When playing in the Men's club tournaments, you may encounter a variety of formats. Our next Men's club tournament is being hosted by Buena Vista Golf Course, Sunday February 19th, 2017, and the format is 2-Man Chapman. In this post you'll learn about the 2-Man Chapman, what it is, where it came from, and an example of how it is played out.

The Name - Chapman System

Chapman system has other names, most commonly also called the Pinehurst System.System, Format, Scoring can be used interchangeably, or can be referenced without the added name, simply Chapman or Pinehurst.

The name Chapman came from Dick Chapman, who won the 1940 US Amateur and 1951 British Amateur. He played the Masters 19 times as an amateur, for which he shares the record.
Chapman liked this format so much, he donated trophies to Pinehurst for Men's and Women's Chapman System tournaments, and that is where the nickname Pinehurst comes from.

The reason this format was created, was to balance two players of different abilities. This allows stronger players to work with weaker players. The stronger player's drive sets up the weaker player for an easier approach shot. The weaker player's drive will probably give the stronger player a tougher approach shot. After 2 shots, you should be close to the green, so playing alternating shots from there should be less impacting.

How you play the Hole during Chapman System

  • This is a two-person format
  • Both players hit drives
  • Each players takes their 2nd shot from the end of the other players drive
  • The best of the 2nd shots is select to continue playing the hole.
  • From the best of the 2nd shot, the partners play alternating shots into the hole.
  • The player whose second shot was picked up, plays the third shot, hitting the best of the 2nd shot ball.

Chapman can be played in a matchplay format, or in stroke play like our Men's Club tournament.

Example - Playing Chapman Format

Matt and Molly are playing in the Chapman Tournament together. Matt tees his ball up on the White tees, and hits it into the rough on the left side of the fairway. Molly tees her ball up from the Red ladies tees, and hits it down the middle of the fairway.

Molly walks down to Matt's ball in the rough, to take her second shot. She hits the ball to the bunker on the left side of the green. Matt walks down to Molly's ball in the middle of the fairway. He takes out a PW and lands his 2nd shot on the fringe of the green.

Matt and Molly look at both balls, and have to decide which ball they wish to continue playing. In this case, they decide to play the ball on the fringe, and they can pick up the ball in the bunker. From this point forward, the team plays alternating shots.

Since Matt hit the last shot with the ball they decided to play, Molly hits the 3rd shot, from the fringe. She decides to putt from the fringe, but the putt gets caught up in the damp fringe and leaves the ball 15 ft from the hole.

Matt takes the 4th shot, which he pushes an inch or two to the right of the hole.

Molly takes the 5th shot, taps it in, and they enter a team score of 5 on the scorecard.

Handicap Calculations with Chapman

Handicap: You can use handicaps with this format, although the exact calculation depends on the tournament director, and the level of players involved.

A common setup would be the strong player would get 60 percent of their handicap, and the weaker player would get 40 percent.

Matt - a 10 handicap would get 6.
Molly - a 20 handicap would get 8
As a team - they get 14.