Proposals for rule changes at 2023 SWSC AGM followed by replies

(1) - Due to the high cost of fuel could we look at if you are drawn away then the next round would be home, or even having 3 or 4 districts where we could have qualifiers from them to go through to the quarters and so on. (Proposer - Builth Wells)

(2) - All rounds of the competition up to the Quarter Finals to be played on neutral courses.
(Proposer - Creigiau B)

Background and Reasoning

You only have to look at the results over recent years to see that the teams drawn to play on their home course have a massive advantage with a winning percentage of 75-80%, which is clearly disproportionate.

If the format was changed to one similar to, for example, the PING competition, it is felt that this would be a lot fairer.

All Clubs who enter the competition would agree to be available to host the various matches and it would be up to the Club drawn first out of the hat in each match to select a neutral venue (about half way between them and their opponents) and organise the tee times. We are only talking about three tee times for each match, so I’m sure all Clubs can easily accommodate this and it would of course cut down on travelling.

The initial Qualifying round would still be split East and West as at present with the above applying to each sector,

(3) - In the event of an SWSC Classic match finishing all square the away club to be declared the winner, when matches played on neutral courses the last halving pair will play sudden death to determine the overall outcome. CHANGE TO CLASSIC RULE 3g - (Proposer - Tenby GC)


Replies on Proposal 1, 2, 3 to SWSC Secretary:

Hi Clive,

We would also be happy to support the proposal of using neutral courses. I would agree with Stuart from Mountain Ash, that it would be good to have a standard charge for all practice rounds at all clubs.

Many thanks.

Kind Regards,

Bradley Stuart

Clubhouse Manager and Financial Administrator

Dear Clive

I can confirm that Cilgwyn GC is in favour of your proposals.

Best regards

Malcolm Davies

Cilgwyn Seniors Golf


Simon Edwards

Builth Wells would be happy to host SWSC matches as long as it was just the matches and not reserves.

Kind regards,

Simon Edwards

Secretary/PGA Professional

Builth Wells Golf Club


Gordon Elliott

Yes from Glynhir


Robert Arbourne

Hi Clive,

I'm 99% sure it would be a yes from Neath.

Kind regards

Rob Arbourne Neath


Peter Collins Carmarthen

Yes from Carmarthen


Adrian Jurd

It's a yes from S Pembs.


John Rees Haverfordwest


It’s a YES we will host these matches. It is for a very worthy charity and as always Haverfordwest GC will support charity events.


Stuart Whippey

Hi Clive,

I have canvassed our squad and we are happy to support Proposal 2 as the current format too heavily favours the home team.

I have spoken to our club treasurer and he has agreed to free use of the course if selected as a neutral venue.

Just a thought however and that relates to practice rounds. I understand that as a general rule of thumb a practice round charge of 10pp has been applied, but in the past two years alone we have been charged 10, 15 and 20pp by home clubs. I am of the view there should be a standard charge that is applied to ALL clubs. Even if Proposal 2 is adopted or not there should be one single charge, determined by the SWSC committee, and I ask for this to be applied with or without the adoption of Proposal 2.

Best wishes.


Mountain Ash GC


Graham Bebb

Good Afternoon Clive,

We have approached our new owners management here at Derllys. We are happy to support Proposal from Creigiau over using neutral courses. Also no charges will be applied to the teams if selected as a neutral course.

Regards Graham Bebb (Derllys Seniors)


Steve Greenow

The only problem with the second proposal would mean all teams would have to travel. Unless you include in a local foremat .


I would support neutral courses and potentially also a district based approach for the first rounds at least – east and west is just about OK.



Jeff Rosser

Hi Clive,

Yes on behalf of Pontypridd




Mark Harris

Would support either of the proposals.

Mark Harris Pennard golf club.



Hi Clive,

  I have discussed proposal 2 with our director of golf they are happy with it but did bring up the situation where a team just wants to play a particular course without cost and some courses become overburdened with fixtures.



Michael Fleming


Clive, as promised I have discussed this matter with our board this evening and can say that West Monmouthshire GC is happy to support the proposal for neutrality in preliminary rounds and would be happy to welcome teams here should they choose our course as a suitable venue.

