'September can be a bit vanilla, unless your card is at risk'

Simon Dyson on end-of-season incentives, the 'silliness' of golf and Dubai dreams

Charlie Lemay's picture
Fri, 28 Aug 2015

I've always liked this time of year. The majors are done and dusted, but there is still so much to play for. You get to go to some different places - Holland, Italy, Germany - and I've always played well in those end of season events.

Your mindset depends on how well the season has gone. If you've won and banked enough money to get into the Race to Dubai's Final Series - the four events - but you're not really challenging the bonus pool, then it can be a bit of a vanilla month - a bit boring.

If you've had a tough season - perhaps you are tight on money or trying to retain your card - the key is to believe in what you're doing and keep working hard. You'll probably have to play a few more tournaments than you want to, but that's just the way it goes. 

If you've been grinding all year and not getting the results you've hoped for, there will be a load of frustration pent up. It's not like 20 years ago when there were a handful of guys who worked really hard and got the rewards, everybody works so hard now - in the gym, practising and preparing. 

When you know you can do it, and you're doing everything to put it right without the results, it can beat you up. 

But if you can find some form and chalk a win, you get invites to great events next year, which you really look forward to.

Troy Merritt's recent Quicken Loans win in the US proves this. Five missed cuts in a row, and then his first victory. David Horsey won the Danish Open recently and he was 118th on the Order of Merit. That's the beauty, and the silly thing, about golf. You're always capable of doing that.

Plus, there's still the Dunhill Links at St Andrews, a tournament I won in 2009, which is a prestigious event in its own right. And this year the British Masters returns to the schedule at Woburn, hosted by Ian Poulter.

Everyone is doing all they can to scrape into the final four events of the year so if you make it there you can pat yourself on the back.

I've made it into the top 60 who go to the season-ending DP Tour Championship in Dubai every year bar one. It's nice because you often play in two balls for every round, which helps you get a bit of momentum going. Three balls takes too long I think.

Playing in Dubai is fantastic. We get put up in the superb Atlantis Hotel and we're playing a lovely golf course in the Jumeirah Golf Estates.

If you're middle of the pack it's a relaxed week. You're guaranteed some money, you've got your family with you and everyone's in a good frame of mind. You know the season's almost over, and the weather's always great.

We've got a lot of friends in Dubai so we see them and often stay on for a few extra days. I've been sidelined most of this year, and haven't hit a ball since wrist surgery in June, so I'll really miss going out there, especially after coming tied 16th last year. 

Surprisingly there are a lot of European fans watching because there is a large expat community out there. The Brits get a lot of support. 

The Tour Championship is a big event, and it pays a lot, but I'd still rather win the BMW PGA if I had the choice, because of the prestige it carries. If you asked an American would you rather win the Players at TPC Sawgrass or the FedEx Cup, I think they'd go for the former because of the prestige. 

By the time you get to the last tournament of the season, you're ready for a break. It's a very long year of competing. Your 2015 season ends, and the week after it starts all over again. You never really get a break.

I feel it physically more now because I'm getting on, but if you love the game and competing, it's not a problem. 

I was really surprised to hear about Martin Kaymer losing his PGA Tour card because he didn't play enough events in the US. 

When I sort my schedule I look at the tournaments I definitely want to play, when I want a week off, and then work something out. I don't plan too far in advance. I'll sit down with my manager and we'll plan a few months ahead. If I've played well to that point I may have an extra few weeks off, and if I've had a terrible start I'll add some more in. 

You never have pressure from sponsors or anything like that, it's completely up to the player. 

I'm excited to sort my events for next season, and get back to competing on the European Tour. I have a bit of scar tissue left over from the wrist surgery, which has made it a bit stiff, but I'm chomping at the bit to get out there swinging again.

Simon Dyson Columns: 

Life on Tour
The Masters Edition
Match Play tips, putting aids, Q&A
Drive to thrive at Wentworth
The US Open is a brutal challenge
Why the Open is the best major



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