Golf is one of the few sports that people will play come hell or high water: it really doesn’t matter too much what the weather is doing, we golfers will get out on the course come rain or shine. In some respects it has similarities with fishing because anglers will happily fish all day and take no notice of the rain.
It is because golfers are dedicated and are always trying to go that one ball better, that one stroke less. You simply don’t see that level of determination in sports like tennis, for instance. Tennis players won’t get out on the court when it is raining: indeed, at major tournaments they pack up and go inside while covers are pulled over the court. The same thing happens with cricket. We golfers are made of sterner stuff.
That’s not to say that we don’t take steps to protect ourselves from the worst of the weather, and of course one of the best methods of protection is a golf umbrella. One of those fiddly little things that folds down to about 15” long that you can use on your commute is of no use whatsoever out on the course. You need something big – big enough to cover not only you but all your equipment. If your bag gets wet, it follows that your grips will get wet too, and trying to play a shot with wet grips is no fun at all.
Of course, one of the problems with a big umbrella is that it can get severely blown about by the wind, so golf umbrellas are designed in such a way that they can withstand a fair amount of wind without turning inside out or lifting you off the ground like Mary Poppins. Some golf umbrellas are wind-tunnel tested and can withstand wind speeds of up to 60 mph. That’s not to suggest that you would still be out on the course in that sort of a wind: even the most hardened golfer would be back in the lounge under those conditions.
Here is my take on some of the best golf umbrellas on the market today.
1. RainStoppers 68” Oversize Windproof Golf Umbrella. $19.99
With a diameter of 68” this is a really large golf umbrella so it is big enough for three people to take shelter under. There is plenty of room for one golfer together with all of his or her gear. The shaft is made of fiberglass and the ribbing is also, which adds to its strength in the strongest winds. The handle is of rubber for maximum grip. The canopy is formed from a nylon fabric and there is a choice of alternate two tone colored panels.
2. Gustbuster Pro Series Gold Golf Umbrella. $44.95
This model comes in two sizes – 68” and 62”. The 62” version will provide shelter for two people while the 68” will cover three. The shaft is of fiberglass and has a rubber handle. The canopy is cleverly designed with two layers, and has teardrop shapes cut out of the inside layer allowing the wind to pass through without turning the umbrella inside out. This also keeps it comfortable too, as the wind won’t be trying to drag the umbrella out of your hand. An advantage of the large size is that you could twist your towel through the ribs which keeps your towel dry all day and you can dry your hands after each shot. Both models will withstand wind speeds of up to 60 mph, and there is a choice of different colors. There is also a lifetime warranty with this model.
3. All-Weather Elite Series 60-inch Navy and White Auto Open Golf Umbrella. $17.99
At 5 feet wide this umbrella is big enough to cover you together with your gear. Both the shaft and the ribs of this are made of fiberglass. The canopy is made of a lightweight fabric and is in alternating panels of white and navy blue, while the handle is made of wood rather than rubber. A nice touch is a spike on top of the canopy which enables you to push it into the ground while you are taking a shot.
4. Minowl Ultimate Golf Umbrella.
The shaft and ribs of this umbrella are made from a hardened steel rather than fiberglass. In a similar fashion to the Gustbuster mentioned above it features a double canopy to let the wind pass through. The canopy itself, which measures 62”, is fashioned from a material that is derived from silk and is not only waterproof but mold proof and sun resistant to over 50 SPF. In addition the canopy is very fast drying and the umbrella is light weight.
5. Callaway Golf Great Big Bertha 64″ Umbrella.
This model has a fiberglass shaft and features a double canopy for wind resistance. The handle is ergonomically designed to fit your hand comfortably and is non-slip. The canopy has the Callaway logo and chevron, and also the Great Big Bertha logo. It has an overall review rating of 9.3 out of 10.
6. PING Tour Double Canopy Umbrella. $36.99 + $2.95 shipping
This is a 68” umbrella with a shaft made of fiberglass as are the ribs. The double canopy provides maximum wind resistance and the textured rubber handle is comfortable and affords a good grip. The canopy is made from pongee materials and is totally waterproof. The PING Tour Double Canopy Umbrella features a simple push button opening. the canopy also features the PING logo in black on white.
7. Procella Golf Umbrella 62-inch Large Windproof Auto Open Rain & Wind Resistant. $33.95
The shaft of this model is of carbon fiber for strength and light weight. It has a double canopy with a mesh incorporated to filter the wind through it. Opening is by a simple push button using one hand. The 62” width is large enough to cover you with all your gear.
8. TheFitLife Golf Umbrella 62” Windproof Auto Open. $35.99
This has a shaft and eight ribs made of fiberglass. The double canopy allows wind through and is made of 210T micro-weave fabric with a rain repellent coating. Lightweight (it only weighs 1.2lbs) it has an auto open system using just a touch on the button.
9. Atree Unisex Stick Golf Umbrella. $23.99
The canopy on this is made of a high quality polyester material. The shaft and ribs are fiberglass. Auto-open using just a touch on the button, but it is manual closing. This is not a problem as reviewers say that it closes very easily. The handle is made of a durable soft foam rubber offering a good grip. The umbrella comes with a carrying bag, and is one of the cheapest models we have seen. Great value for money.
The umbrellas mentioned above are some of the best golf umbrellas available today. It is worth noting that there are also quite a number of non-branded umbrellas on the market and these can be considerably less expensive than the better-known brands. A search on Amazon will find some umbrellas for around the $20 to $25 dollar mark if you are on a tight budget. Here is a good selection from Woodworm.
10.Woodworm Golf Premium Double Canopy Golf Umbrella 3 Pack. $19.50