How to Play Golf

A Goofy Cartoon

Release Date : March 10, 1944

Running Time : 7:40


An analysis of the game of golf, the Goofy way.


Stick Figure Goofy
Bull (unnamed)


Jack Kinney


United States
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 4 : Sport Goofy
Goofys Lustige Sportschau
Goofys Lustige Sportschau
Donald et Dingo allias Goofy Champions Olympiques
Video Parade 8
Pippo Olimpionico


United States
Cartoon Classics - Sport Goofy


Cartoon Classics : Sport Goofy


Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Wave 2 : The Complete Goofy


The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 35: More Sport Goofy
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 53

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.


From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : I don’t play golf, so I want to state that right away. I’ve tried to learn, but frankly between trips to Disney and children, there’s just never time. However, if I were to try and learn, I would not take tips from Goofy, because How To Play Golf does just like all the other “How To” shorts, and shows the exact opposite of what one should do.

This one is not like some of our other recent shorts, where we have been shown the history of the subject leading up to the present day. Here, the approach is much more like the early efforts in this series, where the Goof is thrown right in and we see the narrator outlining the proper way to do things while Goofy ignores him.

There’s an added twist this time, as after a brief intro, we transition into a blue background where we get a stick figure drawn to demonstrate the proper form for a golf swing. The stick figure is compared to Goofy, with obvious differences. The fun comes when the stick figure golfer climbs out of the “demonstration world” and enters the real world to assist Goofy.

It’s a fabulous little trick, because now, in addition to the narrator’s dissonance to Goofy’s actions, we get to see the “proper” golfer’s dismay at the Goof’s attempts. Goofy obviously can’t play golf, so watching him swing away at the ball and miss or tie himself into knots is funny enough. Add on top of that the obvious disappointment of the stick figure and you have some comedy gold.

The big joke in the latter half of the short, though, is the constant refrain of the narrator to “play the ball where it lies.” You can imagine where that leads. All sorts of different locations for the ball leads to some uncomfortable positions for Goofy. There’s the obvious sand trap, but there’s also a turnstile and the top of a bull where the ball lands.

The last one is the best, as the minute Goofy hits the ball, the bull gets riled up and starts chasing both the stick figure and Goofy. It’s a frantic sequence where the ball keeps landing out in front of Goofy, who keeps hitting it to stay in front of the bull, with the stick figure hot on his heels. Eventually, though, they all end up in the clubhouse bar together, like any good golfers. It’s that touch of fun and frantic energy that makes this short so light hearted and fun.

From Ryan : "Contrary to popular belief, golf is not a waste of time" says the narrator at the beginning of this short. I, myself, am not a golf fan, but I would still agree that it isn't a waste of time for golf fans. My favorite part was where Goofy is being chased by the bull after putting his golf ball on the bull's snout. He, the bull, and the outline golf figure are all shown drinking at the end in the lodge. One of my favorite Goofy cartoons, even though I am not at all a golf fan.
From Ashley : Ah yes... I remember this one very well. I'm an avid fan of Goofy and the sports cartoons were always some of my most favorite pieces. My personal favorite scenes were the constant reminders from the golf outline figure of "Always play the ball where it lies!" Well... that, and of course the chase scenes with the bull. It was (and still is - there is no law saying that you can't watch good cartoons after you are grown, after all) a riot watching both Goofy and the golf outline make a desperate attempt to stay at least two strides ahead of the bull while still managing to play through to the final hole.

Now if they'd just bring this back onto television ...

From Baruch Weiss : I love this cartoon, but there's one thing that bothers me. There was a scene where the Goof is in a sandtrap and must follow the rule to play the ball where it lies. Then he starts to loose his temper, tear out his hair (literally speaking) and break the golf clubs. It's just out of character for him; that's something that maybe Donald Duck or Katie Ka-Boom would do. I'd bet my grandparents would like this short because they play golf as well. Another thing I noticed that this was the third and finale short (for Disney at least) that has golf as a subject, the first two were the 1938 cartoon Donald's Golf Game then the 1941 cartoon Canine Caddy.
From Christian : A very entertaining short. I really enjoy seeing the bull baa instead of moo. Bull: Mooo! Mooo! Baaaa! Baah? (clears throat) Mooo!

That will always be one of Walt's best gags for me.

From Mike : A very entertaining Goofy short. For me the funniest part is at the end when Goofy, the Bull, & the stick figure are all in the clubhouse drinking and singing. Just hilarious.