Golf. It’s the ultimate head game. And when nothing but the best advice will do, along comes M. Scott Peck, M.D., the celebrated psychiatrist and author of the best-selling self-help book of all time, The Road Less Traveled.
In Golf and the Spirit, M. Scott Peck writes a book for beginners and masters alike–and even for nongolfers. It goes beyond mechanics to explore the deeper issues, ways of successfully managing the emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of this most wonderful, maddening, deflating, and inspiring game.
Playing side by side with M. Scott Peck on an imaginary course of his own design–complete with illustrations of each hole–you will come to see the profound truths in this seemingly simple game. Appreciate that life is not linear. Come to understand your own anger and how to heal that which gets in your way. Accept the gifts of humility. Appreciate kenosis, the process by which the self empties itself of self. Benefit from teachers. Know that in weakness often there is strength. Realize that to experience the blessings of golf and life fully, you must accept the divinity that underlies all things.
Like the best-selling volumes of Harvey Penick and Michael Murphy, Golf and the Spirit makes a unique contribution to the literature of golf and life. It goes beyond the body to address the heart and soul of the game, creating a rare opportunity for transformation in the lives of its readers, both on and off the fairway.
It seems to me the human condition is most basically that we are willful creatures living in a world that, much of the time, doesn’t behave the way we want it to. We live in the tension between our will and reality. Sometimes with great effort and expertise, we can change reality or bend it to our will. At other times–also with great effort and expertise–it is we who must change by coming to accept the limitations of the world and of ourselves. How we do this–how we deal with the hazards of life–is quite akin to how we deal with the hazards of a golf course.
Sooner or later golfers who stick with the game long enough will almost always come to see it as a metaphor for life. But the word metaphor fails to do justice to all that golf has to teach us. I would go even further and say that, in its own way, golf is life and, not only that, life condensed. If we choose to use it as such, I believe that golf, next to marriage and parenthood, can routinely be the greatest of life’s learning opportunities.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About M. Scott Peck
M. Scott Peck, M.D., is the author of several New York Times best-sellers, including The Road Less Traveled, which has spent more than ten years on the Times list and is arguably the most influential spiritual book of modern times…. More about M. Scott Peck