A good golf umbrella is one of those essential items that you don't realize you need until it's too late. While it won't help you much if you're trying to finish a round like Bishop Pickering in Caddyshack, having one in the bag can certainly make playing in a drizzle much more pleasant or provide a bit of summer shade. That said, what makes for a good golf umbrella? Let's discuss a few important factors and then some options available at every price point.
Golf Umbrella Essentials
Regardless of brand or style, having a double-canopy umbrella to vent wind is a must to have the best experience. With this design, the fabric of the umbrella is in two layers. The top layer overhangs the bottom layer slightly to keep it from leaking, but the gap allows air to escape. This means a gust of wind shouldn't suddenly turn the umbrella inside out or make it into a sail on your pull cart.
While traditional umbrellas might be a bit cheaper, having a vented umbrella will save you frustration and be more durable.
Searching for golf umbrellas will bring up sizes from 48" to 68" or more. This is a measurement of the canopy when extended, including the arc.
Obviously, a larger canopy is going to cover more surface. It's important to remember that they'll also be heavier and could be more cumbersome. Not to mention that the bigger the umbrella, the more expensive they tend to be.
The right size umbrella all depends on personal preference and what you hope to keep dry. If you're walking the course with the bag on your back and don't mind the clubheads getting wet, then a smaller size might be best. Those who use pull carts probably want the largest they can get. Large umbrellas make it easier to walk underneath and provide convenient shade in sunny weather.
Another consideration, and something that differentiates a "golf umbrella" from a standard one, is the handle's shape. While traditional umbrellas still tend to use hook-shaped handles, this isn't going to be what you want for golf.
Primarily this puts pull cart users at a great advantage because they tend to have an umbrella stand either built-in or easily attached. These holders can only work with a straight handle, so that's what you should look for. Additionally, consider the size of the handle and the opening on the cart umbrella stand. You don't want an oversized grip preventing it from fitting or being too small to stay secure.
Best Golf Umbrellas
Overall Winner: The Weatherman Umbrella
Golfers simply looking for the best, most versatile golf umbrella at any price probably don't need to look much further than the Weatherman Umbrella. This umbrella has been a Golf Digest editor's choice winner for several years running and the official umbrella of the LPGA and supplier for Ryder Cup teams.
Behind the accolades are a lot of features that earn the ranking. All the basic boxes are checked with a double canopy, strong waterproof material, and UV protection. The Weatherman Umbrella also features a mesh pocket built into the canopy to hold items, as well as a silicone-coated rib to hang your towel from. These types of golfer-focused details are what really separates it from the competition.
Price: from $79
Biggest Canopy: Samsonite Windguard Golf Umbrella
This umbrella from Samsonite is one of the largest currently available, with a massive 74" diameter (over 80" arc length). If covering surface area is a primary concern, then it is certainly one to consider. While the design is relatively basic (and only available in one color), it does have a vented, Teflon-coated double canopy which should keep you dry and hold up well in the wind.
At this size, however, it could be a bit awkward to try and hold it one-handed while walking. Additionally, the molded handle might not fit well in the umbrella stand of your pushcart. Last, while the umbrella will certainly provide a large circle of shade out in the sun, it doesn't list any UV-rating for sun protection. Still, given the size and relatively low price point, it is a product to keep in mind.
Best Value & Variety: G4Free Automatic Open Golf Umbrella
While G4Free isn't a household name whatsoever, over 10,000 five-star reviews from Amazon can attest that their umbrella will get the job done. Their treated synthetic-silk canopy material provides both water-resistance and UV protection, and its auto-open mechanism makes it usable one-handed.
Additionally, this umbrella is available in one of the largest varieties of colorways out there, especially at the price point. With over a dozen solid and color-blocked options, you can almost certainly find one that matches well with your bag or cart. A full range of sizes is also available at a significantly lower price than name-brand competitors.
Top for Brand Loyalists: Titleist Tour Double Canopy Golf Umbrella
If you happen to be watching a pro tour tournament and rain starts coming down, you'll see umbrellas not only keeping players dry but also acting as a massive brand billboard. If you are looking to bring that "pro experience" to your game, then check this offering from Titleist.
Assuming you're a Titleist fan, it is definitely a good-looking umbrella, especially the red piping on the canopy layers and "Pro V1" panels. Underneath the iconic Titleist script logo is a perfect, functional umbrella as well. Like all others on this list, it has a double canopy to help hold up in the wind as well as reinforced ribs they call an "anti-inversion system."
The main difference between you and the pros for this umbrella is that while they're getting paid to use it, you'll be doing the opposite. This product does have a premium price but lacks some of the special features non-branded umbrellas in the category have.
Best Sun Protection: Umenice UV Protection Umbrella
It doesn't rain all that much around my home in Los Angeles. Here golf umbrellas tend to be less about keeping dry and more for providing a convenient escape from the sun. For golfers in a similar situation, this umbrella from Umenice is designed to keep you happy in the shade.
While most umbrellas on this list have featured some level of UV protection, Umenice takes it further by using the fabric coating and coloring to keep the area under the umbrella cooler as well. This umbrella has a silver-colored top to reflect sun rays while the bottom is kept dark. Additionally, the canopy vent is also claimed to better push hot air out under the umbrella than a traditional double-canopy.