John ‘JP’ Paramor – Born 1955 & passed away 2023

On Friday 17th of February, 2023 the golf world lost a great friend in John ‘JP’ Paramor.

Just over two years into his retirement and the former long-term DP World Tour Chief Referee succumb to the harshest ruling one can face in life.

‘JP’, as he was affectionately known, was aged just 67.

Mourning ‘JPs’ passing were his long-time good friends at the Association of Golf Writers (AGW) and with the Association proudly having honoured JP at our 2018 annual dinner at Carnoustie with the ‘Outstanding Services to Golf award.

John JP Paramor being presented with the AGWs Services to Golf award by Roddy Williams, whose father Michael the award is named, and then AGW Chairman Iain Carter

Hereunder is a collection of tributes to ‘JP’ from his friends at the Association and also from those friends of the Association that wished to share their members of JP (Tributes posted in order of receipt)

Bob Davies (Former long-time AGW Treasurer)

I don’t have a specific memory of John Paramor. But what I do cherish is my view that he was a true gentleman and a good friend.
I first came upon him when I, as a golf writer on a provincial newspaper, was fortunate enough to attend events on what in those days was the European Tour and it was a pleasure to meet up with John as he always had time to chat….and remembered my name!
Occasionally I picked his brains when I was confused by a rule of golf but it was the measure of the man that it didn’t appear to bother him when I outlined my problem and he always came up with a simple and easily understood explanation.
For that I will always be grateful while, like Bernie MaGuire, I will also remember the crushing handshake with which he greeted me!
Bob Davies

Stuart Franklin (Long-time golf photographer)

What a very sad day. JP was the tour when I first started working on it. He was a great of the game even without playing as a professional. Legendary in the true sense of the word, a true gent but really most importantly a friend to those of us who work in golf and love the game.

What a privilege to have known him and enjoyed a glass of wine together . Happy days..RIP JP.

Carmela Fernández Piera

What a sad news… all my prayers for John

Philippe Hermann

1994 Volvo Masters and John Paramor with Seve Ballasteros and what would lead to the now infamous ‘Burrowing Animal’ ruling.

English translation of Philippe’s tribute article:

International golf International golf is in mourning. 

John Paramor, retired from the DP World Tour (European Tour) in 2020, has long been a tournament director, then a very feared but respected referee and a true bible of his profession always present and active at the most important tournaments in the world.

A silhouette of a rugby back row, a jovial bon vivant but strict with the rules, he still enjoyed the sympathy of the golf players, crossing courses all over the world, hardly missing the most important tournaments.

John was always available. He would easily explain the incident leading him to run at the other end of a course, sort out a problem to make a rule decision usually not too welcome. For example in 1994 at Valderrama, his duo with Seve Ballesteros belongs to any golf book when the player was suggesting a free drop from a bad lie that he argued to having been caused by a burrowing small animal.

But there was also this big adjoining tree annoying him much more… Paramor did not move an eyelash in the face of the furious gaze of the great Spanish champion, finally defeated on this case, but so respectful like any golfer in the world who had to face the Chief Referee’s always fair decision.

R.I.P dear John.


Isabel Trillio Amores

John Paramor_ “Adiós, amigo”.

Cuando conoces a un hombre como John Paramor, todo grandeza y humildad a la vez; con su sonrisa eterna y su sentido del humor tan british, que a veces me costaba entender (tampoco domino el inglés a la perfección) nunca piensas que algún día tendrás que decirle adiós … para siempre.

Cuando en España había hasta siete torneos del Circuito europeo él era uno más de la familia “spanish”. Le encantaba España, su gastronomía, sus campos, su buen tiempo y cómo los mediterráneos amamos la vida. Era un bonne vivant que dirían los franceses.

En aquellos maravillosos años del Apollo Week en San Roque (principio de los noventa) donde el Tour europeo era más una ‘gran familia’ que un macronegocio; donde las personas eran importantes y nos cuidábamos unos a otros. Donde aprendías de los más grandes el amor a este deporte del golf y donde nadie conocía las Reglas del Golf en España (excepto Seve, Pablo Chaves y cuatro más) él tenía la paciencia de explicarme Reglas que en mis primeros años de escribir de golf me parecían más que absurdas y “demasiado británicas y encorchetadas”.

Por él, y otros muchos amigos en el Tour europeo que fui haciendo durante años, me animé a viajar cada vez a más torneos por Europa y por el Mundo, porque sabía que nunca me iba a sentir sola y siempre iba a encontrar una mano amiga.

Gracias John por tu amistad, por tu paciencia. Buen viaje y saluda a Seve.

Isabel Trillo

English translation …..

When you meet a man like John Paramor, all greatness and humility at the same time; With his everlasting smile and his ‘British’ sense of humour, which at times was hard for me to understand (I’m not perfectly fluent in English either) you never think that one day you’ll have to say goodbye… forever.

When in Spain there were up to seven European Tour tournaments he was one of the “Spanish” family. He loved Spain, its gastronomy, its golf courses, its good weather and how we Mediterraneans love life. He was a ‘bon vivant’ as the French would say.

In those wonderful years of Apollo Week in San Roque (early nineties) when the European Tour was more of a ‘big family’ than a macro business; where people mattered and we cared for each other. Where you learned the love of this sport of golf from the greatest and where nobody knew the Rules of Golf in Spain (except Seve, Pablo Chaves and four more) he had the patience to explain Rules that in my first years of writing about golf I they seemed beyond absurd and “too British and bracketed”.