The issue of reasonably priced practice rounds, if needed, would not be an issue.





Bore da Clive,

Newport Links happy to be a neutral venue. Regarding green fees, I feel we have county cards & that should be sufficient particularly as there is a wide range as regards prices of green fees. Newport is a privately owned course so we don't want to push our luck by also demanding well below normal green fees




Peter Croke

Dear Clive,

Please accept my apologies for not being able to attend this year’s AGM as I am on holiday. Could you please read out our response to the proposals because I think all members should consider our concerns?

Also we would like to know about what happens, if the proposals are passed, to the clubs that cannot provide their course for 2 neutral teams, will they still be able to enter the SWSC?

We have never won the Classic or the Bowl but thoroughly enjoy the challenge each year. We look forward to meeting old acquaintances or making new friends according to whichever club we are drawn against.

These competitions have been successful for many years and long may they continue.

Peter Croke





With regard to course available for neutral ties, Clyne would be available.

Ray Anderson

Allen Watts

Hi Clive,

Tenby Seniors had their AGM this afternoon and had a discussion on the disparity with results in the Classic between home and away clubs.

We had three proposals from the floor: (1) Keep the Classic the same (2) A 1 hole start for the away team (3) If the match result is a tie then the away team win.

We as a club would like to put forward the following proposal for the SWSC AGM to improve the disparity between home and away results in the Classic - If a SWSC Classic match result is a tie then the away team win.




Swansea Bay

Good evening Clive /Roy , off the 2 proposals I would prefer to vote for neutral courses but I cannot see

our Proprietor David Gorvett allowing curtsey of the course without A , part green fee paid or B All 6 players booking a meal .

As we presently do at Swansea Bay

Chris ,



On behalf of Seniors, I would like to add our support to the comments made regarding the additional logistical problems of trying to secure a neutral venue and it is not a suggestion we could support.

However, the suggestion that a team securing an away draw should progress to the next round without having to play a sudden death playoff, would be welcomed.

With regards to the first proposal made by Builth Wells, we feel the system works well at present and see no need to alter it in any way


Dave Kift



Hi Clive

I think the idea of playing on neutral courses is an excellent one.  The only problem I can envisage is if a Club GMC decides they are not happy with that and to not participate or charge the teams to play.  There really is only one way to find out.  I'll enquire at what the management's feelings would be about this.

Gareth Daniel

Cottrell Park.

Hi Clive

I have just received confirmation from the general manager of Cottrell Park that he is provisionally ok with the proposal if it is approved.

He will monitor the number of team's who chose Cottrell to use as a neutral ground for the time being as he is concerned that technically there could be quite a few teams who have the option to play at Cottrell Park as a neutral course each round and it is a proprietary club not a member's club.




Good evening Clive,

Apologies for the lateness of a reply.

Firstly as a fairly new member club to the Classic and being probably the furthest club to the East of Wales I would comment that we have not had an issue in travelling anywhere so far and have very much enjoyed our participation.

Some other comments I would make.

Fixture Secretaries of senior sections do a lot of work arranging their various matches and trying to organise neutral venues will add unwanted pressure.

Popular venues may be contacted by several clubs to supply their course for matches, would they therefore be in order refusing clubs if a match was already arranged.

I understand the advantage a home team has so how about a tied game would mean a win for the away side rather than the last group playing on for a result.

Finally everyone says what a great competition and for such a worthy charity so if its not broke, don't try and fix it.


Chris Doody

Coed y Mwstwr

Why not try to get say 2 venues  in each district hold round matches which have to played in a specific week.

Then a different set of venues for a specific week in next round etc.

This way all matches are also played at the same time as well.

To enable each team to be able to field a side for each week then increase the squad size to 12 so that each team should be able to field 6players?

When teams express an interest they need to ensure that their club is able to support a round as a venue at no charge.


Creigiau A


I support the comments of Mr Doody and accept that a draw may favour the home side, but my team played 2 away matches this year, winning one and losing on extra holes in the second. Both played in great spirit as was the intention when Howel and others set it up.

Trying to get neutral venues to suit both teams, at times convenient to both sides and requesting a practice round at a much reduced rate seems a step too far.

