Chances are you know Brian Baumgartner from his legendary character in The Office – the hilarious, boisterous Kevin.
But did you know that Baumgartner is an intrepid golfer? Just last week, he played at the American Century Classic in Tahoe one more time and with a few rounds in the ’80s he was able to beat Travis Kelce, Seth Curry and a host of famous athletes other.
This week, I was able to chat with Baumgartner about his love of golf, playing a round with Michael Jordan, and what he drinks on the course.
Join this fun conversation about the awesome and furious game of golf.
I got to know (owners of StrackaLine) Jim and Chase Stracka, both of whom are members of the same club that I belong to. I’ve never used the green book and I don’t think I knew what it was before meeting those guys. The work they do and the technology they use to read the green has really helped my game when I’ve spent time using it.
Anyone can look at the green and see if it goes left or right but sometimes you’re playing somewhere and there’s a green going right but there could be something – like a hills or a lake – will make you more outspoken than it looks. For me, it’s confidence that what my eyes see is correct and some other factor like hills or in Tahoe, it’s a lake, it reminds you of that correction. The advantage you get from that book is huge. You still have to make the putt, let’s be clear, but at least that doubt is eliminated.
The easy answer is… I already have it – I was in a quartet at Michael Jordan’s charity tournament a year with MJ, Aaron Rodgers and Dwight Freeney. I can’t imagine I’d have more fun on the golf course than playing with those guys and we had to play a quartet a few days in a row.
He was very cheerful and very polite. I remember watching couples a year and I saw the first time I was going to be in a quartet with him and I was terrified. I was too worried. I had only known him a little before, but I was terrified. I hit it in a beachside bunker in a round-head hole and I’ll never forget it – it was a really tall bunker, about 7 or 8 feet tall and I couldn’t see it. Occasionally MJ will stand near you – especially on the tee box, where he will prop his feet on the tee maker to signal his presence. Well, he was in my sights while I was in the bunker and I hit my shot and my club went right under the ball on a swing and the ball flew an inch and fell back to where it was. in. Out of worry, I looked up at MJ and he smiled softly and said, “It’s okay, Brian. We were all there. ” And from then on i was completely relaxed.
I played Pine Valley when I was a lot worse than I am now. We played in the afternoon and the next morning and it rained the whole time and I couldn’t appreciate that playground. It rained too hard and I didn’t play in the rain and I’m not as good as I am now. I would love to go back now and play it on a sunny day and experience it again. I feel like that opportunity was wasted on me.
I also played Old Head in south west Ireland and it was incredible. The construction of that course on the peninsula is incredible. It’s a really special and beautiful piece of land to just go for a walk but to hit the bluffs and hit the straight line and the lawn is amazing.
For me the greatest gift golf has given me is that I am a huge fan of the sport and I have been able to play with the athletes I grew up loving or like now. I grew up in Atlanta and was able to play with former Braves pitchers Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux. It was all a thrill. Aaron Rodgers has also become a friend through golf.
I can humbly say me because I was the only one playing. Steve Carell and I have played a few times – he’s moved and is close to a course and wants to get in more and we’ll play some. He played hockey and he had a good swing but he didn’t really play that much.
We had a golf practice session and Ed Helms was golfing and hitting me about which clubs to take and what not to take but I don’t think he was really into it.
Infusion. I’ll be honest – I don’t drink vodka anywhere else and I don’t really drink beer so I don’t really drink it on the golf course. I also like a cranberry vodka.
In general, yes. But I’ll be honest – I don’t usually hit the ball before the round so it’s really overrated sometimes. At least one. I will stretch but I usually don’t make it in time to hit the ball but if I do it’s usually like 10 balls.
One at the Angeles National in Los Angeles, it’s a design by Jack Nicklaus. And it is a good one. I guess it was about 185 yards but I had the wind on me and I used the hybrid and I will proudly say I hit a good hit when I landed on a slope and then I saw it roll down a hole. .
I’ve been coming so close to Tahoe for a year and it’s probably my proudest sporting achievement since it made the SportsCenters’ Top 10. NBC Sports said that if the pin wasn’t in it, it would have gone right in. I got there and it was like an inch from the hole.
It ranges from 7 to 8.5.