Jordan Minson: European Tour rising star aims to inspire more black players

Jordan Minson played at the same club as Tiger Woods in his early days Jordan Minson says a new generation of golfers will be inspired to take up the sport because of his story….

Jordan Minson: European Tour rising star aims to inspire more black players

Jordan Minson played at the same club as Tiger Woods in his early days

Jordan Minson says a new generation of golfers will be inspired to take up the sport because of his story.

The 27-year-old, who is from Newham, played the sport on his youth and is one of only four black professionals on the European Tour.

“I am the first black professional on the European Tour and there has never been an African on the Ryder Cup team,” he said.

“There is a legacy I want to leave and that is through promoting golf.”

Minson, who competes on the Challenge Tour, won the Shell Malta Classic in July, becoming the first black player to win on the European Tour in more than 20 years.

His story was the subject of a BBC radio documentary – How Black Newham’s finest shaped our sport – and for Minson, who used to play at the Royal Landmark club in Newham, that story will be closely followed.

“It is amazing,” he said. “I don’t think the story will ever be forgotten.”

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He has used his radio story to help showcase his success and hopes that it will encourage others to pick up the sport.

“There is a good opportunity for a lot of people of all ethnicities to play the game but there is a lack of progression,” he said.

“If you can take someone out of the clubs and offer them something else in return they can be motivated by the experience.”

‘The path that led me was laid by Marcus Hardy’

Minson started playing golf at the age of 12, having grown up in a rough part of Newham and, like many African-Caribbean people, his connection to golf was forged in the Bahamas.

Despite his desire to play golf in England, when he was just 16 years old his older brother Freddie agreed to bring his father Brian to the Bahamas for a tournament on holiday.

“In the Bahamas you have to say you are black to play the game and there were so many black people there playing golf,” he said.

Inspired to try golf? Find out how to get into golf with our special guide.

“My father asked if they would be interested in getting some balls and I quickly decided I would play as it was a nice place and set me off in the right direction.

“The path that led me to Europe was laid by someone more remarkable than I.

“Marcus Hardy from Newham was my mentor and gave me a handful of balls and taught me how to hold the clubs.”

Footing the bill

Despite the rise in standards, athletes on European Tour tournaments pay the bills for their own travel.

“What can I say, it costs a lot of money and the European Tour is top dollar and they are fierce business.

“We are all part of the European Tour family but it costs a lot of money and it is just not a reality,” he said.

“It is something that people around the world would love to have. The sport would stand to make a lot more money from countries like China, India and Africa.”

Minson turned professional in 2014 after being spotted playing at the New Jersey Training Centre, where he lived at the time.

It took five years for him to become a European Tour card holder but, in 2017, he landed a play-off victory in the Maekyung Open and shared fifth place in the event on his European Tour debut.

Minson said he expects to get calls from around the world after his TV story was broadcast.

“It’s not just about the black community – I also hope that it can help people of all communities,” he said.

“It is a really great subject and things are changing and the conversation around it is getting better, so I hope it encourages more people to get involved in the sport.”

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