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bkuehn1952

"Chapman" Competition Rules Question

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I do not believe the USGA has a set of Rules for "Chapman" competitions.  By "Chapman", I refer to a team game where a 2-man team each tee off, then switch and hit each other's ball on the second shot and then finally, select one of the balls and alternate shots until holed.  There are other names for this game but many of us use "Chapman."

The questions deals with penalty strokes taken and the right to choose which ball to play after two shots.  In the scenario, Player A hit a long tee shot and player B hits a very short drive.  Player A lays up short of a cross hazard for his second, using Player B's tee shot.  They move forward and discover player A's tee shot went too far and is in the hazard.  They drop out and player B prepares to hit.

The opposing team states that if Player B hits, the team must pick-up the other ball.  Because they dropped and took a penalty, player B is hitting the team's 3rd shot.  They have no option to use the "lay up" ball once a 3rd shot is made.

It sort of makes sense to me.  Player B is going to hit the 3rd shot, whether they play either ball.  It would not be reasonable to allow player B to hit both balls and then choose one of those.

Anyone know for sure how it should work?

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You won't find an answer in the rules of golf, so it really comes down to how the committee who organizes the tournament wants to handle that situation. My suggestion would be to phrase the rule such that each team gets two strokes at each ball (a "stroke" being defined as a swing/chip/putt but not a penalty) and then a decision must be made. 

So in the case you describe above, Player B would hit from the drop area. Then the team would get to choose whether to play that shot (lying 3) or the layup (lying 2). 

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Also known as Pinehurst or American Foursome

Conventionally, each player's second shot is with the others' ball (or substituted) ball in play

Edited by Rulesman

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On 10/23/2018 at 5:12 PM, Big C said:

You won't find an answer in the rules of golf, so it really comes down to how the committee who organizes the tournament wants to handle that situation. My suggestion would be to phrase the rule such that each team gets two strokes at each ball (a "stroke" being defined as a swing/chip/putt but not a penalty) and then a decision must be made. 

It is probably a good idea to mention that the "Chapman" format seems to have different versions if you search the internet. Sometimes called Chapman, and other times called Modified Chapman, Pinehurst, or Modified Pinehurst, it all really comes down to what is documented in the rules sheet prior to the tournament starting and how well a job the committee did in documenting it because it is not governed by the rules of golf. So is yours really Chapman? Who knows, but if your specific condition was not documented very specifically in the rules sheet prior to the tournament then it is up to the committee on how to rule.

At our club we play this format a few times a year. Both players hit their drives, they switch to their partners ball to hit the second shot, and then they choose which ball to finish the hole with. The third shot is chosen "officially" when either the un-chosen ball is picked up, or the chosen ball is put into play by one of the team members. On our rules sheet it says that if a shot or stroke is lost or unplayable, and a drop is taken, the drop is not only counted as a stroke and recorded as part of the total strokes for the hole, but the drop is an act of putting the ball in play. Thus at our club, the choice is made if the ball is dropped and a team member is now hitting greater than 2.

These types of formats, although a lot of fun, can get difficult when there is a rules issue. Unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast. 

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