Golf in the Kingdom
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 1997
There are few golf books available that do not take as their premise that you want technical advice on how-to improve your score. Here is a book that uses golf as its storytelling foundation but moves on to much greater dimensions. With the help of one of the most fascinating characters in literature, golf-pro Shivas Irons, you will be taken on the ride of your life as you follow a round of Golf at St. Andrews (er, I mean, Burning Bush as the real name is hidden in the book), have dinner with the most interesting characters and end up back at St. Andrews at Midnight with your Mashie and an old leather ball. Prepare yourself to think about Golf in ways that you rarely have and to be impacted so much that you will not be able to go on your next round of golf without thinking of Shivas!!! This book only rates an eight because the main plot ends about 3/4 of the way through the book and contains a few chapters taken from Shivas' notebooks at the end. These chapters, while interesting in themselves, cannot match the intensity of the story. This book is not for everyone but if you are fascinated by the Eastern philosophy, by the feeling of being "in the zone", like to read books like Ishmael by Dan Quinn and The River Why by David james Duncan you will love this book
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2000
Michael Murphy is not simply a golfer, or golf writer, but a philosopher, co-founder of Esalen Institute and a thinker who has boldly gone where no other has before him -- or certainly not with such dash and wit. Shivas Irons is one of the great creations of golf literature or any other. I've read this book six or seven times, always captivated by the prose and the tale-spinning. I believe it every time! And the gems tucked in here: the dinner in which Shivas speaks in praise of golf is lifted from Plato's "Symposium," complete with the drunken intervention of Evan Tyrhee (Alcibiades to Shivas' Socrates) to make his speech in praise of his mentor. Excellent on every count, worth a read and a re-read every year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2007
Golf is a great sport - we all know that. But it's only been in the past couple of decades where we started to bring the focus back on the inner and spiritual qualities of the game - it's always been there but somehow we got distracted with the mechanics and competitive nature of the game. This book is THE classic, the one that started the revolution of mental and inner golf. It took me a while to get through it the first time, but after that, I would pick it up time and time again - it's THAT kind of a book. I highly recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 1998
Many people ask why we play golf. This book helps explain it. It shows that golf is not only a game, but a science, love and religon. Reading about that 1 night that Shivas played golf, will forever last in my mind. This is a must read for people that enjoy playing golf for the inner love and complexities.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2007
I met Michael Murphy in the late 1960's. The charismatic leader of the human potential movement captured my attention and admiration immediately. Mr. Murphy was one of those characters who sparkle with mystical magic. His life reads like a calendar of magical events. At every turn he seems to either run into or encounter the most provocative people one can imagine: Steinbeck, Spiegelberg, Brodie, Price, Aurobindo, Thompson, Maslow, and many, many more.
With the publication of Golf in the Kingdom (His first book), he managed to create a new movement, which came to be known as The Sport and Yoga Movement. The book is a delightful integration of sport, mysticism, and yoga, with a whole lot of magic sprinkled between the lines. I am amazed at its dissenters and critics. It is not "junk" as some need to say. For those of you who say it is "not for golfers", I think I can safely assume that you are regularly shooting twenty to thirty over par. There are some that say that this is just another worn-out philosophical rag, trying to integrate what's common, and I would think for them mundane, with the paranormal and mystical energies that hover all around us. To them, I would say that there is a shread of truth to their thoughts. I would like to ask those people to provide me with any literary references, expousing this thesis, that pre-date Mr. Murphy's book. For those that claim that this is just another clever contrivance for making a quick buck, I would say you are about as far off the mark as those that dismiss the book as "junk". Mr. Murphy was born wealthy. At some point in his life he inherited a large sum of money, most of which he either donated or spent in efforts to enhance the human condition. When I met the man, I believe that it was in 1969, he was driving an aged 1962, six cylinder, stick shift Cheverolet. He had bought the car new, and at that time felt that he could get at least another ten years out of it.
Bravo, Michael. Bravo for Golf in the Kingdom, and bravo for a life well lived.

Ronald James
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 1999
This book substantially changed the way I play golf. For starters, I've managed to stop abusing my equipment. And I'm less prone to overswinging. Most of all, I enjoy playing more. A great life lesson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2015
I consider Murphy's book as my "Golf Bible", therefore I have read this book through almost on an annual basis over the past decade. I too have played golf in Scotland, including playing at St. Andrews and Muirfield, therefore his description of Shivas Iron is not unlike that of some of the Scottish lads I played with--all mystical in their own ways. My golf handicap also profited from the physics of golf, as explained at the end of the book. I have purchased several copies for my golf friends as this is also a great gift item for serious golfers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2015
If you are going to get the audio book here, make sure you get this original version. The narrator does a far superior job than the narrator of the second edition. This particular version of the novel is appropriately abridged to leave out the last 25% percent of the book which really detracted from the book. You will pay more for this original version, but it is worth it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2012
Made me love golf even more.

Is that possible?

A classic book that talks about the mystery that you have always felt was in the game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
A very enjoyable book on what golf really is, fresh air, good people, a dram or two, and finding out who you really are. If you want something to help your swing this is not it. If you want to help your life it is. When I die I want to go to Burningbush
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