Golf, Statistics, and The Meaning of Life

I once had a statistics professor who would begin his explanation of something by saying “Imagine an n-dimensional space.” I knew things were hopeless when he said that. I couldn’t imagine imagining an n-dimenional space, much less do it.

Matrix representation of a linear map f from a...

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Image via Wikipedia. In the public domain.

However, I can’t be too critical of the guy. It was in his class that I finally figured out what was really going on in statistics. His class was my sixth college level statistics course, and I’d made my way through the others with memorization, monkey-see monkey-do, and hard work. I got a clue about what was going on in my previous statistics class, but everything suddenly fit together one day in his class. The clouds parted and I thought “Why couldn’t somebody have shown me that before?”

Unfortunately, it was an accident. No one could have shown me the secret. The prof was explaining something else, I was daydreaming as I stared at the blackboard, and something he drew and said randomly fit with my daydream. Voila! It all made sense.

 

That experience in statistics gives me some hope in golf. I know that one day I’ll be hitting a ball with no idea what I’m doing, not even thinking about what I need to work on in my game. But something will click, I’ll feel what’s been wrong and is now right, and if I can hang on to the feeling, then: Voila! It’ll all make sense.

It’s happened before. It’ll happen again. I just have to stop trying to imagine that n-dimensional space. That drives me crazy.

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