The Chapman Pinehurst Golf Tournament Format

Chapman, sometimes called the “Pinehurst System” or “American Foursomes,” is a unique two-person team competitive scoring system. The Chapman golf tournament format can be played as stroke or match play and it’s an ideal format for golfers with varying talents and playing abilities.

The scoring system might sound complicated at first, but it’s simple once you’ve done it. Here’s how the Chapman golf format works.

Golf teammates “A” and “B” both hit off the tee. Sounds normal, right? But then the play begins. Golfer A walks to B’s [drive], and golfer B walks to A’s [drive]. They switch balls for the second shots with A playing B’s ball and B playing A’s ball. After the second shots are hit they compare the results to see which ball is in the better position. They select the better-positioned ball and the other ball is picked up.

Now you’re asking yourself: “Who plays the third shot?” The answer: the golfer whose second shot wasn’t used. And from there they hit alternate shots until the ball goes in the hole.

The clear advantage to the Chapman or “Pinehurst System” golf format is that it works extremely well with golfers of varying talent. By having the teammates switch balls after both hitting drives off the tee, the better golfer is probably playing from farther back, while the weaker partner is probably playing from a better position closer to the green. Also, by hitting alternate shots from the third shot onward, the chances of two bad plays in a row diminishes (while the enjoyment increases).

If you are in a highly competitive Chapman Golf Tournament, we recommend choosing a partner that plays to your weaknesses. If you hit a wild-ball off the tee, best to choose a straight-hitter who will give you a short-grass option every time.

In the Chapman golf format, just as in life, it all equals out. Enjoy!

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