Berkshire County loves to golf. In fact, the sport isn't just popular in our corner of the state, the Boston Business Journal says there are 367 golf courses in the Commonwealth, and the sport is an $80 billion-plus industry nationally. Massachusetts’ share of that is an estimated $2.8 billion, according to the latest data available.

I try and get out there and play with friends as much a possible and every once in a while things can get a little rowdy. Nothing too crazy of course, but we certainly love to mess with each other. One round earlier this year a friend played a prank on me which gave us all a good laugh, until today when I learned that what they brought to the course was actually illegal. Any guesses?

If you guessed an exploding golf ball, you'd be correct. The nostalgically hilarious, yet embarrassingly juvenile prank golf ball is illegal in the state of Massachusetts.

According to the Massachusetts Legislature, General Laws, Part 1, Title 20, Chapter 148, Section 55: Whoever manufactures or sells or knowingly uses, or has in possession for the purpose of sale, any golf ball containing any acid, fluid, gas or other substance tending to cause the ball to explode and to inflict bodily injury shall for the first offense be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, and for any subsequent offense by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

So why is this a law? It's hard to say what exactly prompted this legislation but through a little research (aka googling, 'why are exploding golf balls illegal in Massachusetts') I basically found that back in the day golf balls were manufactured with a caustic liquid at the center. This led to the unforeseen injury of a boy named William who, while “dissecting” a golf ball, ruptured the rubber fluid sack at the center. Some of the liquid got in his eye and caused permanent damage to his sight. Even though modern-day golf balls are made with a solid core, the law, which most assume stem from the danger of the old style of balls, is still in play (see what I did there?)

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