"A hole-in-1 dream home for golfer"

The Orlando Sentinel Home Section
December 18, 1993
written by Susanne Hupp

Pro golfer Scott Hoch and his wife, Sally, were happy with their English Tudor style house overlooking the ninth fairway at Bay Hill until builder Ray Coudriet showed them a lot on nearby Lake Sheen. The big, irregularly shaped lot, thick with oak trees, sloped gently down to the water.

"When we saw the big old oak trees dripping with moss, we knew this was it," Sally said. Sally, 37, was born in Mississippi and grew up in Raleigh, NC. Scott, 38, was born and raised in Raleigh. "It was the best of both worlds for us - water for Florida and oak trees to remind us of North Carolina and our roots," she said. To go on the lush, lakeside lot the Hochs envisioned an Old South-style house with a big kitchen, big bedrooms - a really big master suite - a recreation room and an office for Scott.

They made a list of all of their "needs and wants" - Sally's ran more to style and Scott's to allocation of space. Then they interviewed architects from three firms and settled on Tom Price and Jeana Burt of Tom Price Architect in Orlando. Coudriet, of course, did the building.

After a process that took nearly two years, the Hochs moved last March into their very Southern plantation-style house. The 8,500-square-foot three-story could pass for an ante-bellum mansion, Price said, except for the fact that it's in perfect condition. "What makes that house really sing," he said, "is that the Hochs agreed to replicate the period and its details exactly. We used period detailing down to using full 1-inch beaded boards on the porch ceilings. Like the old houses, the porch is elevated with lattice underneath, and the column trim is all true to the period. Reaching their goal "was really a group effort," Scott said, "the two of us with Tom and Jeana, Ray Coudriet and Sharon Gilkey, the interior designer. We had to convey to them what we wanted," he said, "and sometimes we didn't even know exactly what we wanted. But somehow it worked out. They made it work."

One of the features Sally was sure about was a big kitchen, "because everyone always ends up there. "She wanted the house to be really light and cheerful, homey and family-oriented - "the sort of house you would see in Southern Living," Gilkey said. The house is large, light-filled and elegant but at the same time feels homey especially this time of year when Sally brings out all her holiday decorations. Every room has at least a touch of Christmas.

Display cases holding Scott's dozens of golf trophies flank a grand central staircase that now is festooned in greenery and red ribbons. To the left of the entrance hall, a rich, deep red dining room with a crystal chandelier serves as the only formal area in the house. There is no living room. In its place is a friendly family room with soft, deep green leather couches and tapestry pillows and doors that open to a covered veranda. Stockings now hang from the fireplace screen, and a collection of folk-art Santa Clauses sits on the bookshelves. The cozy library, which also serves as Sally's office, displays the family's main Christmas tree. The vast master suite includes a sitting area with a bay window overlooking the lake. Decorated in clear blues, pinks and yellows, the suite has a bath with separate vanities, giant his-and-her closets and a spiral staircase that leads to an exercise room above. Also upstairs there's a casually cluttered playroom for Cameron, 9, Katie, 7, and their friends, the children's bedrooms and two guest rooms.

Scott, who because of shoulder surgery was unable to play golf during part of 1992, took an active part overseeing the construction. It was he who came up with the idea for squeezing the children's playroom into the attic space above the garage and the exercise room over the master bedroom. The walk-out basement with a screened porch was also his idea. He specified that the basement include a media/recreation room, his office and a room where he could practice his swing. The practice room, however, is still filled with boxes from the move and a dozen or so sets of golf clubs. The Hochs were pleasantly surprised by the openness of the house to the woodsy back yard and the lake. All the rooms on the back, as well as the veranda off the family room, overlook the lake, and the downstairs, screened porch leads to the back yard. The whole family has enjoyed being on the lake. They have a couple of Waverunners and a float boat. They are pleased with the way the house turned out, Scott said. "For our first house, our first building experience, I don't see anything we would change," he said. "It is work if you want to be involved [in the design and building process], but you have to be involved if you want to have it come out right."

Take a tour of the Hoch's home

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