The FA Cup has survived for a very long time, on the 'luck of the draw'

Michael Evans

Langland Bay


I think Michael makes some very good points. During our first year of involvement this year it was not easy to arrange suitable dates. If one adds in the extra step of finding and agreeing a neutral venue it would become more difficult. Additionally the “best” neutral venues would often be chosen, whilst those who we not considered up to the same standard (rightly or wrongly) would often be considered.



Morlais Castle Seniors


We at support the principle of playing matches at neutral courses, having being aware for a long time of the bias toward those drawn at home..

However there will be a lot of work involved in setting up the rules and conditions in the first instance and there will also be extra ongoing work in arranging venues, dates etc..

One question I would ask is "Might venues be expected to host more than one match per round."?

And less obviously perhaps but nevertheless important a comment...

There will no longer be a host club to welcome and offer hospitality to visitors..!!

I'm sure it would work but it requires a lot of thought and discussion beforehand..

John Stokes




A wonderful day was had by all at this years South Wales Senrios Classic Finals day at The Grove Golf Club on Thursday, 7th September.

All the matches were played in a great spirit and were a credit to this great competition.

The course was well presented and the welcome and service which we received throughout the day was exemplary. Many thanks to the owners for the use of the course and facilities again this year.

All the results are posted on the website and congratulations to the winners.

Cradoc A winners of the SWSC Howel Craven Classic Cup.

 Llanishen B winners of the SWSC Bowl

Secretary Clive Evans was MC for the night’s presentation formalities.

He welcomed guests with a special mention to Jan and Nicola Craven (Howel Craven’s widow and his daughter) who were in attendance and paid a heartfelt tribute to his predecessor. The amount of work he did was immeasurable as he has come to recognise during this year. To maintain such high standards from the competitions inception until this year is highly extraordinary and prodigious, so much so that at our first committee meeting it was unanimously agreed that the Classic Cup be renamed The Howel Craven Classic Trophy in his honour.

The South Wales Classic and Claret Jug Competitions are becoming one, if not the most prestigious  in the Senior golfing calendar in South Wales and we as a committee will ensure that his legacy lives on and that the SWGC goes from strength to strength.

It was also announced that Garin Jenkins would take over he role of President as Max Boyce had stood down. He is a former Wales international rugby union player who represented his country 58 times. He played for Pontypool and then Swansea, a club he captained and also played in the Rugby Union World Cup three times: 1991, 1995 and 1999 . We as a committee look forward to having him on board for the foreseeable  future.

After all the teams had been presented  the most important award of the evening took place.

The Chairman John Davies and Treasurer Chris Bailey presented Mark Stevens Head of Fundraising for the Wales Air Ambulance a cheque for 8,500 which takes our donation to over 120,000 since the competition started in 2003.  A great achievement which would not be possible without your ongoing support.

That concludes the SWSC for another year and hopefully we can rely on your support again next year.

A polite reminder that the AGM will be held at the Grove Golf Club on Friday, November 3rd at 11am.


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President: Garin Jenkins

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held at The Grove Golf Club, on Thursday, 7th September 2023

Presentation of a cheque for 8,500 to Welsh Air Ambulance Head of Funding, Mark Stevens by SWSC committee members Chris Bailey & John Davies
cup winners
Cradoc A team with Captain Derek Osbourne - Winners of 2023 SWSC Howel Craven Classic Cup being presented with their trophy by Howel Craven's daughter Nicola
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cup 3rd
Llantrisant A team - Runners-up of 2023 SWSC Howel Craven Classic Cup being presented with their trophy by Nicola Craven
Gareth Daniel, Captain of Llanishen A receiving 3rd place Classic trophy by Nicola Craven
bowls winners
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Llanishen B team - Winners of 2023 SWSC Bowl after being presented with trophy Robert Jones, Captain of Neath A receiving trophy for runner-up in 2023 SWSC Bowl by SWSC committee member John Davies
claret jug winners
claret jug runnersup
SWSC Claret Jug winners Ian Miller & Karl Williams (Swansea Bay) after receiving their trophy
SWSC Claret Jug runners-up Dave Sidney & Lyndon Absolam (Caerphilly) after receiving their trophies from SWSC Committee member John Davies