SI: Did you know that last year SPORTS ILLUSTRATED named Golf in the Kingdom the most overrated golf book of all time?
MM: Yes. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, I could agree with the author, but we would be in the minority. Most people love the book. It has sold about a million copies.
SI: You're used to the abuse?
MM: Oh, God, yes. For 30 years the book has sailed through strong headwinds of criticism, but it sails on.
SI: Why the negative reaction?
MM: A lot of people have not had the mystical experiences [described in the book], so it's strange, unfamiliar territory. They feel these experiences I write about do not happen. But they're simply wrong. I've been hearing about them for 30 years.
SI: Were you on some kind of mind-altering substance when you wrote the second half of the book?
MM: No. Tommy Smothers once said he had read that part straight, drunk and stoned, and it didn't make sense any of the three times.
SI: Do enough golfers cultivate the mind?
MM: If more did, they'd have more enjoyment and they'd play better. There is a resistance in human nature to change.