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Golf in the Kingdom Paperback – Oct 6 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (Oct. 6 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140195491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140195491
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.3 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jack O'Spades on April 22 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had heard about this near-mythical book on the philosophy of golf and had high expectations. The book started out well enough, as the author recounted his one and only round with Shivas Irons. From there it digressed into philosophical fiddle-faddle with very little golf attached to it. The last few sections are disconnected meanderings that may or may not mention golf at all. This is an abstruse philosophy book with a golf veneer. Read a friend's copy, but do not buy this book. Go play a round instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ScooterBob on Dec 18 1999
Format: Paperback
Murphy takes you on a magical and enlightening round of golf at the place where it all began, or at least could have: Scotland. His descriptions of the landscape and the golf course made me long for the links courses we have on our own coast. I enjoyed his attempt at mimicking the various dialects of the Scots and other characters in the book. After their round, Murphy and his new acquaintance, Shivas Irons, a sort of golf priest have a few shots of Scotch, and then go for a midnight stroll in search of Seamus MacDuff. We never really know if Seamus is alive or a figment of Irons' imagination. They find an ancient club that's suppose to belong to MacDuff in a cave and some featheries, and then they hit some perfect shots in the moonlight. Up until this point the book is about golf and the feeling many golfers have that golf is much more than hitting a little white ball around a nicely maintained park. But then the book goes off on some transparent pop psycobabble from the '60s while Murphy spends years searching for Irons and MacDuff. If this book were a round of golf I'd have to say it that Murphy shot par on the front nine and double bogeyed his way through the back. I'd recommend reading the first half and then just dreaming about what the last half could have been about. I'm sure you'll do a better job of finishing the book than Murphy did.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 6 2003
Format: Paperback
As a scratch golfer and a Christian, I was very disappointed with both of this acclaimed book's topics: golfing and spirituality. The first half of the book is fairly interesting, painting some of the joys and lows of golf in clear pictures. Murphy does a nice job describing the inner struggles inherent in all serious golfers, regardless of talent. The second half of the book, however, is a thinly veiled sales pitch for seemingly every convoluted spiritual theory ever invented by mankind. The whole spiritual sink is thrown in, and as such, it is muddy and depressing. Ease up on the whiskey, Shivas!
Some quick advice: want to make a huge breakthrough with the spiritual/mental aspect of golf? Read "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect," by Dr. Bob Rotella, and practice. Want to read about the inner battles we all fight on the course, written so tangibly you can taste it? Read "A Good Walk Spoiled" by John Feinstein. Want to find the Truth and have a life changing spiritual awakening? Read the Bible (the Gospel of John first, Romans second, anything else next), and practice!
Happy golfing, and happy reading! The Truth is simple, and It will set you free!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the description of the reasons to play golf. This is a beautiful enlightened story that reveals philosophical under pinning about the game in a very humorous and academic way. I truly enjoyed finding out some of the reasons why I play the game that I was unaware of. We all should have the pleasure of meeting our very own Shivas Irons.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By john tyson on April 5 2001
Format: Paperback
How does a high school level writer even get published. This is total junk.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm surprised by the range of ratings of this book (ostensibly about golf, and its mental aspects). The book has little to do with golf, although Murphy's description of his mythical round with Shivas Irons does touch upon getting into "the zone" (golfers will know, and perhaps experienced, however briefly, what this is!). As indicated in the other reviews, he then gets into some kind of psycho-spiritual, new-age "babble" about life, not just golf. I found it difficult to finish the book. I'm also apprehensive about starting his sequel (The Kingdom of Shivas Irons), if it's going to be as bad. Luckily I didn't pay too much for them!
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By Pedro Smith on July 19 2004
Format: Paperback
I don't care how many times I read this book, I always walk away with something new. If you enjoy philosophy in a modern context without going to "new-age", this is a great book. I would also recommend Life of Pi.
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Format: Paperback
This book is great for the golfer and non-golfer alike. I read this book while traveling from Washington, DC to Chicago and needed something to read through Pennsylvania and Ohio. Murphy weaves a masterful tale of his round of golf with Shivas Irons, a mythical caddie/coach and through this experience Shivas helps him understand more about himself, his swing, and his life, and his place in the universe. While this book is a bit out there compared to your run of the mill golf book, it is entertaining and thought provoking in a way not seen in many books about sport. This book has soul-not many do.
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