The Chapman System (also called “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 1951 British Amateur Champion, who collaborated in the 1950’s with the USGA to develop a method to compute handicaps for 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 ball they wish to continue with and they play it alternately until it is holed.
The USGA recommends, for Chapman stroke play, a handicap allowance of 60% of the A-Player’s Course Handicap plus 40% of the B-Player’s Course Handicap. The Australian Golf Union recommends a handicap 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 handicap allowances.
Scorecard with Chapman team score and allowance
This scorecard illustrates the results of a Chapman competition for a couple. The team handicap has been computed as 60% of the A-Player's Course Handicap plus 40% of his partner's Course Handicap. This particular competition uses a handicap allowance to a tenth of a stroke, reducing the chance of ties.