18 in America: A Young Golfer's Epic Journey to Find the Essence of the Game (Hardcover)
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An exhilarating account of one remarkable teenager's solo trek to play golf in each of the lower forty-eight states--a compelling coming-of-age story and a surprising look at the equalizing power of the sport in America. At seventeen, Dylan Dethier couldn't help but think he'd never really done anything with his life. So, two months before his freshman year was set to begin, he deferred admission to Williams College. With the reluctant blessing of his parents, Dylan set out on his idea of the Great American Road Trip: to play a round of golf in each of the lower forty-eight states. What began as the teenage wanderlust of a sheltered New England kid became a journey into America's heart and soul, to "figure out where--and why--golf fit in" and what it means to be a young man today. From a municipal course amid the decaying factories of Flint, Michigan, to the emerald fairways of Pebble Beach to a dramatic par-3 in the Badlands of North Dakota to rubbing elbows with Phil Mickelson at Quail Hollow, Dylan explores the variety of the nation's golf courses, the multiplicity of its towns and cities, and, most strikingly of all, the diversity of its people. Hoping to find a game that would transcend golf's elitist reputation, he would play with war veterans, autoworkers, and livestock auctioneers and discover the sport's surprising capacity to break down barriers. Over one year, 35,000 miles, and countless nights alone in his dusty Subaru, Dylan showers at truck stops, sleeps with an ax under his seat, and loses his virginity. He learns the danger of making bets you can't afford to lose and the pleasure of going beyond first impressions, and above all, the powerful freedom that comes with following your dreams. Dylan's eighteenth year was one of many firsts--venturing into the world alone, exploring life's "Big Questions," and fulfilling an ambitious quest. With captivating prose and a wry, engaging voice, this precocious writer weaves an unforgettable portrait of America's fairways and those who wander them.