Taking time to reset

DP World Tour player Chris Paisley on making the counter intuitive decision to take a break from golf and hit the reset button

After missing the cut at the Alfred Dunhill Links in Scotland, I had four tournaments left to earn enough points to keep my playing rights for 2023. With that in mind, taking a three-week break may seem like an odd choice, but that is exactly what I did. 

A few months ago, I decided to try and play my way into form by teeing it up week after week. I thought I would build some momentum and confidence and hit my stride. That simply did not happen. On the Saturday of the Dunhill, I had played nine events in a row and I felt as flat as a pancake. 

It dawned on me that I was burned out and my brain just wasn’t working at the level needed to play good golf. That afternoon I decided the best thing for me moving forward was to go home for three weeks and return for the Portugal Masters.

I felt that would give me the best chance of winning, and it would mean having some energy left in the tank for qualifying school, which is realistically my best chance of regaining my card for next season. 

The break was lovely. I put my clubs away for two weeks and then eased back into practice, focusing on making sure my sessions were as enjoyable as possible. 

Honestly, I have lost a lot of love for the game recently, and this was my attempt to fall back in love again. 

It was so nice to be a proper husband and father again. We put golf on the back burner, as it has been dominating our lives recently given how badly it has been going. I felt as though a weight lifted off me and I was much happier. The energy around my golf has been so negative for so long that it has become exhausting. To get away from that feeling was wonderful. 

It feels a bit wrong complaining about fatigue and not enjoying the game. 

Golf should be such a luxury, especially doing it for a living. I suppose we all have bad periods at work and get fed up. The difference with golf is that it is purely performance based. If you are not on your game, it shows and the money stops coming in… Unless you play on LIV, of course!

I feel better for the break, and I’ll be doing my best to either win in Portugal or regain my card at Q school. Whatever happens, I know I’ll be fine and back to my best sooner or later.