SUTTON - The photo accompanying this story is unique because Pleasant Valley Country Club head professional Paul Parajeckas rarely sits down.
On the job, the youthful-looking 65-year-old is a whirlwind of activity as he
was last week when the course hosted a qualifier for next week's Mass. Open Championship.
On a warm, sunny day, moving from the pro shop to a golf cart and then zipping from hole to hole, Mr. Parajeckas
made sure that everything was running smoothly.
Only when the tournament-qualifying action slowed down was he
able to sit for an interview.
Every day, Mr. Parajeckas
is pleased and grateful to come to work here at Pleasant Valley
, the place where his
love for golf really kicked in.
It was 50 years ago this summer when Mr. Parajeckas
was 15, and big-time PGA golf came to Pleasant Valley
home in Worcester, he
hitchhiked to Sutton and jumped in line to be one of the lucky caddies selected for the 1965 Carling World Open.
"In my mind, I can still see Ben Hogan and Tony Lema on the putting green in front of the clubhouse," Mr. Parajeckas
Said Mr. Parajeckas
, "To this day, after I park my car in the lot, I walk past that area heading to the pro shop, and say, 'Good morning, Mr. Hogan.
Thinking back to the Carling Open in 1965, Parajeckas
remembers Arnold Palmer using a white birch tree on the 17th green as a target for his second shot.
It's pretty much hollowed out, but somehow it's still standing," said Mr. Parajeckas, who, after an outstanding athletic career at Burncoat High, began his own professional golf career in 1969 at Green Hill Municipal as an assistant pro.
Prior to being named head professional at Pleasant Valley in 2006, Mr. Parajeckas was the head professional at Indian Meadows Country Club in Westboro and later at Woburn CC.
playing career includes several PGA and Champions Tour events and numerous professional wins in New England events.
turned 50, Mr. Parajeckas
won the Senior Open at Cooperstown, N.Y., and earned $20,000.
, who was inducted into the New England PGA Hall of Fame
in 2012, lists his
2009 NEPGA Championship win as his
most gratifying victory in golf.
"It was at Worcester Country Club
and I was 59 years old," he
Today, Pleasant Valley
, perfectly maintained with Tour condition fairways and greens, is owned by the Magill family, who also own Highfields Golf Course
The Pleasant Valley clubhouse is undergoing new construction at the front entrance.
"It's going to make our beautiful place even better," Mr. Parajeckas
has always been very special to me from the first time I set foot on the grounds here back in 1965," Mr. Parajeckas