Simon Dyson case highlights a problem

Simon Dyson

‘Just get it done.’

That’s what my old boss used to say to me. He was usually right. I’ve got little time for what some Scots would describe as ‘fannying about’. Just get on with it.

So what am I on about? Disciplinary procedures. Long, boring, drawn out processes that could have been solved in days – sometimes hours – nevermind weeks and months.

Take the recent case of Hibs player Rowan Vine, who made an indirect threat to Celtic manager Neil Lennon on Twitter after Lennon complained about the alleged heavy handed nature of Hibs’ players during a 1-1 draw.

It was a joke, quite clearly, although probably a tad silly. Lennon responded. Vine apologised.

Apparently the Scottish FA decided that was not the end of the matter. And here’s where it gets really silly. The original offending tweet was sent on Oct 20. The SFA decided to cite Vine as he made “offensive comments on Twitter suggesting the use of violence” on November 8. The player has to respond to that by November 15, upon which there will be a hearing on November 28.

In total, it will have taken 39 days to sort out the problem. And remember Vine apologised almost immediately.

Now put Simon Dyson to the front of your mind. We have video evidence of his error. We have no idea whether he cheated intentionally or made a simple mistake. Players make mistakes – or infringe the rules – numerous times during the course of a season. It doesn’t necessarily make them cheats.

If there was evidence of said rules breach on previous holes, then fine. But it looks like a one-off. Just like a bad drop.

Dyson tapped the line of his putt with his ball, an act he described as an “accidental mistake”. He was disqualified. He didn’t argue with that decision.

That happened on October 25. It took the European Tour six days to respond to the now very public allegations. That statement said an “investigation” would take place to explore the situation. Then, a hearing will take place. Dyson will be given 21 days notice of that hearing.

But we’ve not idea when the initial investigation will take place. And because of that, no date has been set for the disciplinary hearing.

Let’s be honest. It looks bad, but it also looks like a silly mistake. If there was evidence of said rules breach on previous holes, then fine. But it looks like a one-off. Just like a bad drop.

He’s got a clean record, so give him the benefit of the doubt. Other players seem to be given such courtesy, and you can read into that what you will.

Taking so long to deal with disciplinary matters is one of the great monotonies in sport. I’m not Simon Dyson’s biggest fan. I sat next to him at a dinner and found him more interested in his mobile phone than my conversation. But then my father says I’m a right wing sociopath so who in their right mind would want to sit next to me at a dinner. Or maybe I’m boring, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt once again.

But that’s besides the point. The evidence is there. We have video. Dyson has already given his version of events. It would be better for all concerned to just sort the problem rather than ‘review’ it over the course of weeks, and then take a further 21 days to give Dyson a chance to come forward.

Ridiculous. Just get it done.


Is the European Tour taking too long to deal with the Simon Dyson issue? What should the outcome be? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below…

Bryce Ritchie

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Bryce Ritchie
Bryce Ritchie is the editor of bunkered and its sister publications Scottish Club Golfer and English Club Golfer. He also edits www.bunkered.co.uk
Bryce Ritchie
Bryce Ritchie

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  1. Lee McCathie

    November 11, 2013 at 9:40 am

    he did break the rules, but I think we should be allowed to tap down spike marks. #rulechangerequired

  2. Englands Golf Coast

    November 11, 2013 at 9:47 am

    only had dinner with you once Bryce but you were very good company. No politics that night, just slagging big name courses!

  3. chris meek

    November 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Hands up who knows what to tap down on a green? I see guys tapping everything down some times. Lets be honest the green is meant to be flat. So no harm no foul. Change the rules.

  4. Stephen Kettlewell

    November 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    This rule needs changed, tapping down obvious spike marks does not improve the green, it restores it! The player who left the spike marks is, logically, guilty of spoiling the green! We are taught to leave the bunker as we found it, so why not greens? This archaic rule has had its day!

    • Avatar of JCK RMGC

      JCK RMGC

      November 11, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      How long do You think a PGA competition would take to play if they were allowed to tap down spike marks they would have to be a 5 day affair

    • Avatar of atko


      November 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Couldn’t agree more, and could also apply to pitch marks, leave the green as you found it.

  5. Tim Gray

    November 12, 2013 at 8:18 am

    It’s a no brainer that things like this need to be dealt with more efficiently but that requires the tour to put processes in place so that when something like this happens they don’t have to fanny about. Of course the tour will be asked for a reaction and the obvious one is “we’ll look into it” that’s the starter for a long drawn out process.

  6. david bridges

    November 13, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    This is the trouble with bureaucracy and committees. Most things takes too long. To me, the rule is wrong; but, as it stands, he made a mistake, admitted it and accepted his disqualification. He does not have a history of doing this so that should have been the end of the matter. It would be a different matter if he had done this before.

  7. Bernard Gower

    November 13, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I find the situation quite rediculous. Fine Simon improved his lie and done something an amature would not have done. I do not know whether it was a lapse of concentration and he should has a proffessional know the rules. (however it is amazing how many professionals do not know the rules, I have played with professionals many times who did not know the rules.
    What I really find disgracefull over this Simon Duson incident is how officialdome is treating the man. Tiger Woods commited three basic infringements this Year, (again, infringements an amature would not have committed) Was he called in front of any committe? No, off course not, officialdome has rules for Tiger and rules for others

  8. Avatar of AK


    November 13, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    No previous offences. No obvious advantage gained. Accepted DQ with no fuss. Move on and concentrate on the serial rules breakers. I forgot Tigers are a protected species.

  9. Avatar of jim5050


    November 18, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Any news on this?

  10. Gordon McMulllan

    November 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I agree with earlier comments, this rule absolutely needs changing.
    Why can you be allowed to repair pitch marks on a green but not spike marks, it is totally ridiculous and nearly everyone I have spoken to on this subject agreed that it was time for a change of rule.

  11. Andrew Gordon

    November 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I have to agree with Bryce here about fannying around in the case of Simon Dyson the evidence is all there its been seen by those who needed to, the player the referee and Tour bosses – therefore the player put his hand up says sorry guys I,ve made a very poor error then they all go behind a closed door where its discussed and other evidence is supplied and then the defendant leaves the room whilst his fate is discussed by the top desk, he’s called back in and hey presto he gets a fine or ban but to drag it out over a number of weeks is a bit of a farce and makes the tour look tad silly and leaves us mere mortals scratching our heads.
    As to the rule – its there and should stay as it is

  12. Tony Marino

    November 28, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Agree with all others here saying it’s done, he owned up and the DQ was the end of it so why drag it out; however I can’t agree with those who say no rule change – a crazy rule for sure that needs amended. I played behind a 3-ball a few weeks back with two of them using metal spikes causing all sorts of damage; now those old-fashioned monstrosities should definitely be banned.

  13. Robert Leith

    November 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I watched this comp when Dyson got caught tapping his line down, but before that happened I saw him numerous times tapping the hole twice with his putter quite hard after lifting his ball out the cup!!! what is he doing, trying to wreck the edge of the holes or trying to repair every hole. I dont even think he knows he’s doing it, just a crazy habit he’s picked up and oblivious to it. This might make him think more about his playing habits before it costs him more money.

  14. G Brown

    April 6, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Perhaps they are “looking into it” to the possibility of changing said rule……………………Zzzzzzz

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