Among the colorful characters that make up this great game, rules official John Paramor and former college golf coach and mental coach Glen Albaugh left their mark within their specific niche. Paramor and Albaugh both died in recent days.
Paramor, long-time chief referee on what is now called the DP World Tour, has died at the age of 67 from cancer. He joined what was then the European Tour in 1976 and retired in October 2020 after the BMW PGA Championship.
“One of the all-time best rules officials,” said Tiger Woods. “John was around when I first turned pro and had been a staple obviously on the European Tour and all the World Golf Championships, when he came over here and was a rules official. Just a great guy. I’m a little bit taken back by that.”
So sad to hear about John Paramor’s death. A great man and good friend to myself and many #golf journalists. My knowledge of the rules was much improved because of him. He always answered my questions with patience and understanding. RIP JP
— Alistair Tait (@GolfTait) February 17, 2023
DP World Tour chief Keith Pelley praised Paramor in a statement: “I said in 2020 that ‘legend’ is a word used too often in sport but in terms of golf, and the administration of the rules of our sport, it perfectly describes John Paramor. Quite simply, he was a leader in his field, the guru of referees and someone who commanded the absolute respect of the players and of his peers,” Pelley said. “He was a big character in all senses—his physical stature, his stature in the game and his popularity with anyone who shared a dinner or a social occasion with him. He had a strong personality but had passion for his job and the Tour as a whole which shone through whenever you spoke with him.”
Very sad day for golf, one of @DPWorldTour ‘s best left us today.
RIP Big John. pic.twitter.com/rG8O7oj1oW
— Gonzalo Fdez-Castaño (@gfcgolf) February 17, 2023
“I was quite surprised, I didn’t know he was sick, so it came as a shock to me and it’s very sad for everyone,” 2019 British Open champion Shane Lowry said. “To be honest, I wish John would have been out there today, the pace of play might have been a bit better. He was always a great man at keeping the pace of play going well.”
Added Englishman Tommy Fleetwood: “He was a great person to be around, represented our tour proudly and had the respect of all the players.”
When asked how he would like to be remembered, Paramor said:
“I would like, really, the first reaction to be a smile, and then ‘Yeah, he was fair’.”
Albaugh, 91, coached the men’s golf team at University of Pacific and was a noted sport psychologist.
After a stint in the Army, Albaugh graduated in 1970 from Utah with a Ph.D. in education. That led to a teaching post in the physical education department at Pacific in Stockton. One day the athletic director Cedrick Dempsey suggested Albaugh coach the golf team, which he did for 20 years. (The school named the short game area after Albaugh recently.)
My mentor Dr. Glen Albaugh passed away today. He lived an amazing life and taught me so much. pic.twitter.com/K30iti2EGH
— Scott McCarron (@ScottMccarron) February 17, 2023
Aside from coaching, Albaugh extended his career into writing and a consulting service that counted, among others, followers like Anne Walker, Stanford’s women’s golf coach and former Pacific grad and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. He was also close friends with famed San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh. Albaugh also helped pro golfers Kirk Triplett, Scott McCarron and Charlie Wi. Albaugh’s book “Clutch” (cowritten with Eric Jones), about players performing well in high-pressure situations, came out about a year ago.
“I take something from John Wooden: ‘Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do’,” Albaugh says. “That’s the most valuable skill to have as an accomplished golfer. There are more ways to get something done. Most instructors try to get players to do get what they can’t do instead of what they can do, and how to best use those skills.”