Series: Paul Parrott

Director: James D. Davis
Producer: Hal Roach

Stars: James Parrott, Jobyna Ralston, Wallace Howe
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 29 October 1922
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: C-59
Filming dates: July 11-17, 1922;
retakes July 24 & August 1, 1922

Rating: 3/10

The Golf Bug

Available on DVD:

We open on a title card: News Item ~ Thousands were bitten by the Golf Bug last year ~ Many went "cuckoo" from other causes. We see a cartoonish miniature statue, the base of which reads "The Golf Bug," depicting a mustached man leaning over a ball with his golf club, which crossfades to a similarly-stanced older man (WALLACE HOWE) who swings. His daughter (JOBYNA RALSTON) tees off, warning her father but he is occupied with his own ball. Nonetheless, she swings and the ball hits her father in the back, to which he throws her ball in retaliation. We then meet "the padded-cell variety": a straitjacketed GEORGE ROWE. He makes up for his lack of free arm movement by kicking his golf ball, with different golf club heads on a rotating belt connected to the bottom of his shoe. This interlude is followed by a quartet of "Beginners" (ROY BROOKS, SAMMY BROOKS, MARVIN LOBACK, and AL FORBES) taking their turns on the green. They make their way onto a driving green, to the chagrin of a fairly large group of golfers standing at the edge, and the foursome are summarily pelted with multiple balls.
Enter "The Professional" (EDDIE BAKER), who performs a trick for a crowd including the girl (whom he briefly flirts with), her father and the four golfers. Enter Paul (JAMES PARROTT), clad in top hat and tails, who talks with the girl as he removes his hat, into which the Professional flicks his cigarette. Paul places his hat back on and the inevitable happens, and he dumps a pail of water from the ball-washing station into it. He and the Professional argue and Paul places the hat back on, dousing himself to the amusement of the crowd. The Professional sets up as Paul brags to the girl of his own alleged skills. Paul issues a challenge and tees off, only to completely miss and twirl, his top hat flying off and the crowd laughing all the way. Paul storms off to collect his hat, and the Professional smacks multiple golf balls at Paul's rear end, including one hit off the nose of a supine caddy.
Back at his house, Paul practices on an ersatz course with netting around it, two butlers and a maid tensely standing to the side. One of the butlers (MARK JONES, with a false elongated nose) serves as caddy while Paul attempts an "expert" shot by setting the ball onto a statue and swinging, completely busting the figure. Frustrated, Paul hatches an idea to recreate the Professional's "off the nose" trick with his butler/caddy. After a false start where the understandably recalcitrant servant sits up, Paul performs the trick, but ends up warping and denting the servant's nose, which Paul presses back into shape. Paul's father (CHARLES STEVENSON) walks through a door and behind a sheet which Paul is swinging a line of balls at. After meeting contact with several errant balls, the father attempts to enter twice more from two of the windows, but each time he gets clobbered. Paul begins randomly swinging at a scrambled mess of balls on the floor, scaring off his three servants and nailing his old man even more. Eventually, the father re-enters in a suit of armor, taking still more abuse via several club swings to the stomach, and briefly gives chase but Paul's mother intervenes.
At The Championship Game, The Professional lands a good shot. Now it's Paul's turn; he swings and hits the ball, which disappears somewhere into the yonder. While the crowd searches, Paul briefly attempts to engage the aid of a dog with no success. Paul finally finds the ball, but they are separated by a river. After some futile efforts to reach over, Paul actually lengthens his golf club to reach over and yells fore; naturally, he misses and twirls right into the drink. After several more futile attempts to hit the ball, Paul angrily throws down his club and tosses the ball himself.
Meanwhile, the Professional calls over one of the other golfers (LOBACK) and hands him a hollow ball and a frog. The golfer puts the frog into the hollow ball and replaces Paul's ball on the green with it before everyone walks over. After the Professional effortlessly putts his ball into the hole, Paul steps up for his turn, but every time he swings, the rigged ball bounces away and over his club, at one point even hitting Paul in the chest. Paul makes more attempts to smack and hit the jumping ball, but it evades every smack and Paul winds up whacking his foot after he attempts to stand on the ball. Eventually, the errant ball travels up Paul's club and onto Paul himself, ending up on Paul's head; Paul readies his club, and the expected happens. After the ball bounces back to its original spot, Paul grabs another club and finally, he successfully putts the ball, which absurdly twirls around and into the hole, giving Paul the win.
Cut to the sudden appearance of a Cupid figure, back to the camera, with a golf ball in his hand which he mushes into the shape of a heart. Cupid turns around and... well, I don't feel I should ruin the surprise, but he puts the heart on a bow as Paul flirts with Jobyna, and they lean in to embrace -- however, right before they make contact, and without seeing what Cupid does with his arrow, the film (or at least the extant print) cuts to the "THE END/PATHEGRAMS" card.

Copyrighted November 11, 1922.
Re-issued June 13, 1926.
According to a title card, Jobyna Ralston cleared the course in 308 strokes.  However, an 18-hole course should be cleared in a maximum of 204 strokes.  Each player is permitted to take a '12' per hole.
You have to admit, that was still quite a shot from George Rowe to kick the golf ball into the hole despite wearing the contraption on his foot.
After the golfers conclude their play and wave the players behind them to play, about 100 balls come flying onto the green.  That's all well and good, but how on earth are they going to identify whose ball is whose?

James Parrott
Jobyna Ralston
Wallace Howe
George Rowe
Golfer in straightjacket
Marvin Loback
Al Forbes
Roy Brooks
Sammy Brooks
Eddie Baker
The Professional golfer
Mark Jones
Charles Stevenson
Paul's father
Mickey Daniels
Paul's mother

INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

Jesse Brisson (plot summary; identification of Al Forbes, Mark Jones, Charles Stevenson)

This page was last updated on: 29 October 2023