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Golf in the Kingdom
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Golf in the Kingdom

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  554 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The bestselling classic novel about an American traveler’s spiritual journey into the world of golf

When Michael Murphy first meets golf pro Shivas Irons on one of the most beautiful courses in Scotland, he doesn’t know that his life—and his golf game—will change forever. But with the first swing of the Scotsman’s club Murphy realizes he is in for a most extraordinary day.
ebook, 223 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Open Road Media (first published 1972)
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Bruce Johnson
You don't have to be a golfer to appreciate this book. But you do have to understand there is an "internal" side to golf and life. Before I read this book I read several books on archery as I was learning how to shoot a recurve bow. I was taken with the Japanese approach to archery. One of their notions is while aiming at the target you can bring the target to you. I had the same sense about what a golfer is thinking about when setting up for a golf stroke. Murphy is pricking the reader's consci ...more
Brian Lombard
For any golf enthusiast this book is a home run. The author, Michael Murphy, writes about his experience in Scotland when he passed through on his way to India. Michael ends up getting paired with a teaching pro giving a lesson for a round of golf and this round of golf changes his outlook on both the game and life. The first half of the book is the story of the round and the events surrounding it. The second is more of scattered notes going into detail some of the aspects which were lightly tou ...more
A short story followed by a lazy amalgamation of 1-2 page mini half-baked essays and, in one case, a list of a hundred people. What? Writers pull that together. Tell me it is reflective of the separateness of our world, fine, I call it one star effort.

Admittedly my expectations were very high, particularly for those who claim to be pursuing such mental, universal, spiritual wholeness; but the first part of the book was 2-3 stars, the second was zero stars if not negative. It felt like a series o
I have to read this one again sometime, because this book fell flat for me the first time around. I wonder if I thought that it was no big deal because I've always lived in a post-Golf-in-the-Kingdom world (or have always kind of felt like I approached the game with a touch of mysticism). Or perhaps it's just that none of the particular wisdom imparted in the book resonated with me. Whatever it was, I don't feel like Golf in the Kingdom was a life-changing book (as some other golfers do). That s ...more
Barry Morris
When you can stand not one more second of your preppy, financial sector and ethereal nonprofit in-laws going after each other at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Give them each a copy of Golf in the Kingdom. Guy goes to Scotland to play one of the legendary courses and runs into Zen master/Golf pro who changes his life. This is no Kwai Chang Caine/Kung Fu monk nor Razor's Edge contemplative. This guy is a balls-out lunatic. I guarantee you your warring in-laws will find common ground in Golf in th ...more
Rand Harker
The idea of using a zen mindset to play golf well works fine in the opening section of the book. But zen and tao are mental and spiritual states and the idea that they control the physical world as well (for instance, in the discussion of "true gravity" the author suggests that human beings will fly--in a physical sense--once they become sufficiently advanced spiritually) has little or nothing to do with the traditions of either discipline. The book is hampered by the revolutionary ideas of the ...more
The book started out okay, although the Scottish accent became annoying. The centre part of the book dragged and the short chapters of the final third were just not interesting. In fact I abandoned the book. It became tedious to read and I found myself picking up other books that were much more interesting. I rarely do not finish a book; I normally suffer through to the end.
I found his message not to my thinking.
I'm not a golf fan by any means, but this book was interesting. There is some explanation as to the origins of golf, the game, the equipment (the first golf balls were called featheries, iirc). And the hermit who lived on the famed St Andrew course and knew all about the illusive success of the game. Read it a long time ago and still stuck on the reading list in my mind.
More than any other sport, golf is metaphor for life. Mr. Murphy does a nice job of illustrating this through his golfing guru, Shivas Irons.

After reading the first chapter, I went out and shot +5 on nine holes. Of course, after reading two more, I went out and shot +13. But that is to be expected.

