Coaching, Podcast

How to Pick Better Targets and the Right Clubs w/ Scott Fawcett

If you can start choosing smarter targets and clubs in your course management you’re going to shoot lower scores. In this podcast with DECADE founder, Scott Fawcett we talk through some practical ideas for your golf game.

Scott and I had the chance to play nine holes at Pinehurst during the summit and we discussed at length, how the fairways are narrow and hard to hit. 

Common sense for most players is to hit conservative clubs off the tee to keep the ball in play.  

Scott’s take was different.  

He argues that by hitting shorter clubs off the tee, a player has nothing but long clubs left into greens that are equally as hard to hit.  

Bearing that in mind, why wouldn’t you hit driver?  Sure, the fairways are narrow but, you’re not going to lose a ball in a waste area.  

Quite simply, the math dictates that sacrificing a little accuracy off the tee is worth trying to be 80 yards closer on an approach. 

How do these course management strategies apply at the professional level?

Scott recently played in the first stage of Q-School.  He wanted to play well but, he was really interested in experiencing what it was like the apply the DECADE methods himself.

He was paired with another player the first two rounds who was longer with his driver by 20-30 yards.  But the fact that this player hit iron off of every tee left him well behind Scott.  

The golf course was open so there was no reason not to hit driver.  While conventional wisdom might call this strategy conservative, it really just didn’t make any sense. 

Scott emphasizes the role that math plays not just on the golf course, but in every decision you make in life.  

He uses the example of crossing the street.  If there’s a car coming, your brain uses math to decide how safe it is to cross.

While making decisions based solely on math on the golf course seems easy, it’s actually quite difficult because of the nonuniformity of golf course design.  He explains that if you’re going to take on a challenging shot, you should try and play as aggressive as you can. But, using math to determine when the right choice to play aggressive is, is what really matters.

He uses another example of caddying for a player in the Texas State Amateur.  The player had and had a plan to hit iron off almost every hole, leaving a wedge into the green.  

The only holes where he was going to hit driver were the par 5’s where fairway bunkers came into play.  In their only practice round together, Scott changed 12 of the 14 clubs in the game plan.  

Scott’s analysis dictated that hitting driver 20 yards short of the green was going to afford more opportunities to score than hitting wedges from 120 yards all day.  

On the par fives conversely, it made sense to lay back with three-wood to avoid the bunkers leaving only a slightly longer club in on the second shot.

About Scott Fawcett

playinglesson.com Follow Scott on Twitter A former college golfer for Texas A&M, Scott Fawcett’s professional golf career never went as far as he wanted it to. An appearance in the 1999 U.S. Open and stints on the Web.com and Hooters Tours, among others, led Fawcett to create a new strategy to help take his own game to the next level. By combining shot distribution patterns and PGA Tour scoring statistics, the DECADE Course Management System was born. DECADE — which stands for Distance, Expectation, Correct Target, Analyze, Discipline, Execute — has quickly become a revolutionary way to approach the game. After helping a junior golfer find success, Fawcett’s system gained a lot of attention and has since boomed. College coaches began hiring Fawcett to teach their golfers his system, and he has even been asked to help some PGA Tour players. The DECADE system became so effective that the NCAA banned Fawcett from teaching his seminar, considering it an “unfair competitive advantage.” Fawcett lives in Dallas where he runs an electricity company he started in 2002 while sidelined with an injury, in addition to his golf life. He has caddied for many PGA Tour and amateur players since the creation of DECADE, such as Martin Flores, Beau Hossler and Sam Burns.

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Founder and chief curator of the Golf Science Lab. Documenting what's going on in the world of research and beyond that can help you play your best golf on the golf course (when it counts). Join the movement of researched based coaching over trusting beliefs and what worked for one person a few decades ago. Follow on Twitter