Games We Play - Chapman
Pinehurst Foursomes, American Foursomes


The Chapman System (also known as Pinehurst Foursomes or American Foursomes) is a competition for teams of 2 players.  It is frequently played with teams of couples.  The format is named for Richard R. “Dick” Chapman (1911 - 1978), the 1940 U.S. Amateur Champion and the 1951 British Amateur Champion, who collaborated in the 1950’s with the USGA to develop a method to handicap this form of play.

In a Chapman, both partners play a tee shot at every hole from their designated tee.  Each player then plays their partner’s ball for the second shot.  The team selects the second ball they wish to continue with and they play it alternately until it is holed.

The USGA recommends, for Chapman stroke play, a team handicap allowance of 60% of the A-player’s Course Handicap plus 40% of the B-player’s Course Handicap.  Golf Australia recommends an allowance of 3/8 (37.5%) of the aggregate (combined) handicaps of the partners.

In Chapman match play, the team with the lower handicap allowance should play at scratch and their opponents play with the difference between the team allowances.

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