We have a big golf outing this weekend, and I thought I'd explore some interesting ways to mess with your golf partners and opponents. I'm not talking about obvious things like coughing in the middle of a backswing, or dropping your club on the green as your opponent is about to putt or yelling "miss it" or throwing things. I'm talking about subtler stuff (some are obviously more subtle than others). This can be done in the name of gambling or simply for the sake of annoyance. They don't always have their intended effect, but they're fun anyway (sorry for the use of the masculine pronoun "he," but it takes too much effort to type "he or she" and "they" just doesn't sound grammatically correct):
- Come up with an arcane and complicated scoring system. This will throw any player off, as he is thinking about what each shot means to his overall score.
- Concede putts early, not late. When the round is just getting started, give him the three footers. When you're on the back nine, make him putt them out. Either that, or just randomly decide which putts to concede, so when he approaches the putt, he'll never know whether or not you plan to say, "that's good."
- Talk about how great his swing looks, and how he must have been taking lessons. This will lull him into feeling that he's good when in fact he sucks. Also, talk about how great he looked on the range and how everything he hit on the range was dead straight. "Hmm, I wonder why you're not hitting 'em like that now."
- Fart loudly at inopportune moments. On the tee as he's about to hit. When he's standing over a putt. This is not always under your control, but it's useful. "Did somebody step on a duck?"
- Stand in his field of view for all shots and make small quick movements. Stand right behind the hole while he's putting.
- Park the golf cart uncomfortably close to his ball. When he asks you to move the cart, back it up and relocate it to a spot directly behind him.
- Be a stickler for rules. Threaten to dole out penalty shots for violations, even though you have no intention of doing so - "Dude, you grounded your club in the sand trap. You know that's against the rules, right? Next time I'll have to penalize you." His next bunker shot is guaranteed to be a clunker.
- Talk about how fast (or slow) the greens are today, right as he lines up a putt. "Man, did you see what happened on Steve's putt? The greens sure are quick today."
- Mention the water hazard in front of him. "Dude, don't even think about the water. It's not even in play. Just put it on the green."
- Copious amounts of alcohol are always helpful...
- "Cut the hamstring on the back of his right leg, right at the bottom. He'll never play golf again - because his weight displacement goes back, and all his weight is on his right foot, and he'll push everything off to the right. He'll never come through on anything. He'll quit the game."
Okay, so the last one isn't so much of a "mind game," but it would work. Add your suggestions in the comments...