Dylan Dethier’s Journey: 18 in America

Although Amherst and Williams Colleges may have the "biggest little rivalry" in the most longstanding annual football game in the country, I nonetheless easily put that aside once I caught wind of Dylan's incredible journey in which he deferred his first year of college and spent a year travelling the country playing golf in 48 states.

I was fortune enough to speak with the budding young author this week, and asked him a few questions about his first book...


Mike: What inspired you to write the book?

Dylan: The idea of the trip was to see America through it’s golf. I knew I wanted to chronicle my journey so I just started writing a blog to know later on in life what I’d been through be able to share it with family and friends. Before I knew it people actually started reading my posts and the lessons I was learning. I always wanted to turn it into a book.

Mike: What type of courses were you playing?

Dylan: Some of the worst and best courses [Pebble and Quail Hollow among them] and everything in between. I was able to get out on some of the cheaper courses  for free, but I had this wishlist of courses I’d like to see and have access to when I set out, and I’d call the courses before hand and share my story and link to my blog asking if they could help out, and more often than not they did.

Mike: How did the story move from blog to book?

Dylan: Publicity grew naturally. My first radio interview was in South Dakota, that turned into a newspaper article, I received press in California, then before I knew it USA Today was covering me; it was a gradual ascension. As for the writing process, that occurred last spring and summer during the end of my sophomore year.

Mike: What words of advice do you have for our community of college golfers?

Dylan: I love the idea that someone would read my story and be inspired to take a step back and pursue something that they have always been passionate about. With regards to golf, I grew up in a household that had questions about what the values of the game of golf were. My parents thought it was a sport for the rich white old white guys of the world, but I saw that golf was much more than that, a way to get to know people and see the country and most importantly, myself.

Mike: What are your thoughts on CGP & NCCGA?

Dylan: I love what you guys are doing for the future of golf with respect to making it accessible to people who don’t have family background in the game and also accessible to young people who don’t have the money to join a country club. It's great that CGP facilitates affordable golf because it can seem so intimidating for many people to start playing golf.

Mike: Any good lessons learned?

Dylan: Golf is a game of possibility and hope. When you play a bad round you have two reactions. The first is that I’m never going to play golf again! The second reaction is we need to get back out there, a sense of hope that things will get better the next hole or round is what I love about this game.

I also learned that there is such an amazing variety of people in our country that I met on and off the course. Be it the fallen auto factories in Flynn, Michigan or the golf course that had been 5-8 feet under water in New Orleans or the livestock auctioneer in North Dakota – my journey showed me the full range of America life and that is something I will never forget.

Mike: What is your dream job?

Dylan: Becoming a writer for grantland.com!

For those interested in learning more, Dylan's book, 18 in America is selling well and available on Amazon. I highly recommend it!