What is DECADE? Scott Fawcett’s Course Management System Gives Golfers an Edge

By Kellie Noszka

Bryson DeChambeau studies a yardage book

The DECADE Course Management System has generated quite the buzz in the golf world, creating everything from a quick rise in the game’s top golfers to a ban laid down by the NCAA.

What is DECADE Golf?

The DECADE system basically uses your statistics and the statistics of others to create a plan for better golf success. Golfers enter their data from each round allowing the system to analyze how millions of shots were played. DECADE then provides golfers with a customized analysis that shows where strokes are being lost and gained. Instead of providing an overwhelming list of stats, DECADE highlights the stats that will make a difference in your score.

In addition, the system shows you what targets to aim for to optimize your score. Like a chess match, DECADE allows you to think several steps ahead with proven, statistic-based approaches to each shot.

DECADE stands for Distance, Expectation, Correct Target, Analyze, Discipline and Execute. DECADE claims that “committed players will see 20 to 40 percent handicap reduction in a matter of weeks.”

Who is Scott Fawcett?

Follow Fawcett’s Twitter page or listen to a podcast and it’s clear that the former professional golfer is confident in his system. The 47-year-old Texan combines his strong math background, golf experiences and stint as a high-level poker player to form the DECADE system which he says basically comes down to math and playing the odds.

Fawcett told Barstool Sports the reason, in part, he was not successful as a professional golfer was because he did not, at the time, understand course management.

May the Odds Be in Your Favor

DECADE is about setting the odds up in your favor. Those odds are unique to each individual golfer because of the multiple variables that the sport presents.

Unlike other sports, tournaments are played at a variety of venues, each with its own set of challenges. All professional basketball players shoot at a 10-foot high rim, all football players compete on a 100-yard field. In golf, each course differs in length, elevation, obstacles and the list goes on. Courses even play differently from day to day based on pin position, weather conditions and healthiness of the turf.

The DECADE system takes data from thousands of golfers who have played those shots to develop a consistent analysis that is so in-depth that the game has never seen anything like it.

Fawcett has mentioned that in golf, you don’t play defense and you often don’t know the score. DECADE helps golfers control their own game and feel confident that their next shot is the right one.

What Golfers Use the DECADE System?

According to the DECADE website, more than 50 current Tour professionals are currently using the system, as well as over 1,000 college players and 500 instructors.

Will Zalatoris, the fastest rising golfer on the Tour, was one of the first professionals to adopt the DECADE system. Fawcett even caddied for Zalatoris when the then-17-year-old won the Texas State Amateur Championship in 2014. DECADE’s statistic-based approach has served Zalatoris well. He is currently ranked 17th in the world with a second-place finish in the Masters in April and an eighth-place finish (tie) in the PGA Championship last week.

As with Zalatoris, Bryson Dechambeau emphasizes an analytical approach to the golf. Dubbed “The Scientist”, Dechambeau and his teammates first met Fawcett at Southern Methodist University. Dechambeau immediately implemented the statistic-driven approach and went on to win both the NCAA Championship and U.S. Amateur in the same year. Dechambeau is currently ranked fourth in the world.

Shortly after purchasing the DECADE app last year, veteran Stewart Cink won the Safeway Open, his first Tour victory since the 2009 Open Championship.

Golf of the Future?

The system has such proven success that the NCAA banned Fawcett from teaching his seminar because of its “unfair competitive advantage.”

Still, the effectiveness of the system is intriguing and it will be no surprise to see more golfers – college, professional and amateurs – implement it in the future.

Image: Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

About the Author

Kellie Noszka is a freelance writer and former sports reporter for the Cincinnati Post. She was a golf caddie for 10 years and earned an Evans Scholarship to The Ohio State University. Kellie developed a deep appreciation for the game of golf at an early age.