The difference between your goal and your reality can also be called the difference between feel and real. That’s right, the poor player will continue to shoot at the bullseye and continue to hit the left of the target. You could argue that better players don’t have this difference between what they perceive is happening and reality, but that is patently false. The better player would understand that the sight of their gun is off, and then would re-adjust their aim accordingly. In the above picture, the player has shifted their intended target to the right side of the board, to allow for the difference between their perception and reality. As a professional golfer, I know that our intention-action coupling is constantly shifting around from day to day, and hour to hour. I could be in the middle of a round and, for whatever reason (tiredness perhaps) a new shot pattern creeps in. I may start out a round of golf with the goal (subconsciously) of hitting the middle of the face – but for whatever reason, my reality is off, and more toe-biased.
If the pattern is problematic enough, I simply change my intention so that my reality matches my goal.
Again, this is what separates amateurs from guys who get it done regardless of how their intention-action coupling is. Whenever I pick up a ladies club during demonstrating in a lesson (sometimes this is the only club at hand), I am more prone to hitting it out of the toe (due to shaft flex differences).
In other words, whenever I pick up a ladies club, I intend (try) to hit the ball more towards the heel, so that the result is a sweet shot.
What is interesting is that, because I have demonstrated with ladies clubs for so long, I don’t even have to think about this process anymore. If you don’t have the ability to shift your intention so that reality matches your goal, you are going to be inconsistent.
Hell, the only reason I am able to get the ball around in par or better is because of this ability. What this phrase means is that, from day to day, you are going to get a different pattern (lady) turn up. Again, this is another form of intention shift so that your reality matches your goal – something all great players can do if they need to. Imagine the below scenario, you are standing on the 18th at Sawgrass and you have to make a bogey to win the event.


Basically, the lady you brought to the table is one which hits the ball more left than your intention. It might be a better goal to listen to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger woods (and me) and Dance. By shifting your intention, you shift the reality. What he means by this is, instead of fighting his pattern, he just shifts where he aims (his intention), as shown below. By mentally aiming at the right rough, you will tend to shift your pattern more towards that area.
Having an ability to change is one thing, but controlling the amount that you change is really what separates players. Again, feedback, awareness all help in this process, as does practicing problem solving via random practice, variability practice and differential practice. Making a change is very difficult if the situation is more stressful, such as on the course in a competition. Knowing what change to make and in what dosage is one thing – but what if your comfort levels stop you making that change?
Sufficient comfort levels with changing as to be able to implement it on the course when needed. Subscribe and get Golf Hacks FREE!Join the newsletter to get awesome golf info once a week, as well as an amazing FREE Ebook - Golf Hacks.
Here is another simplified example illustrating the possible evolution of elephants with long-trunks from an ancestoral population of elephants with shorter trunks. Yet, one of the most vital components of consistency may not be what you think – it may even be completely counter to what you think. You take dead aim at the bullseye, line it up through the sight of the gun and pull the trigger. In other words, you are feeling as though you are doing something (firing at the bullseye), but your reality tells a different story. This includes changing their intention – although this skill of shifting their intention is often so deeply ingrained that a top player may now be unaware that they are doing this.
This means I am constantly shifting my intention around in order to get my desired reality – a process of constant calibration.
However, I learned to quickly adapt my intention whenever I demonstrated with a ladies club, so that I am able to hit out of the sweetspot.
Without it, I would be doomed to play with whatever patterns turn up on the day and I would probably never break 85.


Now, while you could obviously make a mid-round mechanical change, this tends to open up a bigger spread of pattern – in other words, your results might be shifted more towards where your goal is, but at the cost of a wider dispersion. Remember, this is an intention shift – if you simply physically aim at the right rough but then try to swing towards the target, you may end up hitting it in the water still.
Without feedback, it’s like trying to learn to play darts without ever seeing the board. For example, if you are hooking the ball, you may know that your club face is too closed to the path and that you can turn it into a manageable draw by getting the face more open. You will receive an email asking for confirmation - click the link to be directed to the Golf Hacks Ebook. As a pretty decent player myself, I can attest to the fact that what I am trying to do and what I actually do are often skewed. As I said, for me (now) this process is much more subconscious, but an amateur may have to be more aware of what is happening and direct this process more consciously. But sometimes (for example, on the course), you need to get the reality working NOW, or you are not going to get around in a decent number. Based on this, if you were to aim down the middle of the fairway, it is likely you would plop it in the water.
I find the vast majority of golfers above 5-8 handicap cannot give good information as to what actually happened at impact. This is a concept called perceptual adaptation, which I will discuss in a different article. You are certainly not identical to any-one else in your Science classroom, or even the world! An organism that is well-adapted, or well-suited to its environment stands a better chance at surviving and reproducing (and thereby passing on its successful genes to the next generation).
When parents possess advantageous, genes that help them survive and reproduce, they pass those same successful genes on to their kids; and when parents have successful genes providing them a survival advantage, they tend to have more kids than other, less "fit" individuals.
The result is a population with a greater percentage of "fit," successful genes, leading to individuals with traits that are well-suited to surviving and reproducing in their environment.



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