The Loop

Golf Digest Podcast: Jerome Bettis on surviving Oakmont, playing with Tiger Woods, and being challenged by Michael Jordan

May 12, 2016

For 13 years, Jerome Bettis made a living punishing opposing defenses as a running back in the NFL. But as an avid golfer in his post-football career, he relies more on finesse. "I take a different approach," said Bettis, who works for NBC as an analyst. "I've got some power, but I use it as needed."

The NFL Hall-of-Famer's strategy has led him to lower his handicap into the single digits. And he can thank a former Pittsburgh Steelers teammate, Kordell Stewart, for getting him hooked on the game. Not that Stewart didn't have an ulterior motive.

"He would take my money every time, so it forced me to become a better golfer," said Bettis, who will appear at several PGA Tour events this year as a sponsor of Stryker Orthopaedics. "I was paying for the golf lessons!"

And it was some motivation from Michael Jordan that helped take Bettis to the next level as a golfer. The Bus stopped by to discuss that, as well as how he got his nickname, what it's like to play with Tiger Woods and his take on Oakmont Country Club, the site of next month's U.S. Open. Have a listen: