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Q+A [MICHAEL MURPHY]
November 11, 2002
The celebrated author of Golf in the Kingdom waxes philosophic on the 30th anniversary of his mystical—and occasionally mystifying—novel about the game
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November 11, 2002

Q+a [michael Murphy]

The celebrated author of Golf in the Kingdom waxes philosophic on the 30th anniversary of his mystical—and occasionally mystifying—novel about the game

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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.

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