Player Profile: Roger Chapman

Roger Chapman, the man who finally won on the European Tour after 19 years, GOLFmagic caught up with him...

Martin Park
Tue, 8 Aug 2000

Roger Chapman
Born: 1.5.59
Family: Wife: Cathy, married in 1985. Children: Christopher and Thomas
Hobbies: Fly Fishing and Rugby Union
Turned Pro: 1981 (+1 H’cp)

Roger Chapman spent 19 years on the European tour and finished in second place no less than six times before picking up his first tournament win this year in the Brazil Open in Rio de Janeiro.

Having spent 18 unbroken years on the European Tour, Roger had to endure the pressures of Qualifying School for the first time last year. He made it with ease finishing in 12th place after six grueling rounds in Spain.

“It’s like the first 108 holes in the Open Championship”, he said, after he finally made it back on tour without having to rely on invites from Sponsors.

But now, Roger can relax, safe in the knowledge that he has a two year exemption from returning to the scene of shredded nerves and disappointed fellow golfers.

GOLFmagic caught up with him and asked him a few questions:

What is the best thing about being on tour?

Seeing different cultures and how other people live and after nineteen years on tour, there is not much I haven’t seen! I like the restaurants around the world, Madrid is my favourite city. But after being out here for so long now, the best thing is actually getting home on a Sunday night after the tournament!

What is the worst thing about being on tour?

Being away from home and hotel rooms with no decent TV. But the worst things are Airport lounges, delayed airplanes and Hotels without Sky TV! I miss the Rugby news!

What is the hardest shot in golf and can you give us a tip on how to play it?

A longish bunker shot on an up-slope. Basically, don’t have the clubface open, otherwise you will just scoop it up in the air. You have to drive it forward. What you need here is a square clubface and hit it hard just a little bit behind the ball. You could also use a different club, depending on how far you have to go, maybe a pitching wedge or nine iron.

How do you cope with pressure on the golf course?

Normally, I cope with it pretty well. When I won in Brazil, it was just a case of feeling comfortable. I didn’t look at any leader-boards and I felt that this time I was in control. I wasn’t looking around at other people, I just walked down the fairways with my head down and concentrating on that old cliché “Take one shot at a time”. I felt as if I was hitting the ball nicely and there was no reason that I couldn’t finish this one off.

Do you surf the Internet? Very Occasionally, my boys teach me how to do it. I like to look up the Rugby sites to see what is going on.

What is your nickname on tour?

“Chappers” or “Dodge”. My wife Cathy calls me “The Dodge”, but most of the boys on tour call me “Chappers”.

Favourite club in your bag? My 4-iron, I don’t know why, I just hit nice shots with it! If I need a 3-iron for a shot, I would rather hit a hard 4-iron!

How would you like to be remembered when you retire from the game?

Nice guy, finally did it!

What was your first paycheque as a Pro?

£850 it was. I won that at the Kenyan Open by finishing 15th in 1982!

Which type of course would you prefer to play on, Parkland, Heathland or Links?

Links, I love links courses. In England, Royal Birkdale is my favourite, but if I had one round left in my life, I would head over to Cypress Point, next door to Pebble Beach. It is magnificent. I was lucky enough to play the Walker Cup there in 1981 and I thought it was heaven. The 16th is the hole everybody raves about, but there is a better one than that just before it. Whereas the 16th requires a drive to a green perched on the edge of the ocean, the 15th is only about a nine iron and it is a beautiful hole. One round left, Cypress Point is the course I am going to play!