umbrella you get.
3. Wind Resistance
A high quality golf umbrella is made in a manner that it can withstand strong winds. An umbrella described as windproof will give you added piece of mind. Windproof means the umbrella frame has been made to be strong. Some people mistakenly believe it means the umbrella will not flip inside out; this is not the case. The word windproof means the umbrella has been designed to flip inside out when conditions are very windy. The critical point to understand is that the frame will then turn back to normal without breaking. This is a positive as some cheaper umbrellas will break at the first flip.
Now that you know more about what a golf umbrella is, we very much hope it has allowed you to decide whether one is right for you. You are now equipped to ask the right questions regarding the frame, shaft, canopy material, size, weight etc. and you will appreciate the importance of getting a windproof umbrella. If you’re looking to buy a new umbrella, do take a look at our full golf umbrellas article that includes further information about golf umbrellas and looks in detail at some golf umbrellas we highly recommend. Some great Top Picks are below.