Q&A with Jerome Bettis
What kind of golfer are you?
I'm an average golfer at best.
What's your handicap?
Actually I don't have one. I just joined Hawk's Ridge in Atlanta and I'm in the process of getting one but I don't have one yet.
What's your low round?
82 ... at Augusta National.
How many times have you played Augusta?
Once. I played it in May. A friend of a friend invited me. It was amazing.
What did you do through Amen Corner?
Bogey on 11, double bogey on 12 and birdie on 13.
Did you reach the par-5 13th in two?
I did, and I missed the six-foot eagle putt.
Before you tee off, do you have a goal for your round?
When I go out to play I want to break 90. Usually I'm right around 85.
How long have you been playing?
When I was growing up, my barber back in high school was an avid golfer, and he introduced me to the game. I guess he was a pro in the '70s. I always wondered why his shop would close every day at two o'clock in the afternoon. He would get there at six in the morning. He would cut from six until two and then he was gone. He was off to play golf. He took me out one day when I was 18 and I was like, yuck, I didn't like it. Years later, when I came to Pittsburgh, there were some guys in the locker room who were playing golf and I gave it a try and the rest is history. I caught the bug and that was it.
What's the strength of your game?
The strength of my game had been putting. But I recently got my driver figured out, so my driver has been my biggest strength lately. I would always be a pretty decent putter, but my drives would put me in trouble. As of late, I've been pretty solid and consistent with my driver.
What's in your bag?
I have the Nike driver. Not the square head, it's the tour driver--eight and a half degrees. The irons are Nike forged, and I have a Scotty Cameron Circle T putter.
What's the craziest etiquette rule of golf?
I'm trying to think of some of the quirky rules. The whole notion of being quiet--are you serious?
What's your bucket list of the top three courses you can't wait to play?
Bandon Dunes, Cypress and Pine Valley.
Not a bad list. Have you played with Ben Roethlisberger?
Yes I have. He's a real good golfer.
If you're starting a football team, do you pick Roethlisberger or Terry Bradshaw in his prime?
If I'm starting a team I go with Ben because of his ability to move in traffic. He's one of the best passers out of the pocket. He's a quarterback who can make plays with his feet. If you're starting a new franchise, the offensive line won't be that good so I'll start with Ben.
The Steelers are for sale. Any interest in buying the team?
[Laughs.] No, my pockets aren't that deep.
Tell me about the Pittsburgh airport?
It's pretty neat because they have a mall in the airport. The only downside is that U.S. Air pulled out of Pittsburgh. It used to be a hub for U.S. Air, so now it's a little bit like a ghost town there.
What's your favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh?
Jerome Bettis Grille 36!
What should I order if I go to your restaurant?
Order the fried hoagie and the carrot cake for dessert. It's one slice, but it feeds four.
Have you ever eaten one by yourself?
I almost finished one.
How many hoagies can you eat in one sitting?
One and a half.
When you come to New York City for your Sunday broadcast of "Football in America," where do you like to stay?
I usually stay at the London Hotel or the W in Times Square.
Do you have a favorite restaurant?