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Yale Golf Summit at Bandon Dunes Resort (Oregon)

It has been a while since I blogged, so I am glad to be back in action. The school year ended wonderfully, mostly because I had the opportunity to attend the Yale Golf Summit which took place on May 10-13 (Thursday to Sunday) at the Bandon Dunes Resort in Bandon, Oregon. This event, which brought together students, alums, Yale Deans, a new professor, and some other Yale stakeholders, was spectacular for a number of reasons. First, Bandon Dunes is easily the most fabulous resort and set of golf courses that I have ever seen. The four courses are out of this world, each having their own specific style and posing their own challenges when you play them. Second, this weekend was not just about playing golf; it was also about brainstorming and discussing innovative solutions whereby golf can be used as a tool to make the world a better place. This portion of the weekend was just as fulfilling as playing golf. When I arrived in Portland, Oregon I could not believe the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest. I had never seen so many beautiful mountains and hills while arriving at an airport. I met two classmates (Anna Grotberg and Becca Rabison) in Portland and we all rode together to Bandon (about a 5 hour drive). This was a great opportunity to get to know two other people in my class better, and we had such a fun road trip! It included a very brief wine testing in the town of Elkton, Oregon (beautiful, quaint town) and an elk sighting in another town. Also, it was great to hang out with my classmates on such a random excursion; I now have two more people that I truly consider friends. At Bandon, besides playing golf, there were a couple of events that really stuck out in my mind. On Friday, we had the opportunity to split up into groups and re-frame a question, posed by Jim Urbina of Urbina Golf Design (who designed the Old MacDonald course at Bandon Dunes), related to how we can design a golf course that will grow the game of golf. It was amazing to look around the room at all of the notes and ideas that were being shared. I really enjoyed working with my group, which included a former department head at Goldman Sachs and one of Yale’s deans, and we had the opportunity to delve into what aspects of the game of golf make it so exclusive and what we can do to attract more minorities and women to the game. Golf is a great tool to build concentration, focus, strategy and discipline; thus, it is a great sport for both adolescents and adults alike to play. The second session that I really enjoyed was our discussion about the First Tee case, a raw Yale case about this nonprofit organization (First Tee) and its work spreading the game of golf. It was amazing to see that each and every person in the room had carefully read the case and had excellent insight to offer about the case and the organization. To end my trip, I had the chance to enjoy the drive back up to Portland and I had dinner with Anna (one of my classmates) and a great alumnus, Rick Hunt, at another one of my classmate’s restaurants (Andina Restaurant in Portland). Both the food and the company were spectacular and it was a great way to end a fabulous weekend. I had the opportunity to grow so much during this summit, and I am extremely thankful that our student leaders and Dean Snyder had the vision to connect so many Yale affiliated individuals to rally around a great cause.