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7 Best Golf Pranks of All Time

Golf pranks are fun—especially if you’re the one playing the prank or watching it unfold. Those who are being pranked may have a differing opinion.

Today we highlight a few of the favorite pranks in golf and tell you how to pull them off. While you may not need the steely nerves and artistry of a jewel thief to orchestrate a golfer prank, a certain degree of finesse is required to pull these off effectively.

On the other hand, if you’re even contemplating some of these pranks, chances are you’re not expecting everyone in your group to be totally attuned to what’s going on.

1. Exploding Golf Ball Prank

Everyone gets a kick out of the exploding ball prank. The best known of all golfer pranks, it’s so popular you can find numerous brands of exploding golf balls online, in novelty/gag stores, and even in some golf shops.

When smacked at impact on a tee shot, these balls burst into a cloud of smoky white powder. Pulling off the prank like a pro is tough, however, because while the balls may look authentic, they don’t have the same feel as a real golf ball.

This means you’ll need to be the one who puts the exploding golf ball on the tee. The best way to accomplish this is to wait until your playing partner is all set to hit with their tee ball and then distract them.

While they are looking elsewhere, quickly substitute the exploring golf ball. Once that’s done, if your friend is the sort who can be chided into muscling up to hit a powerful drive as they address the ball, all the better.

The rest is hilarity, as your unsuspecting “victim” will wonder what happened at contact.

2. The Golf Hazard Scare Prank

Do your golf buddies pride themselves on playing it as it lies? When a ball comes to rest near the edge of a water hazard and your playing partner decides to play it—possibly even taking off shoes and socks to execute the shot—you’ve got an opportunity to pull a classic golfer prank on them.

Be sure you are out of their line of vision and pick up a rock, or several substantial stones, or even a few golf balls you don’t mind losing. As they assume their stance or start their back swing, throw whatever you have into the hazard.

They’ll immediately think some creature is moving out of the water toward them. The golf hazard scare prank can also work in woods, thick vegetation, or desert areas populated by wild critters like snakes.

Your friend’s reaction to the noise will indicate just how focused they are on playing their shot.

3. Golf Tee Prank

Tee'd up golf ball with a sign that says Tee 6 Par 4

Is there someone in your group who frequently asks to borrow a tee when they step up to the tee box? That person is the perfect target for the golf tee prank.

Joke shops and even some golf shops typically sell all sorts of novelty golf tees. Many of these have titillating features “to make you keep your head down.” For the golf tee prank you’ll need another type of joke tee—one that looks just like a standard wooden or plastic tee but has a completely flat (or an imperceptibly convex) surface.

When your playing partner asks for a tee, throw them one of the flat tees. Because the top surface of the tee is slick and level, a golf ball won’t stay up on it.

After a few futile tries to get the ball propped up, frustration will build. You may then be asked for another tee. If your entire group is in on the prank, have someone toss them another flat-top tee.

4. Golf Snake Prank

One of the most famous golfer pranks of all time—the golf snake prank—occurred on the 1st tee of the 18-hole playoff between Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino to decide the 1971 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.

Trevino pulled out a three-foot-long rubber snack from his golf bag and held it up briefly before tossing it to Nicklaus. Jack played along in good humor, but he wound up losing the playoff that day.

If you’ve got a rubber snake and want to scare your playing partner, all you have to do is drop it behind them when they are ready to hit a shot and then tell them to turn around. You can also position the snake on their golf bag or in the golf cart.

You can take the golf snake prank to the next level if you have six or eight feet of fishing line. Tie one end of the line tightly near the head of the snake and tie the other end of the line to a carabiner-style clip.

When your partner is just standing around, preferably with a club in hand, slyly clip the carabiner to one of the belt-loops on their shorts or pants. You might even bump them accidentally so they are less apt to notice what you’re doing.

Then quickly cross in front of them, look back, and in a panic, say , “Oh, no, look out, what’s that?” They’ll glance back and start moving fast when they see the snake. Instead of getting away from it, though, they’ll be dragging it with them.

If they’re in such fright they start swatting at the snake, you’ve pulled off the golf snake prank to perfection.

5. Golf Cart Prank

The golf cart prank is another easy one. If you want to prank someone in your group who is in a different cart, just inconspicuously switch their cart to the off position, remove the key, and tuck it far back in the cart’s shelf compartment. Then drive off in your cart. If they don’t figure the golf cart prank out and find the key, you can have more fun by going back and asking them what’s wrong.

6. The Unstrapped Golf Bag Prank

One of the most effective golf pranks and the easiest to pull off is the unstrapped golf bag prank. It’s often employed as a tone-setter for the round. When you’ve identified who you want to prank, just pull back the strap that secures their golf bag in the golf cart. As they drive away, the weight of the bag will sooner or later (but most often sooner) send the bag tumbling out of the cart.

The unstrapped golf bag prank works especially well on someone who is psyched to get going toward the 1st tee or someone who is fastidious about everything in their cart. Another good time to pull off this prank is anytime someone is irking you or when your friend is a little too proud of a good shot and too eager to hit the next one. While you’ll have to assume the risk of damaging any of your friend’s clubs, another beauty of the unstrapped golf bag prank is that you can try it as often as you like during the round.

7. Prank Golf Balls

Exploding golf balls aren’t the only prank golf balls. Some prank golf balls shoot out a streamer. Others jump, gyrate, and wobble. The so-called “unputtable ball” is weighted so when putted it rolls haphazardly. Because such prank golf balls look and feel different from standard balls, you may be better off just gifting an inept putter a sleeve of these novelties. If you really want to try a prank golf ball ploy, target someone brand new to the game, or someone who is past focusing very well at that stage of the round (i.e., drinks have caught up with them). An imbalanced golf ball prank may actually be a winner, though, with a child who is accompanying you and growing impatient. Hopefully he or she will find the prank golf ball’s peculiar roll so fascinating it will help both of you get through the rest of the round.

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