Golf is difficult and too often, a serious sport. Sometimes we just need to inject a little humor into it. A well designed prank can do that if, and only if, the other person has a sense of humor.

On the surface, everyone pretty much agrees that golf pranks are funny. However, how funny they are is usually determined by the one doing the prank and the one on the receiving end of it. My advice is to never pull these on anyone who might not have the necessary sense of humor.

If you’re in doubt about one, then you may be better off passing on it, but remember that when you’ve been pranked, the gloves come off.

Harmless Pranks

Missing Key
This is my particular favorite because it requires no help. Any time a cart won’t move, the first response is to always stomp on the accelerator. Invariably, it takes a couple of minutes to notice the key is missing.

Tow Mode
This is similar to the missing key and I find it more effective. Put the cart in neutral or flip the tow mode switch. This effectively kills the cart even though the key is still in and the switch is in the on position.

Trick Golf Balls
This is the one that is mentioned the most often and has four variations. It is relatively simple to pull off but does require help from an accomplice because someone has to distract the person while the switch is made.

The first is of course the exploding ball that simply explodes in a cloud of white powder. Some variations include:

  • The exploding ball that turns into water vapor on impact.
  • The exploding ball that emits a stream of ribbon on impact.

They can be purchased locally at a gag gift shop or from multiple vendors online.

Off Center Golf Ball
This is similar to the exploding ball, but is best used on the putting green where it veers sharply off line on the way to the hole.

You can also get slightly off-center balls that are a little more subtle just by buying really cheap Titleist Pro V’s on the internet.

The Port-O-John Trick
This is simple and effective. When your buddy goes in the Port-O-John, just back the cart up to the door so he can’t get out. Whatever you do, don’t get carried away and push it over.

The Marshmallow Trick
This one is simple and easy, and can screw with people playing behind you. Pick up a bag of marshmallows on the way to the course and just scatter them around in landing area. You have to get really close to tell the difference.

Flat Tees
This one requires a little work, but it’s fun and some guys will give a lot of effort to prank their friends. The key to this one is to buy some regular tees and sand them flat on top. Spray a little paint on the sanded area and you are good to go.

When you get to the course just swap out the tees in your buddies bag for the flat ones and see how long it takes him to figure it out.

Winning Lottery Tickets
There are two ways to approach this one. Simply drop one on the course and imagine the guys behind you finding it or you can work with a partner in the group ahead to “drop it” so you can witness your buddy’s excitement when they find it. You can buy these easily online.

Splash in the Water
I love this one, but you have to be patient. Wait until your buddy hits one at the edge of a hazard so that he has to stand close to the water. Just as he is getting ready to swing, throw something in that will make a loud splash. This really works well in Florida.

Break a Club
Find an old club and put it into your bag. At some point during the round ask your buddy if you can borrow one of his clubs. Slip the junk club out of your bag and then hit a really bad shot and then get really angry and break the club. I guarantee their expression will be priceless.

Questionable Yet Fair

Those pranks above are the safe ones. These below will test patience and friendships:

  • Dropping the flagstick or a club when your buddy is putting
  • Slipping some rocks in their golf bag if they are walking
  • Having a buddy in front of you leave a ball in the cup on a blind approach shot so they think they holed out
  • Tilting the flag so the cup liner comes up as you pull the flag and prevents the ball from going in

I hope you find something here that will give you some pleasure and inject a little fun into your next round of golf. Sometimes all you need is a good prank to help you remember not to take this game too seriously.