Ren Han takes two minutes
June 10, 2014
By Laury Livsey, PGATOUR.COM
- Ren Han played his college golf at Indiana University.
Ren Han will always hold the distinction of being the first native of China to play collegiate golf in the United States. With several different education options as a teenager, he chose Indiana University in Bloomington, a school known more for its basketball program than its golf. Once his college years ended, he returned to China to carve out a pro career, where he is a charter member of the PGA TOUR China Series.
My favorite cities to visit are either Vancouver or Paris. I like Vancouver because of the snowboarding there. I lived there for four-and-a-half years, and ever since I moved I miss it, and I think about going back. There’s a huge Chinese community there. As for Paris, it’s the shopping I like. It’s the coolest city I’ve visited in Europe.
I started snowboarding because of a few friends. I go to Whistler and Coast Mountain. I started skiing first and then picked up snowboarding. [PGA TOUR China Series player] Mu Hu came over and visited, and he told me skiing was for old people. So we started snowboarding.
I’m probably a 12-handicap skier and probably a 20-handicapper for snowboarding. I snowboard once or twice a year.
Snowboarding is my favorite hobby, but I like car racing, although that’s a little too expensive. I like go-karts and sports cars you take off road. My agent is not worried about me getting hurt. He drives crazier than I do.
I was born in the year of the dragon (1988) on the [Chinese] lunar calendar. I usually celebrate by just going home and being with family. The tradition at New Year is to give out lucky money in red envelopes. So even though I’m grown, I still receive envelopes because I’m not married. It’s a good deal.
It seems people think and talk about my height more than I do. I always said I was 5-foot-4, but then Golfweek did a feature on me when I was in college. I’m 5-foot-3-and-a-half because the magazine measured me. They didn’t believe I was 5-4, and I guess I’m not.
My favorite restaurant in Vancouver is Sun Sui Wah, a Hong Kongese restaurant on Main Street. Their dim sum is really good in the morning, and for dinner I try to go for the snow crab.
Coming out of high school, I had a few college options. I looked at California-Berkeley, Washington, Indiana and Colorado. Back then, Indiana was doing really well, it had a good facility and the only concern to me was the winter. But the biggest attraction were my teammates. If I had ended up going to any of those other schools, I think I would have been the only foreign-born player on the team. But at Indiana, we had a very diverse team. We had two players from Spain, one from England, a kid from Korea and a kid from Mexico.
Bloomington winters were similar to Beijing. It doesn’t get that bad. It’s really cold for maybe a month and a half. It always seemed to get the coldest during finals. But then I would finish my tests, and it was off to Florida to play golf.