Thanks of him, and many other friends on the European Tour that I was doing for years, I was encouraged to travel to more and more tournaments in Europe and the world, because I knew that I would never feel alone and I would always find a helping hand.

Thank you John for your friendship, for your patience. Have a safe trip and say hi to Seve.


Norman Dabell

So sad to hear of John’s passing. He was a real good friend to all of us, ready with explanations over rulings and quick to notify us whenever ‘rules rumpuses’ boiled up as they did frequently, invariably involving Seve. He always kept us in the know and his wealth of golf knowledge always made our job easier when trying to interpret the many reasons why a player had been penalised in our copy or explaining why, for instance, the weather had caused delays and the like.

But, to me, John, even though I was a decade older, was the avuncular figure who always had a kind word for me, or a crack, often at my expense. In my second week on tour he made me feel very welcome, inviting me to play a round on a few hours off at Crans sur Sierre with him against Mitchell Platts and Bill Elliott. I felt highly honoured, particularly as he was such a good player. That was the first of several rounds with John, who always had patience for someone not as accomplished at the game. And accomplished he was. For instance I remember him reducing the huge and tricky par-five 11th at Valderrama to an eagle, when we played the ‘After the Masters’ together over the very same layout the tour had played the day before.

He was always there to put an arm round me and listen to my troubles. He really got me at it once, though, at the El Bosque event near Valencia. I’d been out on a wet course and my socks were soaking, so I pegged them up on a line above the press centre to dry. John put up a spoof notice in the clubhouse saying that investigations were being carried out to find the perpetrator of ‘Sockgate’ with a view to getting him or her (for some reason Lewine Mair came under suspicion) banned and ejected from the event. I nearly fainted. He got a good laugh about that.  

John Bowles

So sad JP has left us. He was a good mate for many years and I had lately been in touch every now and then. 

He was originally a heavy smoker,as was I-but not so heavy. 

I well remember many years ago running in to him on some course , and chatting away before I suddenly realised he was not smoking. He smiled-given up ,he said, and then told me about theClinic which had worked for him. I ended up going to thatClinic with the same great result. 

A lovely man who will be sorely missed. 

Mark Garrod (Former AGW Secretary)

In all the years I covered the European Tour John Paramor was a constant presence – but our paths first crossed without us knowing it at the time. In turned out that we were married only a few miles apart on the same day, August 6 1977, and I had actually driven past his church in Palmers Green on the way to my ceremony in Waltham Cross.

We were also born only a few days apart in April 1955, so to hear of his passing at the age of only 67 came as quite a shock not knowing that he had been battling cancer. We travelled the world together and shared many happy times, his death bringing back many memories.

I will recall just one now. Can’t exactly remember the year (possibly 1999), but it was the final day of the PGA Championship at Wentworth and I went to find John to ask him about some innocuous ruling. Thankfully he was just outside the recording cabin and as I approached he greeted me with the words: “Didn’t take you long to hear what just happened to me, did it?”

I had no idea what he was talking about, of course, but sensing it was worth knowing and probably writing about I merely answered: “You’d better take me through it from the start”.

What had happened was that he had just been shot in the leg. Given that former Chilean dictator General Pinochet was under house arrest on the estate – not a bad place to spend 18 months, it has to be said – it had the makings of a great story, albeit a painful one as far as John was concerned. The culprit, the police soon discovered, was a youngster in one of the properties who decided to take random aim at someone with an air rifle pellet.

I can’t think of anyone on the circuit who commanded more respect than John. May he rest in peace.

Alistair Tait

Andy McFee (Left) and his fellow Tour Chief Referee John Paramor honoured by the AGW for their services to golf at the 2020 BMW PGA Championship

Please click Alistair’s tribute to John appearing on his ‘Alistair Tait Golf’ website:

Dermot Gilleece

When John Paramor stepped down a few years ago, I remember observing that wishing a happy retirement to a golf referee was a bit like organising a collection for your local traffic warden. Yet the reaction to John’s departure from the European Tour was almost entirely complimentary, and rightly so. I found him to be a most helpful and informative colleague; a very likeable man.

During a chat on the occasion of his retirement, he told me a charming story about his band-leader father, Norrie, who had the distinction of discovering Cliff Richard and the Shadows. “I remember when I was about 12, going with dad to Abbey Road and sitting in Studio 2,” he told me. “George Martin, who of course found the Beatles, happened to be there at the time. Round about halfway through the recording session, there was a kind of tap on the door and in walked these four lads, who wanted to check out what Cliff was doing with my dad.”

I shall greatly miss the wonderful chats we had.

Bernie McGuire (Secretary, AGW)

Bernie has website tributes to John appearing at and also Irish Golfer Magazine.

Click on:


Patricia Davies

Patricia has provided her tribute to John.

Please click on:

Lewine Mair (President AGW)

John’s family and friends are going to miss him terribly and so are we.  Though John was a stickler when it came to making the golfers play at an acceptable pace, he was never in a hurry when he was talking us through a complex rules situation. Without saying as much, he would sense when we were in danger of baffling our readers and would happily spell everything out all over again. 

To listen to John giving a ruling was an education in itself. He was at once confident and kindly, while he always spoke in a tone to suggest that any kind of argument on the player’s part was probably a waste of time. The European Tour was incredibly lucky to have such a charismatic man at the helm of their rules department and it was pretty obvious that the other tours thought the same.