Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ike Liked Golf

A couple of years ago, I was stuck in a room with nothing to read but Golf Digest. So I had no choice but to start looking through it. To my great delight, I was rewarded with this incredible chart. It shows how often President Eisenhower played golf while in office.

The first page shows 1958. Each dot is a day. A red dot indicates that Eisenhower played at least one round of golf that day, blue dots are for days he practiced. The red dots are annotated to show where he played (24 times that year at Augusta National Golf Club). The second page shows all eight years in office, and lists world events occurring in that year.

I’ve kept this graphic because I think it’s a wonderful example of how a lot of information can be clearly displayed and can work elegantly on a number of levels. On the most general level, the density of colored dots is an instant read (it’s pretty clear that once Ike got that second election under his belt, he could get serious about what was really important). The graphic can also be read on a more detailed level of practice vs. play, world events and even includes significant medical events.

Sorry to disappoint anyone who thought this would somehow end up being about Tiger Woods.

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