Texans first, golfers second: Buddy Clarke and Dien Stout make their second home overlooking the Creek Club’s signature hole
Sitting in the unusual stone seats surrounding Buddy Clark and Dien Stout’s fire pit, one might be able to imagine themselves far out on the Texas range, a pot of stew hanging over a fire. But for these die-hard golfers and proud Texans, reality is more of a golf range, with these seats overlooking the picturesque No. 5 fairway of The Creek Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee.
Their large back porch offers expansive views of the course’s signature hole – a backdrop framed by heavy cedar timbers overhead that extend down to columns grounded in stone. Three distinct seating areas flow together across the back porch to connect company while entertaining, spanning the outdoor fireplace and wet bar on the left to the grilling area on the right.
He says they like to see golfers in the background and catch a wave from people they know, and they’re never bothered by the traffic on the course.
“We’re far enough away that it doesn’t feel like you’re in the middle of play, but you get to soak in the beauty of the course,” says Clarke. “It’s just amazing how quiet and pristine it is. We don’t have people across the fairway from us, so our view is amazing.”
A bright sand trap catches the eye initially, and follows the creek winding through the middle of the fairway. This is why No. 5 is the course’s signature hole, and the reason Clarke and Stout wanted to build there.
When Clarke and Stout were in the market for a second home, golf was the number one priority. They looked at properties on the west coast and the east coast, from Palm Springs to Colorado, but in the end, Reynolds Lake Oconee won out and they bought a lot in 2013.
“We came over to see the area because it had great golf and we just fell in love with Reynolds,” says Clarke. “We just thought the area was gorgeous.” While they love the lake, Clarke says, they preferred a golf view over a lake view. Plus, a golf lot was more conducive to the single story home they wanted to build as their last home.
Beginning with the lone star design inlaid in the flagstaff circle in their driveway, hints of their home state is infused throughout the design of the home. “We like to let everyone know we’re from Texas,” laughs Clarke. Large-scale art pieces made from oil drum lids hang high on the walls of the entryway. The Texas state flag is framed to fill a hallway. Stacks of coffee table books, framed photographs, and sculptures tell stories from Texas in built-in bookshelves.
Local design firm, Black Sheep Interiors, helped Clarke and Stout incorporate their existing pieces of art and memorabilia into a fresh space to give balance to the things they loved. This meant also creating space for a passion for golf that’s almost as big as Texas itself.
The couple travels frequently, and often those trips include rounds of golf or charity golf events. Hence, trophies, flags, scorecards, balls, signed auction items and other mementos have been added to their collection over the years. Many items remain in their Texas home and Clarke’s Dallas office, but a bulk of items has now found a place in their second home.
“Each piece has a special meaning for me or my wife,” says Clarke. These pieces are curated in a separate room where gallery walls present a collection of flags from various tournaments, all signed by the winners. Golf balls representing the courses they’ve played are displayed in glass bowls that are trophies themselves. Scorecards are stacked in vintage baskets affixed to the wall.
The room also doubles as a workout area, and generally a quiet place to read or watch sports.
Clarke says that Shane Meder, principal designer with Black Sheep Interiors, has done a nice job of arranging his myriad memorabilia.
“He’s always telling me, ‘There’s room for one more in there somewhere,’” says Meder, “and I think to myself, ‘Well, we haven’t gotten the ceiling covered yet.’”
Meder says it’s important to use the things they love – from the autographed hats in the golf room to the Texas A&M coasters in the living room – to tell the story of their journey to the lake. These small touches and details give people the comfort of home.
“We just love it here and try to spend as much time here as we can,” says Clarke. “We’ve come to really feel like we belong here, especially over the past couple of years. It’s not Texas, but it definitely feels like home.”