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Second annual Isenberg Golf Tournament will contribute to scholarship fund

The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts is not just all about business and no fun. For two SOM students a capstone project became an alternative endeavor and event – a golf tournament in which portions of proceeds contribute to a scholarship fund.

Michael Friedman and Kim Jasik are two UMass seniors utilizing an entrepreneurial method for their graduating requirement. Since the fall of 2009 they have planned the second annual Scholarship Golf Tournament presented by SOM, sponsored this year by Scion.

Friedman and Jasik explained that they were inspired by two SOM students last year who took on organizing a golf tournament. This year Friedman and Jasik decided to form the event in the same way, while also moving the venue from Hickory Ridge in Amherst to The Ledges Golf Course in South Hadley.

“It isn’t so much different from last years, as it is an expansion of last year’s event,” said Friedman. “Dave and Nick [the event founders] did such a great job last year with the tournament. They signed up 119 golfers and raised $5000 for scholarships. We simply wanted to use their success as a springboard to grow the tradition of the tournament.”

Unlike traditional capstone projects the project incorporated, “marketing, IT, media relations, ticket sales, financing and accounting,” said Friedman. He said he “lucked out” with taking on the project – as he has been golfing for three years. 

Jasik said that the sport of golf itself is an asset in the business world.

“I am involved in this tournament because I think it’s very important, especially for a business student, to know how to play golf. Many business deals happen on the course and to know how to play will potentially further your career,” said Jasik.

Other than the thrill of near completion of a capstone project Friedman said he found his the process worthwhile, because it served another aspect other than a requirement for graduation.

The tournament is set up, not only for a round of golf but to raise money for a scholarship. The scholarship goes to a UMass student in the SOM, typically who has lived in the Pioneer Valley area.

“This will benefit the Isenberg School of Management because all proceeds benefit a scholarship for a deserving student,” said Jasik. 

The Ledges Golf Course in South Hadley will host the event on May 5 with the event beginning at 11:00 a.m. The event is $75 which includes dinner, a polo shirt and other giveaways. As for changing the venue this year from last year’s tournament Friedman said, “We’ve had a great relationship with the Ledges Golf Club.” Other sponsors include The Hangar, Buffalo Wild Wings, Newman Center Cafe, CBS News Springfield, Callaway Golf and CampusLive.

Friedman said he has set his expectations above par for the second round compared to the tournament’s first year.

 “Our goal from the start has been to get a full field of 144 golfers and raise $10,000 in scholarship money. Ultimately, we’d like to leave a lasting impression on both the tournament participants and the tournament sponsors so that future organizers will be able to continue growing this amazing event.”

Though Friedman is golfing in the tournament and hopes to do well, his intentions are within the event he has been planning for months.

“We’re making a difference for students – that is what capstones originally intended to do,” he said.

The faculty advisors for the capstone project are Alex Niefer of the undergraduate development office and Professor Robert Nakosteen of SOM.

Participants can register for the event at www.umassalumni.com/golf or in Isenberg atrium every Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Chelsea Whitton can be reached at cwhitton@student.umass.edu.

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