A moment of reflection

Chris Paisley takes time to reflect on the death of Grayson Murray and remember what defines who he is

As I write, we’re just a couple of days removed from the death of Grayson Murray – the 30-year-old PGA Tour winner who tragically took his own life after withdrawing from the Charles Schwab Challenge.

I cannot imagine what his family are going through, and I pray that I never find out. I did not know Grayson personally, but his passing struck a nerve given that I am a similar age and in the same profession.

From the outside, he was living the dream. He was engaged to be married and had won on tour this year. His death shows that we never know what people are going through. He had talked openly about his struggles with alcoholism and depression in the past, but from the outside he appeared to have gotten the help he needed.

The sadness of this news got me thinking deeply about what makes me happy, and what I actually need in life. My struggles on the golf course in the past few years have given me so much more balance and perspective than I used to have. For a lot of my career, there was a feeling of impending doom whenever I thought about what could happen if I lost my card. This caused me to gradually forget about why I played the game in the first place. It also took away the thrill of the challenge which a game that is so brutally hard to master provides.

Since losing my card, and therefore having nothing to lose, I have slowly regained my passion for simply trying to get as good at golf as possible. This is what got me onto tour in the first place. I am now embracing all that comes with the game, including the frustration of missing cuts, hitting poor shots, and trying to overcome the mental battle golf presents. Although I am not where I want to be, I am thoroughly enjoying and embracing the challenge of climbing the golfing mountain again. I have an amazing family and team around me, and I now know that my ranking in the world of golf is not what defines me.

I am defined by how I approach the challenge and how good of a husband, father, son, brother, and friend I am.

This column went a bit deeper than intended, but the shock of a peer taking his own life led to some introspection. I am so thankful to be chasing a little white ball around the world with a wonderful family on the journey with me.

I join the rest of the golfing world in mourning Grayson, and thinking of his family and loved ones.

If you have been affected by any of the themes raised in this article, you can contact The Samaritans for free by calling 116 123 in the UK.