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This Author: M. Scott Peck
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Golf and the Spirit by M. Scott Peck

Golf and the Spirit

Lessons for the Journey

by M. Scott Peck

Product Details

Abridged Edition
Running Time
6 Hrs.
User Rating
  2.5  Stars Based on 2 ratings
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Having toured The Road Less Traveled in previous bestsellers, psychiatrist and self-help guru Peck finally sets out on the cartpath. His destination? A journey into the mysteries of the royal and ancient game. Given the tenor of his earlier work, it's surprising he took so long to take aim at this particularly pilgrim-filled target area.

Peck, a golfer since his army days in the '60s, fairly and fittingly uses the game as a metaphor for spiritual growth. Dividing his book into 18 holes with titles like Civility, Human Nature, The Invisible, Deftness (and, for good measure, a 19th called Closure), he navigates his course prudently and self-referentially with a bag full of mysticism, religion, and psychology, and acquits himself with a safe par performance. Nothing particularly dangerous or spectacular emerges from his thinking about the game. Instead, he puts a New Age spin on it--"Golf is probably the most nonlinear pastime on the face of the earth"; "A day of golf may seem like a personal holiday ... but it is hardly a holy day"; "I do believe that golf can be a wonderful spiritual path of growth toward God, but only if one chooses to use it as such"--on the roads already well traveled by such masterful analysts of golf's raptures and ridicules as Harvey Penick, Michael Murphy, Jim Flick, Tommy Armour, Bobby Jones, and Bob Rotella. Peck, of course, is right about golf being a spiritual journey; it's an inner game of personal demons that demands its players to get as much of a grip on themselves as on their clubs. The bogey on his scorecard is that those who play golf already know this.

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Reviews & Ratings
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Reviewer LOLJPB
 February 17, 2006
M. Scott Peck, author of The Road Less Traveled, is one of the most popular writers of our day on the subjects of psychiatry and self-help. In Golf and the Spirit he takes the listener through an imaginary golf course of his creation. Each hole has a different theme such as “Civility”, “Human Nature” or “Closure”. These themes tend to mix together a rudimentary introduction to golf, Peck’s own experiences and the lessons he’s learned from them and philosophical and psychological musings on the sport and life.

As a fairly knowledgable golfer I have to admit that this book ranged from extremely interesting to quite tedious depending upon what Peck was discussing. When Peck was offering his insights on the “philosophy of golf” I thought the book was downright remarkable. I liked Peck’s self-depreciating style and his appreciation for the intricacies of the game. However, when he moved into the realm of “explaining golf” I wanted to fast-forward the cassette. It seemed as if Peck was attempting to make the book accessible to someone who had never heard of the game of golf. While that is fine, it makes a good chunk of the book fairly boring for those of us who have played more than a few rounds of golf in our life.

I was able to get past that however and even found some of the explanation enlightening as I hadn’t realized how much about golf I’ve learned since I started playing. On the whole, listening to Peck’s wisdom and some of the remarkable stories he tells make it all worthwhile. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in spirituality, philosophy, psychology or golf. And if you’re interested in all of those areas? Well then you’ll love this one.

Audio-Specific Content: I listened to the unabridged (8 cassettes, approximately 12 hours) version of this book. It was read by Michael Kramer who I felt did one of the best jobs of narration I’ve heard in a long time. The production value of this title was quite high which made it highly listenable.

More Details

  • Published: 1999
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: G003291
Available On
Audio CD
6 Discs
4 Tapes