Not an instructional book, more like a spiritual guidebook to the game.
I just read golf in the kingdom by michael murphy. Some may find it trite, and i did have something of a hard time reading the brogue dialogue, but i liked the yoga aspect of golf--and other sports. Like going into the zone. Mind over matter. I would think all golfers would like it, especially on their way to play in scotland.
Jonathan Watts
Golf and metaphysics, what more could you ask for? Michael Murphy's classic work that bridges that uses the game of golf as a metaphor for spiritual development... a story told so well you can taste and smell the setting, a good read with or without analysis of its deeper implications.

"We're all kites on that wind...."
Steve Are
along the lines of castaneda's 'the teachings of don juan' or dan millman's 'peaceful warrior' but with golf as the metaphor, all supposedly nonfiction, hard to say. i'm always attracted to metaphysics in story-form. it's a copy i'll always have on my shelf but i'd have to read it again to tell you why.
John Sundeen
A long strange trip around a certain famed golf links, by day and by night with some quite odd characters.
Proof that you can never go back. I read this over twenty years ago, and thought it was brilliant, "it changed my life", etc. This time round, I found it trite and badly written. Ah well, I guess reading has as much to do with the reader as with the book.
Jarem Nielsen
The story part is fine. What I found interesting is the idea of a "color" or aura that the golfers felt. Shooting a ball I've felt the same thing (rarely) where I just knew I'd made it as soon as it left my fingers. This explores that a little.
This is one of my favorites and even if you don't play golf or know anything about the sport, there is much here to entertain any reader. If you do play golf, well, it's a pretty awesome reminder of the true beauty of the game.
18 holes of golf as a cycle of birth and rebirth. Michael Murphy's fantastical odyssey across the links of Burning Bush Country Club under the mentorship of Seamus Irons. If you're a golfer (I'm not) or a mystic, you should read this book!
This book reminds me of the Celestine Prophecy: lots of good insights strung together with a very thin plot
I am anticipating the movie which should be better than the book - at the least it will show beautiful golf courses in Scotland!
Bill Campbell
One of the best books about a round of golf. If that bores you then it is the best book about metaphysics I have ever read. If the idea of meta physics drives you nuts then its the best book about one fated night I have ever read...
Sam Norton
To quote Chevy Chase: "I'm going to give you a little advice. There's a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball."
This was highly recommended to me by a former co-worker and
I read it a time when I was really into golf. Enjoyed it..Fantasy piece, but also works as a reminder of our capabilites if we believe in ourself.
I didn't really like this one...not drawn to mysticism, which this book is all about. Rank it with The Celestine Prophecy and The Alchemist. If you liked those, you'll like this...I didn't.
A thought-provoking, mystical book that I'll definitely listen to or read again. It reminded me a lot of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and I've since seen that others think so too.
Robert Schwab
The first 100 or so pages of this book are 5-star entertaining, especially, but not only for those who love golf. After that, it dives into a deeply mystical place that became tiresome for me.
An interesting tale about the mystical aspects of golf as they also pertain to everyday life. Enjoyable but in my estimation not as good as The Legend of Bagger Vance which has a similar theme.
Ben Morgan
I once met a fellow on the Appalachian Trail (in Virginia, if you must know) who had read this book. He was the only person I'd ever known to have done so. We've been friends ever since!
1/3 story about a dream round of golf, 1/3 guys talking about golf...that is guys being guys (this is the best part of the book), and 1/3 philosophy. It was a little different, I liked it.
Sean Forsyth
A phisophical journey into the essence of golf, the most sensitive game to mentality and energy. Murphy's writing is engaging and alluring, a mystical journey in the finest form.
I read this one a long time ago. It was amazing! If you love golf, or even if you just have a passing interest in golf, do yourself a favor and read this one.
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Bestselling author Michael Murphy has been called the father of the human potential movement, one of the most influential movements in twentieth-century American culture. His bestselling book Golf in the Kingdom (1972) inspired the creation of the Shivas Irons Society, a nonprofit group dedicated to finding beauty and discovery through the game of golf, and has recently been adapted into a movie s ...more
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