World-renowned rules official and European Tour Chief Referee, John Paramor, has been awarded the Christer Lindberg Bowl at the PGAs of Europe Annual Congress Gala Awards Dinner supported by Rolex.
The award, named after the PGAs of Europe’s first Chairman, is awarded to individuals or organisations in recognition of their impact on, and services to, golf.
Paramor is the deserving winner of the award having worked as a rules official for the European Tour for over 40 years, becoming one of the most highly respected and esteemed referees in golf, and playing his part in the evolution of the Rules of Golf and the way that they are taught to golfers and PGA Professionals across the globe.
“I feel very proud, but obviously not worthy,” said Paramor. “I’ve loved my life in golf so this is the icing on the cake really, it’s absolutely fantastic.I’ve been very lucky to work with some fantastic people, some absolutely brilliant players and I owe them for the chance that it’s given me to try and help them.
“I’m also lucky to have worked with some great administrators in the game…Ken Schofield at the start – he employed me and John Jacobs was very much on the scene at that time too.
“The first people I worked with were George O’Grady and Tony Gray, so I was able to take all their best points – well I hope I did anyway – and use them as my own! And now of course we are in the era of Keith Pelley who is bringing a freshness and a vibrancy to the game itself.”
Paramor began his golfing career as a player but moved away from the thought of playing for a living having seen the likes of Neil Coles, Bernard Hunt and Peter Butler play, whilst caddying for the latter.
With a fascination for the Rules of Golf, Paramor was able to join the European Tour in 1976 as a Referee. Over the coming years Paramor would progress to become a Tournament Director in 1979, Director of Tour Operations in 1985 and subsequently Chief Referee in 1991.
Since then he has overseen some of the biggest tournaments in the world and has recently passed his 100th Major Championship as a referee and is not far from his 1000th tournament. He has refereed some of the greatest golfers of all time and in 2016 was the Chief Referee at the return of Olympic Golf in Rio
Paramor was presented with his award at the Association’s Gala Awards Dinner having led a session with Annual Congress Delegates earlier in the day on some of the many highlights he has had throughout his career.
“It’s very special to be present at the Annual Congress because, certainly from a rules perspective, so many of the Professionals in Europe, and Member Countries of the PGAs of Europe have to anchor the rules and teach the youngsters coming into the game. So they have a very strong and important role in the future of the game.
“It’s been great to be here and be amongst the PGAs, trying to pass on a little bit of the fun that I’ve had so that they can take that forward…hopefully helping European golf to be stronger than ever.”
There is little sign of Paramor’s involvement and authority in the rules world diminishing and having had such influence in the sport for so long ensures a lasting legacy will remain for many years to come.
“I hope I can continue to a point just before the players want to get rid of me! But I want to make sure that hopefully I’ve left the game in a better place than when I joined it.”
Paramor joins an illustrious roll of honour with fellow Christer Lindberg Bowl winners including Annika Sorenstam, Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, Neil Coles, Sir Michael Bonallack, Ken Schofield CBE, Joe Steranka, IMG and recently appointed PGAs of Europe Honorary President, George O’Grady CBE.