Salisbury’s Gray is an inspiration
Golf has been a big part of Josh Gray’s family for generations. His grandfather and father are both big fans of the sport, as is his older brother Matt.
Josh has just as much passion for the sport as the rest of his family, but an unfortunate roadblock at an early age could have derailed his hopes of playing golf. But he wasn’t going to let that stop him from playing the sport he loves.
Shortly after he was born, Gray suffered a stroke that resulted in his left arm being amputated.
“I had a stroke in neuro, so it happened right after I was born,” Gray said. “It’s a family disease. I was the only one affected.”
Despite losing his arm, Gray has not only continued to pursue golf, but he’s been a steady contributor on Salisbury’s team in each of his four varsity seasons. He recently finished his senior year with the Falcons, posting an average in between 90-95, a remarkable score considering the circumstances he’s faced with on the course.
“I kind of did bad at the end of the season, but before the last three matches it was like a 95 average,” Gray said. “I used to average like 100, and now I average around 90 or 95. I played a lot more and I got stronger.”
Rewind to his freshman year, and Gray’s scores were consistently in the 100s. He’s cut off roughly 10 strokes from that total since then, which he credits to his hard work on the course and his increased strength off the tee.
In the summer time, Gray plays at Wedgewood (Salisbury’s home course during the season) at least once a week. He works on every aspect of his game, from driving (he can drive the ball up to 290 yards) to his short game.
“I practice by playing around a lot,” Gray said. “I don’t go to the range, [but] I play 18 holes when I want to work on my things. I live like two minutes away from Wedgewood, so I play at least once a week in the summer.
“It’s nice because it’s only two minutes away and it’s our home course.”
His brother Matt played baseball at Stroudsburg High School and was a great athlete before the family moved to Salisbury during Josh’s middle school years. While Josh has picked up golf on his own relatively quickly, his brother, grandfather and father have all played a large role in his shaping game over the years.
“He [Matt] kind of helped me with the swing, but I kind of figured it out all by myself,” said Gray, who also played baseball and basketball in the Salisbury Youth Association. “My grandpa always took me out mini golfing, too. He kind of helped me with that.
“My grandpa golfs a lot, and I always golf with him. [My dad] is a professor, so he doesn’t work all of the days and has some free time to golf, too.”
Those rounds of mini golf with his grandfather not only introduced him to the sport, but it helped him work on his solid putting game.
“My small game is good,” Gray said. “My drives I always hit straight. Sometimes it doesn’t go far, [but] sometimes it does.”
Gray has gained a tremendous amount of praise across the Colonial League landscape as well, and is certainly looked at as an inspiration.
“They always say it’s an honor and that I’m doing so good,” Gray said.
His high school career is officially in the books with the Falcons’ season now over, but Gray will continue to play the sport in his free time.
College is also right around the corner. He has narrowed his choices down to East Stroudsburg University (where his father teaches) or Temple University. He wants to major in criminal justice or business.