Fan Yang is blunt. He thought golf was for “older people” for a long time. The Chinese-born entrepreneur says green fees and golf equipment are more expensive there because the sport doesn’t have the same popularity it does in North America. He first came to Canada in 2006 to study finance at Saint Mary’s University. On a visit home during a summer break, he finally teed up.
“My friends are all working during the day and I’m bored,” he remembers. “My dad suggested I hit some balls on the range and I tried that. Once I did I got addicted.”
Today Yang, 28, is the president and CEO of Patrons Golf and Lounge on Dellridge Lane in Bedford. The open main room features a dining area, lounge area, and two golf simulators. Design elements connect the three spaces for a seamless vibe. Black ceilings and slate grey walls create a simple backdrop for red, black, and white leather chairs. A blue neon light runs along the bar adding another splash of colour while a massive crystal chandelier hangs over the lounge.
Golf hooked Yang when he was earning his finance degree at Saint Mary’s University. He graduated in 2011 and immediately started working at CIBC. Golf offered the recent grad the perfect opportunity to network with clients.