Bud Chapman Golftales RJSmiley

Ageless Artist sets Another Record

Last week Minnesota lost a golf legend. Read a revealing story of his golf skills and artistic talents.

During the 2015 MGA Senior Amateur Championship held at Deacons Lodge in Breezy Point, MN, Bud Chapman set another record; proving that he is still a MOVER & SHAKER in MN Golf.  Chapman become the first golfer to shoot his age in competition on the tough Arnold Palmer layout.

The most famous golf themed painter of all time, once again proved his immortality.  At age 92, Bud Chapman left the golf course feeling a little disappointed after Monday’s first round of the Sr. Am.  Chapman suffered a costly 3-putt from 7 feet on the final hole to shoot 93, one stroke over his age.  Chapman was sent home with an unfulfilled feeling, but still had that familiar smile on his face.  On Tuesday with the pressure on, Bud came back matching his age, 92, to secure the sought after scoring record.  His record score was achieved despite a double bogie on 15 and a triple bogie on the unforgiving 16th.  

Bud finished 4th in the Grand Masters Division behind the Haugan twins, David was first and Dennis was second, and Rick Withoit who finished third.  With that huge Cheshire Cat grin shaded by his ever present wide bribed hat, Chapman said, “if I had played my best I could have competed for the championship.  I have entered this event 17 times and won it 14 or 15.”  

Chapman who holds the record for most rounds shooting his age in a lifetime, at 3,072 (as of Tuesday, Sept 3, 2015), admits that he was disappointed with Mondays round, scoring 93.  Chapman, who carries a 5 handicap at the tough Minneapolis Golf Club exclaimed, “that was the first round all year that I have not shot my age.  Oh well, the streak will start again tomorrow.”  He keeps a calendar with his daily score and total number of rounds scoring his age.

Chapman, with the body of a whippet and the flexibility of a teenage gymnast, plays golf 5 or 6 times per week.  He admits that his life has been blessed.  “I have spent my whole life playing golf and painting, neither of which are really work.  When people ask me when I am going to retire?  I always tell them, retire from what.”

Chapman holds another record that will likely never be beaten.  He has attempted to qualify for the US Open Championship a record 67 times.  When you understand that a golfer must have a USGA Handicap Index of 1.4 or less just to enter the qualifying, you understand what an impressive record that really is.  Maintaining a handicap that low for that many years is truly amazing.

Bud is always aware of where his score stands versus his age.  He said, “My average score is about 12 under my age but I have shot 19 under my age 3 or 4 times.  Twenty-one under my age is my goal.  That will tie me with Ed Ervasti a Canadian golfer (now deceased) who shot 72 at the age of 93 back in 2007.’  

When asked who he usually plays with Bud says, “I don’t really keep a schedule or make tee times.  When I feel like it, I just go to the club and see where I can fit in with a group.  Sometimes I just take off by myself.”  Bud is the only person that I know who does not need a signed score card to prove that “he did it once again.”

Chapman loves to play golf and loves to do golf paintings.  He admits that playing golf always comes first.  When asked where he get the inspiration and ideas for all his paintings?  Bud says, “those ideas come easy.  I see golf holes everywhere I go; downtown, riding in a car or chasing gold.  (Bud was involved in golf mining for a short time.)  Even Pete Dye, the golf architect known for unusual, quirky and extremely difficult golf courses says that he might have gotten even bolder with his design because of the Bud Chapman paintings.

Bud is just as busy with his painting as ever.  The “Famous 18 Holes” are still selling well all over the world where golf is growing and Bud is becoming more in demand.  China will be his next big “Famous 18” project.  He recently completed a painting for the 100 anniversary of Minneapolis Golf Club to be celebrated in 2016.  He has completed a series of bowling paintings that will be on the market soon to add another flavor to his paintings.

Chapman admits that he and his representatives have a proposal in to the Ryder Cup people to create a “special painting” for the 2016 Ryder Cup matches to be held at Hazeltine National.  

As a fan of golf and a fan of Chapman paintings, I know that I would stand in line to purchase a Chapman Ryder Cup painting. 

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