“Golf Opened Doors for Me”
Featured in Aqaba Seasons/Summer 2022
Welcome to another installation in our four-part summer series featuring Aqaba’s eco-friendly and wellness trailblazers! This month, we dip into the life of Walid Abu Elsamid, Jordan’s first fully qualified golf professional.
Abu Elsamid was part of the team that created the Jordan Mixed Open in Aqaba, the world’s first tournament allowing women and men to play golf together for the same prize. He also organised and oversaw tournament preparations for the 2017 Pan Arab Championships, the MENA Tour and the annual Jordan Open.
The golfer is passionate about mentoring youth in the sport his father taught him. “These children are not only learning golf, but are also gaining knowledge and experience in a wide array of skills,” he elaborates.
How did it all start?
As a child Abu Elsamid recalls how shy he used to be; his father would play golf with him in their garden, “He would always watch golf on television and teach me the game.”
Golf, he believes, helped improve his confidence and communication skills. “It allowed me to meet interesting and important people I would have never met otherwise – golf opened doors for me,” he adds.
The Jordanian Golf Federation took notice of Abu Elsamid’s commitment to the sport and sponsored him to travel to tournaments worldwide to represent Jordan. He credits his parents for giving him the push he needed to keep learning and growing.
In 2018, Abu Elsamid took on the challenging three-year PGA programme in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, and became the first Jordanian golf professional and coach. He is now committed to creating an exciting new golf culture in Jordan.
Benefits of playing golf
The passionate golfer revels in the benefits of golf, including stress relief: “When I play golf, I put my phone away and forget about my worries. I am in the quiet of nature; it’s so peaceful.”
According to Abu Elsamid, golf also teaches accuracy, focus and concentration and encourages creative thinking, such as the foresight to visualise where and how far a shot will go.
Supporting Jordan’s youth
Abu Elsamid is passionate about mentoring youth in the sport his father taught him. “These children are not only learning golf but are also gaining knowledge and experience in a wide array of skills,” he elaborates.
Gold is a sport, which, like life, has its unexpected challenges, Abu Elsamid adds, so it has the potential to build strengths beyond the technical skills to play the game. As he coaches, he hopes to help Jordan’s youth develop character, resilience, self-confidence and inner strength.