Jordan has earned a strong reputation in a number of sports but few will realise that one of the Kingdom’s best child athletes is excelling in the sport of golf!
With just one ‘brown’ golf course in Jordan, the sport is played primarily by expatriates and a handful of enthusiastic locals. It is hardly top of the list when it comes to golfing destinations.
But an announcement was made recently by the Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) that shook the local sports scene and could change the game’s long term future.
And it revolves around a young Jordanian called Shergo Al Kurdi who is already ranked among the best young players in Europe.
Despite being just 12, Shergo, who was raised and lives near London, has already won 93 tournaments in five years and his achievements have been recognised by the JOC who have placed him on their Olympic programme through to Tokyo 2020.
Shergo first went to the golf course with his father not long after he could walk and he immediately fell in love with the game.
“By the time I was five I felt so close to golf,” Shergo told www.joc.jo. “I felt something attracted me to play it and my father spotted my talent, especially when he saw me put the ball in the hole for the first time!”
At the age of nine he won the British U10 Championship and then repeated the achievement for U12. He was also second at the World Golf Championships for U12.
He will feature on Sky Sports’ Game Changers about young up and comers and is already playing off a sub-six handicap.
“My ambition is to play professional golf and one day to lead the world rankings,” said the youngster, who has a target to be playing off three by the end of the year. “I would love to play tournaments like the British Open with the best players in the world. I also have a dream of representing Jordan at the Olympic Games.
“But golf is a game you have to work hard at and to listen to the advice and coaching from the best. I know that I have to keep working hard at my game in order to keep improving as it is very competitive, even at my age.”
Shergo’s father Musa has been with his boy every step and shot of the way.
“I used to take him with me to the golf club and it didn’t take long before I could leave him alone hitting 50 balls or more,” he said.
“I have a strong feeling he will make it and I really hope he does. His swing is perfect. It has no faults. He met Rory McIlroy when he was nine and Rory said to him: ‘When I was your age, I didn’t swing the club this well.’ He already hits the ball almost 245 yards.”
On their visit to the JOC, Musa said he was impressed by the vision shown by HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, JOC President, in investing long term in talent.
There is no secret that sport in Jordan is in need of young heroes, it may just be that one is coming from an unlikely source.