Golf. If there is a more quintessential Suburban Upper Middle Class Dude game, I don’t know what it is. Golf is a game that relies on space, spare time, and money. It is the sport most frequently made into comics—print comics in particular seem extremely fond of golf jokes. Though there is actually a Wikipedia page on “Golf animation.” Mark Twain supposedly once referred to golf as a good walk spoiled, though the quote cannot be attributed to him, but it does seem unsurprising that not only would Donald play golf, he’d get his nephews to caddy for him whether they wanted to or not.
Donald wants perfect silence while he swings. He yells at a bird. His nephews blow their . . . beaks? Anyway. Donald pins their beaks shut with clothespins; the nephews sneeze and shoot off the clothespins. He gets so angry he breaks a club, and the nephews proceed to give him a wide array of trick clubs from a box they conveniently have standing nearby. They make a trick ball with a grasshopper in it, and all sorts of further shenanigans eventuate.
I have absolutely no doubt that the nephews were conscripts, not volunteers. No one with a lick of sense would volunteer. Caddying for Donald would be a tedious, thankless task. One summer, I visited my grandparents in Arizona for a few weeks, and I caddied for my grandfather for the opportunity to spend time with him, but there’s no reason the nephews would have the slightest interest in spending time with Donald. Grandpa and I would walk together from where he hit the ball to where it landed and chat pleasantly—the course was all but deserted except for us, so we weren’t disturbing anyone else—but can you imagine chatting pleasantly with Donald? You cannot.
Which is of course probably why the nephews have the trick clubs. They know that, sooner or later, it’s all going to go sideways. Whether it’s their fault or not, Donald’s going to lose it, and they’re going to be faced with dealing with it. Best be ready for some quiet revenge now, before they need it. Donald won’t learn anything from the experience regardless, but at the very least they’ll be set for the inevitable. It later turns out that they’d probably be better off just playing themselves; it seems clear that they’re better golfers than Donald, though one suspects this is not difficult.
This is another one of those shorts that shows a character following the “play it where it lies” rule with fanatical devotion. Goofy would, in years to come, learn how to play golf, and the same concept would get him in trouble, too. Now, I happen to know that you can just have an agreement that, if the ball is in some way unplayable—like under the water, for example—you just take a penalty of some sort and play a different ball. But that’s not as funny.