Articles & Reviews

SF Gate

‘Golf in the Kingdom’ finally hitting big screen
Michael Murphy is going to miss those checks, the ones he got for optioning his novel “Golf in the Kingdom” to the movies every year since its 1972 publication.

“I used to say it’s the world’s longest-running virtual movie, coming soon to a mind near yours,” Murphy laughs over the phone.

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Marin Independent Journal

Clint Eastwood tried for an entire decade, but couldn’t figure out how to make a movie out of Michael Murphy’s 1972 novel “Golf in the Kingdom.” Neither could Academy Award-winning director Gus Van Sant (“Good Will Hunting,” “Milk”), or any of the golf-crazy movie moguls in Hollywood, even after Sean Connery and Jack Nicholson expressed interest in starring in it.

It took two women, one of whom couldn’t tell a putter from a pitchfork when she signed on to write and direct the independent film, to bring the Marin author’s cult classic to the big screen.

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New York Times

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Golf Digest Insert

We’re very excited that this special Golf in the Kingdom insert reached Golf Digest’s 1.65 million subscribers and a total audience over 6 million readers. It was also published on the new iPad edition of the magazine reaching thousands of digital, alpha consumers. Click the image for a larger view.

» Read the National Herald review: “Golf in the Kingdom: A Walk Not Spoiled”


“A film with SOUL, how rare today!”

“Oscar worthy- the sound track is a marvel…Pitch perfect…”

“A true meshing of sport and spirit… it is going to start a trend!”

“I thought I was going to view another sports movie, but oh no, the filmmakers demanded our attention, just like Shivas says… Pay Attention! Brave filmmaking, asking the viewer to reflect!! How refreshing!”

From Christopher Monger – Award winning Writer/Director-
“I grew up firm in the belief that cinema had taken its place among the other arts, that it was a medium as potent as any other. However, in the last few decades I’ve seen almost a total erosion of what film can do. Now it’s used primarily as a kinetic medium to provide thrills. ‘Art films’ have become wordy dramas, judged merely on the written words and their performance. Werner Herzog (largely reduced to making documentaries) is one of the few survivors of a golden age when images were deemed as potent – or more potent than simplistic narrative.

That’s all by way of saying how enjoyable and thrilling it was to see GOLF IN THE KINGDOM and once again see the ambition of what film can achieve. I hope you are very proud of this film – its beautiful and profound and poetic – and that’s everything.”

From Auke Hempenius – Golf Pro- Rustic Canyon
“The sounds…….the setting…….the Scottish accent…….and the true LOVE of the game…the spirit of the game shining through….as we revere this grand ole game….I sat there in the third row…..being immersed into a virtuosic performance…..FEEL your inner body….OH BOY….did I feel it….

Michael, Mindy and Susan thank you from the deepest core of my heart for a gift of a lifetime.”

From John Ashworth- Golf Innovator and Designer
“Hello Michael,

I LOVED it!!…I was watching with a very critical eye in terms of artistic expression and interpretation and the execution exceeded my expectations by a long shot. Shivas was brililant and Michael was vulnerable and the cast was amazing…the lighting and cinematography was beautiful and surreal…and the cameo of Mr. Murphy was exceptional……….Bravo!!!…..I’m inspired.”

From Nathan Le Grand – Tennis Pro-
“It was a beautiful story/meditation on screen. So many of the images were incredible…many images were surreal, yet seemed to be anchored in hard physical reality. The unfolding of the story with multiple jumps forward and backward was strong. I enjoyed the performances and the cast of characters….Shivas – wow:  big contrast to O’Hara’s character on ‘The Tudors’.

If I’m not mistaken Gamble seems to be a Golfer and one with a beautiful swing. Being a pro tennis player…I totally related to your story. Tennis holds some of the same intrinsic qualities of being in the moment, I call it the POCKET: the blending and merging of the physical-mental-spiritual. I wish great success for your film and continued success to you both for your long-standing dedication to film art.”

From Randy St. John – General Manager/COO Wilshire Country Club
“Had the privilege of seeing GITK last night and was reminded why it is one of my favorite books, golf or other. Great job creating the spirit and admonishing all of us that it was meant for walkin’. Beautiful cinematography, excellent cast, and enough golf to make we want to pick up my Mackenzie Walker and go play a few in last moments of dusk.”

From Bobby Klein, Photographer
“I enjoyed the film while I was there…but now as time passes the images, feelings and words stay with me. The film at first look is a circular story with no beginning and no end….as it lives beyond the moment it is a call to meditation …golf is simply a metaphor for the the transportational and existential message..

A painting, a journey and a challenge to live life in a better way. And that way is AWAKE.”

From Zoe Elton, Director of the Mill Valley Film Festival
“In the course of a day in the 1950s, Michael Murphy (Mason Gamble), a young American en route to an ashram in India, visits the best golf course in the world, Burningbush, in Scotland; plays golf with an extraordinary teacher, Shivas Irons (David O’Hara); and has a whisky-infused dinner with a group of golf aficionados (Malcolm McDowell, Frances Farmer and Julian Sands). Based on Esalen cofounder Michael Murphy’s classic novel, Susan Streitfeld’s film is a remarkable achievement, a collage that swings back and forth between action, memory and insight with the gracefulness of a well-played round. She creates a nimble, poetic visual language — beautifully complemented by Evelyn Glennie’s percussive score — that offers an inroad into the interior life of her characters. It’s a transformative experience that does great justice to writer Murphy’s groundbreaking exploration of life, love, mysticism and the practice of golf.”

From John Brodie-  Ex- San Francisco 49er Quarterback
“‘YES’- Two Thumbs Up…”