The South Western Group of England Golf
This annual meeting is acknowledged to have been the premier inter-counties meeting before the official inter-county championships were inaugurated, and it is still regarded by many to be the finest week of competitive amateur golf in England.
The format is unique, involving the six south western counties of Wiltshire, Gloucester, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and of course Dorset, each playing the other in a series of matches over five days, with a 36-hole medal on the Tuesday to decide the individual South Western championship. The medal competition also decides which county shall represent the South Western area in the English County Championship finals. This is determined by the aggregate scores of six players from each of the six counties whose names are nominated prior to the commencement of play.
This qualification was introduced in 1955 and, in recent years, its outcome has tended to overshadow the result of the South Western team championship, which is decided by matchplay, and has always been regarded as the raison d’être of the meeting.
Each match of the team championship consists of eight singles played in the mornings for one point followed in the afternoons by four foursomes matches, each valued at one and a half points. It is believed that this order of play, with foursomes worth higher point's value than singles, is unique in team golf and places great emphasis on successful foursomes play. There are instances on record where a team has led by seven matches to one after the morning singles, only to lose all the afternoon foursome games and finish with the most disappointing result of seven points each.