Matt Cardis is a Professional Photographer and full-time traveler who has dedicated the past 4 years to showcasing the culture of Modern American Golf through his project “Golf In Your State”. We recently teamed up with Matt for the second time, this year to create a unique, limited edition collection of headwear directly inspired by his travels, and his love for the game of golf.
Since we interviewed him this time last year, Matt has added 20,000+ more miles to his Sprinter Van. We caught up with him on a pit stop to talk about golf, hats, and life on the road in 2020.
We’re excited to finally announce this new headwear collaboration! Can you tell us what inspired you to pursue a headwear collection specifically and what it means to you and your brand?
Headwear has always been a staple of my style and it’s rare you’ll find me without a hat on. I’m proud to finally offer a collection of branded headwear that not only represents me and Golf In Your State but also every piece of this journey over the past 4 years. When I look at my logo, that’s what I see. A reflection of every turn of my wheels, every image we’ve snapped and every shot we’ve hit. I see all of you that have supported this mission in the branding of Golf In Your State and couldn’t be more appreciative.
It’s been approximately one year since we last interviewed you about life on the road. Compared to last year, how much has #vanlife changed, and as a “professional social distancer” has it been a blessing or a curse working and living on the road in 2020?
The pandemic has definitely been a challenging time for all us. As we’re all being told to “Stay Home” I had to really think about what that means to me as a full-time traveler. My decision was to isolate at golf courses and turn this all into a positive. From March – June 2020, I lived at Tobacco Road, Sweetens Cove, Pinehurst, The Outer Banks and Hilton Head. I used this time to document my life in video and launched my YouTube Channel which has been incredibly cool to share some more insights into my lifestyle.
Tell us about your adventure with the US Open Championship trophy and how that opportunity came to fruition.
The U.S. Open Trophy Tour presented by Lexus was one of those unreal experiences I never would have imagined starting Golf In Your State 4 years ago. Because of the pandemic, the USGA and Lexus had to re-envision what this tour looked like for 2020 and approached me about the opportunity. I developed a concept which I thought would be both informative and entertaining while staying true to who I am. I spent 24 days with the trophy from coast to coast, visiting 8 Championship locations that have either hosted a US Open, US Amateur or US Women’s Open. It was an opportunity I will never forget.
Last time we talked, you were working hard to give back to the communities you visited during your travels in a lot of really cool ways. What challenges and triumphs have you experienced this past year with your charitable endeavors?
Because of the pandemic, I had to put the Golf Wall Project on hold for 2020. I wasn’t comfortable organizing events this year and it wouldn’t have been the right time to keep moving forward with it. Instead, I took a step back and still performed community services initiatives on my own throughout my travels this year. GWP will be coming back when the timing is right.
Tell us about your favorite places you’ve been this year, and what’s next for you and the van?
This year has been the most memorable to date for me. There isn’t one place that necessarily stands out as they were all so unique. Camping at Sweetens Cove in Tennessee for 17 days while the course was closed was cool. Being quarantined in Pinehurst for 45 days as I played and photographed their entire portfolio for a 5 day Instagram takeover is something I’ll never forget. The list goes on. Currently I’m once again isolating at a golf course. This time, I’m at Rams Hill Golf Club in Southern California for a month. Is this really my life!?
Shop the Golf in Your State Headwear collection here.