Skip to main content

The Yankee Express

Echoes of yesteryear reverberate as Pleasant Valley marks a 60th

Jun 22, 2021 03:05PM ● By Chuck Tashjian

The late Arnold Palmer, “the King” himself, is one of many PGA legends who have made an appearance at Pleasant Valley Country Club over the years.

local favorite Fran Quinn, his mom and dad, and the rest of the Quinns.
-Seeing acquaintances and friends—Harry Berkowitz, Lee Gaudette, Danielle Desrosiers, Jim Knott Jr.—receive awards from the Chamber.
-Knowing the Mingolla family. First Ted Mingolla, who succeeded his father Cosmo “Cuz” Mingolla as owner, and then Ted’s son Steve. Their affection for the property has been carried forward by the Magill family, whose love affair with the three-hundred acre former apple orchard began as members and continues with conscientious attention to keeping PV in what Jeannie Hebert describes as “tiptop shape.”
Ms. Hebert has been president of the Blackstone Valley Chamber for thirteen years, but her connection with Pleasant Valley predates that.
“Wow,” Ms. Hebert said, when informed that the club has been in business for sixty years.
“Hebert Candies used to be a sponsor of the PGA there. My late husband was a member there for decades. He was a scratch golfer. We have a very high respect as most people do for Pleasant Valley, it’s such an icon. We are lucky to have them in the Blackstone Valley. We had our annual golf tournament there the day after Memorial Day.”
Ms. Hebert was also involved with Pleasant Valley as a member of the Board of Directors of Hope Lodge, and worked with the club “on our fashion show.
“I remember distinctly the Hebert brothers, Lionel and Jay. We got special treatment from them because our name was spelled the same even though theirs was pronounced the French way. I always enjoyed following Jim Thorpe, he was so congenial and so sociable.”
Under Ms. Hebert’s leadership, the Blackstone Valley Chamber has maintained its longstanding strong relationship with PV.
The club is best known for hosting PGA and LPGA tournaments almost from Day One right into the late 1990s; forty-seven such championships over a span of thirty-eight years, altogether. The LPGA returned for a one-year 25th anniversary tournament in Sutton in 1999, with appearances by Jan Stephenson and Pat Bradley.
Kathy Whitworth, Shirley Englehorn, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, John Daly and Sam Snead are among the many LPGA and PGA legends who have called Pleasant Valley home at least one time—during their careers.
With a Grandview Ballroom that overlooks the course, a patio and picturesque grounds, the club continues as a first choice for business meetings, functions, banquets and weddings. A pro shop and restaurant (now called Champions) complement the message the club conveys: “Unwind. Rejuvenate. Play.”
Steve Londregan of Chuck’s Steakhouse in Auburn has been a member at Pleasant Valley “for about six, seven years now, and I played there as a guest before.” He plays Pleasant Valley several times a week. Like so many of us, Mr. Londregan took in PGA tournaments at PV as a spectator, and he played in the 1986 Pro-Am there. That was the same year Roger Maltbie (now an on-course analyst for NBC Sports), partying after his second victory in as many weeks (following Quad Cities), lost his winner’s check. The celebrated incident has become a hilarious oft-told story as it makes the rounds. Mr. Maltbie had to sheepishly ask Cuz Mingolla to write him a replacement check. Many years later, the original check caught up with him. Recently, in an interview on KCAT TV 15, Mr. Maltbie, laughing, described the faux pas as “a day that will live in infamy.”
Mark Sarkisian Jr. of Capitol Siding in Auburn has been a member at Pleasant Valley for about twenty-two years “and my father was too. I was on the Board of Governors. I remember John Daly getting really upset over something and he left after the first or second hole. But I saw him drive the 15th. He was a big hitter back in those days.”
Mr. Sarkisian said the course is in “great condition and membership is up.
It is reassuring to know that Pleasant Valley Country Club is still in good hands, and that memories will continue to be made there.
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.By Rod Lee
Hard as this is to believe, Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton is celebrating a 60th anniversary this year. A quiet, but not uneventful one.
Speaking of which, few venues in the Blackstone Valley have a longer and more illustrious history than “PV.” The Asa Waters Mansion in Millbury and the Willard Clock Museum in Grafton are two that come to mind. There are others, of course.
From a personal standpoint, the “Pleasant” memories of experiences at PV are numerous.
-Given the honor of introducing then-Gov. Bill Weld at a breakfast meeting of the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce.
-Following Bruce Fleisher and Ian Baker-Finch in broiling heat in their playoff in the 1991 New England Classic, which Fleisher won with a fifty-foot birdie putt on the seventh extra hole—at the age of forty-two. Described in the Los Angeles Times as “a real late bloomer” on the PGA Tour, Fleisher enjoyed his first, and only, Tour win, that afternoon.
-Following Lee Trevino.
-Walking all eighteen holes with