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The Best Golf Pranks Of All Time

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April Fools’ Day is coming up, and with that in mind – as well as the impending start of golf season across the Northern Hemisphere – we thought it would be a good idea to talk about the lighter side of the game.

Specifically: golf pranks.

Here are some oldies-but-goodies, as well as some suggestions you may not have considered.

Exploding Golf Ball

This is probably the oldest golf prank in the book, but that doesn’t make it any less hilarious when executed properly. Your buddy tees up his ball, someone distracts him, swaps in the exploding golf ball, and hilarity ensues:

The fake first-tee announcement

This only works at a course where the first tee, putting green and pro shop are all close together. If you want to rattle someone’s nerves on the first tee – especially if he or she isn’t a great player, get everyone’s attention and announce him or her as a professional golfer, state amateur champion or something similar. Then wish him or her good luck on hitting the fairway. If you can be convincing enough to make everyone on the patio applaud, you know you’ve done this prank correctly.

The flat tee

This one may take some patience before it pays off, but it’s worth the wait. Joke shops sell golf tees with flat tops so that when someone tries to position a ball on it, he or she will be unable to get it to stay still.

The rubber snake

This one isn’t exactly golf-specific, but given that golf courses tend to bring golfers closer to nature than other recreational settings, it’s a perfect setting for this classic prank. There’s even a company that makes rubber snakes specifically for mischievous golfers, called Hissalot:

Happy Friday 🐍! Some of the best #Hissalot highlights to close off the week 👊🏼

A video posted by ♛ Sir Hissalot ♛ (@hissalot) on

The rubber-snake-on-the-golf-course tradition has major championship roots, with Lee Trevino using it to break the tension on the first tee of an 18-hole playoff for the 1971 U.S. Open against Jack Nicklaus. Though he didn’t carry off the prank, the clip of the Merry Mex and the Golden Bear chuckling about it has become part of golf lore.

The cart key switcheroo

This one’s subtle and simple. If you’re a passenger, just turn the golf cart key from the “ON” to “OFF” position and watch the driver scramble to figure out why the thing won’t move.

The marshmallow drop

If you want to have a little fun with the group(s) behind you, this takes the frustration of trying to find your own golf ball amongst a bunch of range balls to a potentially hilarious conclusion. Just scatter a few large marshmallows around the fairway and those behind you will have a tough time distinguishing a golf ball from a marshmallow until they get up close. Just please pick up after yourself – remember, you’re pranking your fellow golfers, not the maintenance staff.

The floating range ball

Okay, it’s not exactly practical to set this up on the fly, but we came across this video during our research and had to share it. It’s hilarious:

Got any fun golf pranks to add to our list? Any fond memories of pranking or being pranked on the golf course? Let us know in the comments!

12 Comments

  1. Joe lister

    March 29, 2016 at 11:31 am

    If you are carrying a bag, put a housebrick in your opponents bag before you tee off the first..It’s amazing how they start to lag behind after a few holes

  2. John

    March 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Instead of the exploding ball use a hollow plastic ball. Not as dramatic but fun to watch the reaction.

  3. dave

    March 29, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Glue a ball marker onto a 10″ nail then leave it near the hole for the group behind you to try and pick up.

  4. Eli

    March 29, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    if you are riding, simply unstrap your partners golf bag from the cart, its a loud bang, but funny

  5. Nancy Cook

    March 29, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Husband had a frugal friend who would “borrow” your new driver and then keep it for a while. He got a new driver after much harassment but then whined how everything would go right. They got letterhead from the pro shop and sent a letter that there had been a problem in the making of his new driver and that he should cut the head off and send it back as this was the least expensive option. The letter said that the manufacturer would then send him a new driver. He came waving the letter saying I told you all.
    Soon a call came from the manufacturer, asking him what they were supposed to do with this club head? Great but expensive get. He knew immediately who had gotten him. The manufacturer did put a new shaft on head and they, too had a good laugh!

  6. David

    March 29, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    After partaking in the normal guys golf trip hijinks one night, we all woke just a little foggy headed and only 30 minutes to our morning tee time. We all put on our gear and rushed to the course. As I was preparing to tee off by taking a couple of practice swings, the starter said, “Excuse me sir, but it doesn’t appear you have any spikes on your shoes.” My buddies, busted out laughing as sometime during the night they had removed all of my spikes.I had to laugh.

  7. Bob Burchett

    March 29, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    The best prank I’ve seen was played on a guy behind us. He hit to an elevated green from about 150 yards out. We lagged behind and when he hit the green we put it in the hole and left quickly to the next tee.
    We looked back to see all four of them looking for the ball.

    It was anxious joy when he finally found it in the hole.

  8. Duke

    March 29, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Lame…

  9. Dan

    March 30, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I used a real dead snake once. My favorite prank was to replace my friend’s clubs which he had me store in my car til the next day with strange woods.

  10. John

    March 31, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    I am surprised the weighted golf ball didn’t make the list. It is usually found next to the exploding balls. The ball is slightly weighted to one side, so when the target goes to putt, it looks like a drunk sailor trying to find his way home.

  11. Bobby B

    March 31, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Group in front of us left a real crow’s head in the hole. We placed it in the hole a couple holes in front of them. No, there was nobody else on the course that would have found it. Never heard anything from the guys even though we saw them in the 19th hole afterwards. Had to get ’em good!

  12. Lucifer

    July 22, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Pour a bottle of food coloring (your choice of color) into the ball washer. It won’t permanently stain the golf balls all the time, but it’s funny when people behind you are walking around with blue or red hands.

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