“My friends, devoted discipline and grace will bring ye knowin’s and powers everywhere, in all your life, in all your works if they’re good works, in all your loves if they’re good loves. Ye’ll come away from the links with a new hold on life, that is certain if ye play the game with all your heart.”
"Ye're makin' a great mistake if ye think the gemme is meant for the shots. The gemme is meant for walkin'."
~ Shivas Irons ~ Golf in the Kingdom
Golf found me in my thirties. It was the 1990’s, and I’d quit the real world to take “any job” in golf… probably because my wife hoped it would make me happy, and she was right… After years of managing food-service establishments, fitness clubs, and dabbling in the world of coffee roasting, I suddenly found myself as the GM at a lovely new golf club in Oregon. For a while I described myself as the poster boy for the Follow Your Dream Foundation…
I wondered why I bought the copy of Extraordinary Golf. I had ignored the blizzard of instruction books and magazines devoted to my new pursuit. After all, I could still play the stick and ball games where the ball moved… how could golf—a game where the ball sat still!— require such a massive body of literature devoted to method and instruction? But we were leaving for a long weekend in San Diego, and I needed something to read—and the first thing the jacket of Fred’s book referenced was a book I’d read… “Golf in the Kingdom.” In fact, I’d met Michael Murphy, accidentally, on his book tour for “The Kingdom of Shivas Irons.” It was meant to be.
I devoured Fred’s book on the airplane. “There’s something going on in my golf swing, and I must be aware of it,” stuck with me, and the subtitle, “The Art of the Possible,” seemed to describe the relationship I wanted to have with golf.
Hours later my wife and I were wandering the waterfront in San Diego when we came upon a fellow who was stacking rocks—many of them, from my adult perspective, impossibly… he had just come from the Children’s Museum… “Kid’s don’t know what they can’t do,” he said… I asked him if he played golf, and he smiled and said that the level of concentration needed to do what he did was quite like the level needed to strike a golf ball effectively with a rapidly moving implement seemingly ill-suited for the task…
That episode in an airport bookstore set in motion a journey of experiencing golf from a perspective that seemed different than what the current culture of golfers espoused.
I have been part of the Shivas Irons Society for more than 20 years now, and am happy that we continue moving… we’re not always sure in what direction, but we try, collectively, to make it toward a deeper relationship with “the gemme,” which deepens our relationships with one another. We hope you will join us and share your journey.
In gowf ye see the essence of what the world itself demands.