Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 June 2010 00:25 Tuesday, 01 June 2010 23:10
|Stephen Ames: Balancing Golf And Family: Part Two|
As for residing in Calgary, one might think professional hockey players are more readily noticed than pro golfers. That’s actually not the case; Ames says the city’s residents recognize him but at the same time treat him with a quiet respect which he appreciates.
“People are very respectful of my time. If I’m by myself people will come up and say ‘Hi’ or ‘Excuse me,’ in starting a conversation and asking for an autograph. But if I’m with my family they don’t say anything,” unlike the majority of cities in the United States where athletes are viewed as public property with no right to privacy if they are out in plain view. “I don’t think I’ve ever run into an aggressive person at all in Calgary.”
A major reason for him being picked out in a crowd in a country that has only one major PGA event a year – usually played in Eastern Canada – is the popularity of his business on a recreational level within his home province.
“There’s a big golf craze in Alberta right now and so that form of recognition, I don’t have a problem with at all. People do recognize me a lot but that’s the beauty of Calgary — they’re not just all hockey fans but fans of all sports that are played there.”
In return for being so warmly welcomed, and accepted, in Alberta’s largest metropolitan area, Ames has set deep roots in place. He’s part owner of two eating establishments, one with several branches, within the city’s boundaries but he noted he has no desire to shift to the heat of the kitchen from the fires of competitive golf for a living, once he packs his present career away.
“No, I’m not a wanna-be chef,” he said in response to a question wondering if perhaps haute cuisine was to be his calling after he retired from the pro golf game.
“I just like good food as do most people. The idea for this was brought to me by a real good friend (Lance Hurtubise). He’s caddied for me a few times at the Canadian Skins Game.”
Ames also has a stake in a more casual type of eatery, known as the Redwater Grille, which has several locations in the city. Of the two, he noted the price point for the “Vintage Chophouse is anywhere from $75 to $100,” while the Redwater Grille, “is priced from $25 to $30.”
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By Gord Montgomery
Gord Montgomery is a retired sports editor of two weekly newspapers in the Edmonton area and is a member of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada. He is now in his ninth year of writing for Inside Golf. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s also on Twitter at @gordinsidegolf and on Instagram at @gordinsidegolf2.