Golfer plays in all 50 states to promote inclusion in sport

Farris Holliday golfed at a different course in all 50 states to demonstrate golf should be for everyone.


Last year, the pandemic brought a boom in golf to the United States. According to industry research company, Golf Datatech, recreational golf jumped almost 14% across the country. However, not everyone feels they fit to play 18 holes, for a reason that has nothing to do with ability.

Farris Holliday loves golf. Both the good and the not-so-good. His love for the game, took his friends by surprise, causing them to tell him, "If I was going to pick anybody out of a lineup to be a golfer it wasn't going to be you."

"And I took that kind of personally, and I was like why?" Holliday said. "It just became that this stigma of golf is reserved for typically affluent white Americans."

A stigma that led to a question.

"What would it look like if I just got in a car and just decided to go play golf across America and meet people along the way and have hard conversations and just kind of enter into some spaces that I didn’t feel super comfortable with all the time," Holliday said.

Holliday just wrapped up golfing at a different course in all 50 states. His 47th checked off New Hampshire at Montcalm Golf Club.

"Montcalm has been on the tick list for a number of weeks," Holliday said.

The journey to get here has given Farris unforgettable life experiences.

"There is a guy played golf with in Hudson, Wisconsin. We got through the first tee, and he was like 'Farris where are you from?' 'I was like, you know I live in Seattle.' 'Where is your family from?' and I was like, 'Are you trying to ask why I'm not white,' and we laughed, it was just this really funny conversation just about exposure to different people," Holliday said.

Driving tough conversations.

"People are there and people are really excited to participate in some of those challenging and hard conversations. They needed a place to start the conversation…Actually like going into spaces and just giving a chance of being a person of a different nationality and being a biracial person with dreadlocks and stuff," Holliday said.

Despite the lack of racial representation, Holliday's relationship with golf is personal, believing that people from all races can find clarity on the green.

"Golf inherently is just you and the golf course. It doesn’t matter who you are playing with. For me, the byproducts of golf are things that are so applicable to everything else about my life. Emotional management, patience, strategic analysis. The ability to let stuff go," Holliday said.

Skills everyone could sharpen, even if it's intimidating.

"Nothing that is actually worth it is ever going to be easy. To quote 'Ted Lasso,' 'Sometimes opportunity is like riding a horse, if you're comfortable the whole time you’re probably doing it wrong,'" Holliday said.

An adage, up to par.