Remembering Bud Chapman and his ‘Infamous 18’ holes


The Minnesota native wasn’t technically a golf course architect—he never built an actual course—but rather a golf course artist. And yet the creative flair and dramatic realism that Chapman, who died on July 9 at age 97, brought to his fictional drawings made them as memorable as some real-life designs. An accomplished player who attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open 47 times and shot his age nearly 4,000, Chapman will be remembered as the artist who drew “The Infamous 18 Golf Holes,” which were published first in Golf Digest starting in 1975. His eye for the outrageous made for delicious visual treats. “Bud’s innovative thinking,” Pete Dye once said, “influenced many designers to make the contours a little steeper and bunkers a little deeper and generally to think outside the box with new designs, and, in a way, Bud made a great contribution to the game.” As a tribute to Chapman, here are a few of his masterpieces.

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