First Hit: A feeble attempt to deliver a powerful and life changing book.
The book “Golf in the Kingdom” by Michael Murphy was one of those books that took a life philosophy and laid it on top of the sport of golf.
I loved this book and have, over the years, given away over 30 copies to people who really like golf.
Unfortunately, it is a difficult story to put on film and in fact Clint Eastwood, has had an option to make this into a film for years and could not do it.
The other unfortunate event which prevented me from seeing this film fully was that the theater (The Rafael) needed to change the projector bulb (as the announcement, at the bottom of the screen, stated during the entire film) was at least 50% dimmer than it should have been.
Despite, this I was hopeful during the entire film that it would come together and provide the amazing truths the book offered. Nope, little or nothing was forthcoming and I ended up being sad and disappointed at the way the story line came together and this included the use of an Oregon coast golf course as a stand in for Burning Bush in Scotland.
Scottish links courses do not have the kind of trees that were everywhere in this film. Not only was the screenplay week, the constant cutting from the one game of golf, to a dinner, to a search for Seamus McDuff to Shivas Iron’s cottage was confusing.
Mason Gamble played a young Michael Murphy and was OK but clearly not embodying someone on the path of learning. David O’Hara played a weak Shivas Irons, the wise teacher of golf and life. Malcolm McDowell played a wise Julian Lange and showed acting and character skills with the rest of the acting crew lacked. Susan Streitfeld wrote and directed this film and overall it was a very mediocre attempt.
Overall: This film lacked cohesiveness and a storyline which it desperately needed.