Summer days filled with work duties aren’t all bad for Dr. Clif Hood.
Not when work meetings are held in a 1,200-square-foot entertainment area inside his Muirfield home.
“I’m an ENT doctor, so we’ll have the residents come over every once in a while to talk about stuff,” says Clif, who practices at Central Ohio Ear, Nose and Throat Inc. in Westerville. “Every year, we’ll have people interview for residencies, and they visit (the basement) and say this is a lot of fun down here.”
Two vintage pinball machines are up and running. Clif purchased both from his colleague, Dr. Paul Burkhart, and moved them in eight months ago. Eight Ball Deluxe, made in 1982, sits between an air hockey table and slot machine. The other pinball machine, Diner, made in 1990, stands next to a 50-inch flat-screen TV.
“I’ve got TVs everywhere,” says Clif’s wife, Chris, “about a television in every room. I don’t miss any games. I’m addicted to college basketball. He’ll watch the Golf Channel.”
Clif, who grew up near Pittsburgh, played golf at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa. He has a framed copy of the Memorial Tournament magazine signed by 1993 honoree Arnold Palmer hanging on the wall opposite the 50-inch flat-screen.
Pittsburgh sports memorabilia is also prominently featured. A framed copy of Clif’s Super Bowl XL program, tickets and Terrible Towel are displayed on the adjacent wall. It commemorates the Steelers’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks in 2006 at Ford Field in Detroit. Next to it hangs a framed Pirates portrait of PNC Park.
“(Chris) is a Cleveland Browns fan, so it’s killing her to have that Steelers one on the wall,” Clif says with a grin. Chris gives a fake laugh, and then quickly changes the subject.
Positioned near two 32-inch flat-screen TVs, with a fully stocked mini-fridge below one of them, is a gray felt pool table with black leather pockets.
“The best part is you can move the TVs when you’re playing pool,” Clif says.
Nearby on a table stand is a trophy plate honoring him and his son for winning the western New York father-son golf tournament in 1998. Clif and Chris have two sons and one daughter.
Next to the slot machine in the corner is a 1994 AMI Rowe CD jukebox, the third one Clif has owned. He purchased this jukebox on eBay. It holds music dating back to the 1950s and has the “good stuff” – classic rock ‘n’ roll hits from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He rattles off such artists as Peter Frampton, Aerosmith and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
“We’ve had a few parties over here and it’s just a blast, man,” he says. “People get down here and say, ‘Check this out dude, where did you get this?’”
In mid-conversation, the jukebox unexpectedly begins playing No One by Ray Charles. It’s not the first time it has done this either.
“You gotta love it,” Clif says. “I didn’t touch anything. It just started on me.”
After a long day, Clif cranks up the tunes.
“I turn on Fleetwood Mac and just sit there with a glass of cabernet in one of those chairs and relax,” he says. “No matter what you’re doing, you’ve got to chill out once in a while.”
Besides his typical workload, Clif is president of the medical staff at Doctors Hospital in west Columbus and serves on numerous boards and committees. During the first half of the year, he hosted a few work functions.
“It was party central throughout the holidays,” Chris says.
At one of the get-togethers, the entertainment area topped out at near capacity.
“There must’ve been 50 people here that night,” Clif says. “This room was packed. I’m sure guys have much more stuff, but with this you can get 40, 50 people down here.”
The walls are painted in toasted almond, contrasting with the white floor trim. The house was built in 2005, but the black-and-white carpet looks new. School books the Hoods’ daughter has read are kept neatly organized to the left of the 50-inch flat-screen.
Two years ago, after their daughter left for college, the basement was turned over to Clif. There are two closets for storage and one guest room.
“One of my ultimate goals is to turn the closet into a wine cellar,” he says.
About six steps up from the basement is the “family room,” an area used for wining and dining guests or for simply unwinding. The kitchen has a wet bar that could rival some restaurant bars. Six various art prints, mostly French themed, hang two by two, including one of Moulin Rouge. Clif visited the Paris cabaret in 1981.
Brown leather furniture and a black coffee table face an 8-foot entertainment center that features a 60-inch TV. Hundreds of CDs are stored in built-in drawers.
A window (6’ by 4’) draws in significant light. At the entrance of the room is a glass table mimicking a martini glass, complete with a green olive and toothpick.
The white ceiling is 10 feet high, spacious enough to swing a golf club, the couple say jokingly. A club or two can always be found leaning in the corner of the kitchen; Clif and Chris enjoy playing golf in their spare time.
“This summer, it’s been limited,” he says. “Next summer, it’ll be better.”
Mike Price is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.