Golf in the Kingdom

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Golf in the Kingdom
Golf in the Kingdom (novel).jpg
Cover of the 1974 UK first edition
AuthorMichael Murphy
CountryUnited States
PublisherPenguin Books
Publication date
October 1, 1971
Media typePrint
Followed byJacob Atabet 

Golf in the Kingdom is a 1971 novel by Michael Murphy. It has sold over a million copies and been translated into 19 languages.[1] Golf in the Kingdom tells the story of Michael Murphy, a young traveler who accidentally stumbles on a mystical golfing expert while in Scotland.

Murphy was inspired to write the book after his time at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He became interested in the similarities between descriptions of successful athletes and people who said they had achieved the state of Zen. The novel spawned the Shivas Irons Society, an organization whose members combine golf and meditation.[2][3] In 1997, Murphy wrote a sequel, The Kingdom of Shivas Irons.[4]

Golf in the Kingdom is referenced in the fifth episode of season one of the television series Franklin & Bash.


While on layover on his way to an ashram in India, Michael Murphy decides to play a round of golf at Burningbush, a famous local golf course. There he meets the mysterious and charismatic golf pro Shivas Irons who over a 24-hour period teaches him about golf and spirituality.

Film version[edit]

Clint Eastwood purchased the rights to the book, but abandoned the project after writing several unfinished scripts in the early 1990s.

In 2009, Murphy, producer Mindy Affrime and director Susan Streitfeld began filming their version of the book. Shot on location at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, it stars Mason Gamble, Julian Sands, David O'Hara, Malcolm McDowell and Frances Fisher and premiered in New York City on July 29, 2011.[1] Review aggregator Metacritic rates the film version 13 out of 100, indicating "overwhelming dislike", with all five critic reviews being negative.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Goodwin, Stephen (2010). Dream Golf: The Making of Bandon Dunes. Algonquin Books. pp. 312–20. ISBN 1-56512-981-4. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  2. ^ Paul William Kroll (May 1977). "Karate Can Heal the Mind-Body Split in Western Sports". Black Belt. p. 27. ISSN 0277-3066.
  3. ^ Boulware, Jack (2000). San Francisco Bizarro. Macmillan. p. 20. ISBN 0-312-20671-2.
  4. ^ Jackie Krentzman (January–February 1998). "In Murphy's Kingdom". Stanford Magazine. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  5. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • John O'Hern (January 23, 2013). Sweetspot Confessions of a Golfaholic: A laugh out loud tale of obsession (4th ed.). The Editing Company. ISBN 978-0615760483.

External links[edit]