A spiritual journey, a lush travelogue, a parable of sports and philosophy—John Updike called this unique novel “a golf classic if any exists in our day.”
When an American traveler on his way to India stops to play a round on one of the most beautiful and legendary golf courses in Scotland, he doesn’t know that his game—and his life—are about to change forever. He is introduced to Shivas Irons, a mysterious golf pro whose sublime insights stick with him long after the eighteenth hole. From the first swing of the Scotsman’s club, he realizes he is in for a most extraordinary day.
By turns comic, existential, and semiautobiographical, Michael Murphy’s tale traces the arc of twenty-four hours, from a round of golf on the Links of Burningbush to a night fueled by whiskey, wisdom, and wandering—even a sighting of Seamus MacDuff, the holy man who haunts the hole they call Lucifer’s Rug.
“Murphy’s book is going to alter many visions,” The New York Times Book Review declared. More than an unforgettable approach to one of the world’s most popular sports, Golf in the Kingdom is a meditation on the power of a game to transform the self.
“Murphy’s book is going to alter many visions. He’s written a mystical tale capable of winning a constituency. I totally believed it and loved it.” —Nancy Weber, The New York Times Book Review “Golf in the Kingdom is a fascination . . . [Murphy has] put a lot of fine thoughts together here, most gracefully, and the book should have a long and prosperous life.” —Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces “Golf a mere game? A mirror of life? Something metaphysical and/or mystical? All of the above? Shivas Irons, a magical Scottish golf professional, puts those questions to all of us. Superb.” —C. Grant Spaeth, former President, United States Golf Association Bestselling author Michael Murphy (b. 1930) 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 starring Malcolm McDowell (2010). His other books include Jacob Atabet (1977), An End to Ordinary History (1982), In the Zone (1995), and The Kingdom of Shivas Irons (1997). He lives in California.