A golf umbrella protects golfers from the rain and the sun. It is designed to be much larger than a standard umbrella, to protect both the golfer and his or her cart. While originally designed for the golfer on the course, it is also used by non-golfers in cities and elsewhere to provide better protection than smaller umbrellas that might not fully protect against the rain.
Most golf umbrellas measure between 60 and 65 inches (about 152 and 165 cm), and some are as large as 70 inches (about 178 cm). To keep the umbrella from being too heavy, it is generally made with a shaft fashioned out of fiberglass. The umbrella's spreaders are also made out of this material. Other than being lightweight, another advantage to using fiberglass is that it renders the golf umbrella lightning resistant.
The large size and sturdiness of the canopy of the golf umbrella helps prevent strong winds from turning the umbrella inside out. An ergonomic handle is another important feature, since a golfer will want to make sure that his or her hand is kept in a natural position while holding it. Gripping the golf umbrella shouldn't make the hand cramp as this could affect the golfer's swing.
The umbrella is an ancient invention that has been around for centuries. Artifacts and art from the ancient civilizations of Assyria, China, Egypt, and Greece indicate that umbrellas were used. At that time, an umbrella was used to protect the user from the sun's rays. The first waterproofed umbrella was used in China. Wax and lacquer were used to make paper parasols suitable for rain protection.
People in Europe were using umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain by the 16th century. Women were the first to carry umbrellas as a fashion accessory, but this changed when Jonas Hanway, a writer, started carrying one in public. He was responsible for popularizing umbrellas for men. In fact, an umbrella was often referred to as a "Hanway."
Golf umbrellas can also be used for advertising purposes. Putting a company logo or message on one means the advertiser's message is a highly visible one. Other players on the course will be able to see the umbrella and will be taking note of what is printed on it. For this reason, companies may decide to give away a golf umbrella to their customers, as well as their employees. Any time the umbrella is opened, it is a way to get the company's message out to the general public.