In a famous episode of the hit NBC sitcom The Office, Jim, Kevin and Andy take out prospective client, Phil Maguire, for a round of golf to woo him into giving his business to Dunder Mifflin. That’s when normally aloof Kevin seems quite knowledgeable on the different golf money games.
After Maguire poses a wager of $10 a hole, Kevin aggressively counters back.
“What are we talkin’? Skins? Acey deucy? Bingo Bango Bongo? Sandies? Barkies? Arnies? Wolf? What?” Kevin says in The Office season 4 episode “Job Fair.”
There’s a good reason for Kevin, played by Brian Baumgartner, knows all these games: he’s played them, and plays them quite often.
As the actor told GOLF’s Subpar co-hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz on this week’s episode, when presented this choice of hitting balls or playing nine holes, Baumgartner chooses the latter, and there are usually stakes.
“Golf is not worth playing if you don’t have money on the line,” he said on the podcast. “If I’m playing there is a wager of some kind. And if for some reason there’s not, I’m not interested.”
Baumgartner explained that there doesn’t need to be “big money” on the line, but there needs to be something at stake or it’s hard for him to really focus. Baumgartner says it’s partly because he has trouble focusing on practice.
He said he needs consequences in order to perform his best.
“If there’s nothing on the line and I hit a shot, then it just becomes that mental. Like, well, I wasn’t really that— that doesn’t count. Like there’s no consequence to it. So you drop another ball and hit another one and you’re not really focused,” Baumgartner, who plays to an 11 handicap, said. “Let me just try that shot again thing that doesn’t work for me.”
And while Baumgartner didn’t want to be cliche by reciting the quote from the Office episode, he did admit his games do typically take the form of Wolf, Hammer or Nassau. Although it’s more often a front/back/overall Nassau.
And that shouldn’t be surprising, as his character, Kevin Malone, cleaned up in “Job Fair,” taking $120 from Jim and $230 from prospective client Phil! Luckily, that didn’t stop Jim from getting Phil’s business.
For more from Baumgartner, including his favorite moments from playing in the American Century Championship and how The Office changed his life, listen to the full episode below.