Remedy Oak opened for play in November 2005 and former Ryder Cup Captain John Jacobs designed the golf course, or at least made a few visits during the construction phase. Set in more than 250 acres of ancient woodland near Horton in Dorset, Remedy Oak immediately appears mature beyond its tender years. John Jacobs commented: “When I first saw the location for Remedy Oak, I knew it had the potential to be one of the best courses in the UK. To see it now, I feel that potential has been realised.”
With a girth of more than six metres, the Remedy Oak tree, which is located a couple of miles from the course, is legendary. Apparently the nine-year-old Boy King, King Edward VI sat under the oak tree and “touched for Kings Evil”. Kings Evil was a medieval custom whereby the King could touch and heal people with skin diseases.
Miracles cannot be guaranteed at Remedy Oak Golf Club but we can vouch for the fact that it’s perhaps the most exclusive golf club south of the M25 and the course is highly polished with immaculate tee to green grooming. Remedy Oak is also home to the Legends Charity Golf Classic, where cricketer Sir Ian Botham hosts an annual charity event in aid of Leukaemia Research.
Many people in the know reckon Remedy Oak is one of the finest inland golf courses in Britain but few people had the chance to experience the course when it first opened. Thankfully the club now welcomes visitors and the word on the street is that the rather expensive green fee is worth every penny.
Jonathan Gaunt prepared the original masterplan for Remedy Oak and obtained planning permission for the owner, Bill Riddle. Although the course was built in-house, Jonathan told us he “did spend a long time on site inspecting the land in detail – it was not easy to get about because some of the woodland was over 100 years old and was really dense. It was fun, though.”
In June 2017 we asked Jonathan if he had any interesting snippets regarding the challenge of designing a course on such a vast scale. He commented as follows:
“It was particularly difficult because of the restrictions of the local authority in relation to ecology, etc. We had to preserve certain trees and water bodies. In particular, we designed the bunkers on some holes so they were south-facing – to attract adders and grass snakes to “bask” in them! Makes a new meaning of a sand hazard! We also proposed significant areas of tree clearance to create new heathland – I enjoyed this and it has stood me in good stead for the work I’m currently doing at Whittington Heath in Lichfield – where we are creating 25 acres of new heathland within the new course extension (as a result of the HS2 railway line).”
A really really good course this one and definitely worth visiting. I read reviews and was fearful that with many woodland courses it would be samey and not memorbale at all , but thankfully my fears were unfounded. It is a woodland course indeed but lots of shapes to most of the holes and the fairways are wide enough that you dont get unduly punished for a slightly off line shot. The designer has done a brilliant job of making a woodland course interesting and not to penal for the bigger hitters, this is not an easy task in my opinion. A good mix of holes with water, dog legs, lay up shots, long holes, short holes etc. All of the par 3's are excellent (but tough). Nice clubhouse also.
I’m not really the target audience for Remedy Oak. My traditional tastes are too hardwired that I often struggle to see the best from new designs. Yet I recognise that for some, this 2006 John Jacobs’ design will be some people’s idea of a dream course. First off, Remedy Oak is an unbelievably beautiful property, so if a routing through tall woodlands and playing shots over water hazards from pristinely kept turf is what turns you on, get yourself to Remedy Oak.
Water hazards are plentiful, coming into play on roughly half of the holes. Bull rushes stand tall above the water on holes such as the double dogleg par five 2nd where the green is surrounded by a pond. The 5th, 7th and 8th also have water very much in play as you spiral around the front nine, the 5th being another tricky par five as you’re required to guide your ball down a narrow alleyway between water hazards and marshes, whilst the driveable 8th at only 272 yards from the white tees asks whether you’re going to be a hero or a chicken due to the large pond that extends across the width of the fairway. Not all of the design is as seamless as it ought to be though, long walks have been mentioned by others, not a massive irritation to me as part of my enjoyment when playing golf is the walk itself. On the other hand, the tall tree in the middle of the fairway on the 3rd is a little more bothersome for my own personal tastes – just hand me the chainsaw. The bunkering in sections could also have been more inventive, the 13th for example being one of the most uninspiring holes visually and could be enhanced with some more eye-catching shaping around the green.
Unlike other reviewers, I found the par fives to all be quite enjoyable as you have to plot your way through each hole, one of the best examples is the 15th. Here the ideal line from the tee is blocked by a single tree (this one is strategically well placed on the corner of the fairway rather than in the middle of it) before water again guards the green at an awkward distance. The last par five at 17 has a fairway that squiggles up and over the brow of a hill before two hidden centre-line fairway bunkers come into play for those having a crack at the green in two. 18 finishes off the round with a par four that presents a fun finishing hole over water but I’ve always found 90 degree doglegs a little clunky and lacking natural flow. This hole hasn’t changed my opinion.
In general, Remedy Oak is a beautiful and tranquil place to play golf where you get to enjoy the solitude of a woodland walk and each hole plays in isolation between tall pines. I could never tire of the echo my driver makes when connecting with the ball as you tee off amongst the trees. And whilst the design is littered with multiple forced carries which may be tough if you’re not a consistent striker of the ball, the serenity and impressiveness of the surroundings should win you over.
Whilst I did enjoy my round at Remedy Oak, it’s still not somewhere I’m in a particular rush to go back to. If I find myself in Dorset looking for a round of golf, there are three golden age heathland courses just a short journey away which offer a more subtle and repeatable experience and are more likely to be the courses that get my return visit, but admittedly, other golfers with conflicting tastes to mine may think differently.
What a course! Each hole is different with lots of risk and reward opportunities. We played in a 4 ball with a 10, 14, 18 and 21 handicapper. With each level of player managing to score well by each playing their way around the course and taking on the odd risk and reward. Be warned this course can run your day too! Would recommend this all day long.
Remedy Oak is nice. A a very modern style course with wide fairways set in very pleasant countryside, with each hole in splendid isolation cut through the expanses of huge trees. Greens are huge and putting would seem to hold the key to a good score. Also huge bunkers but not a heavily bunkered course with many greens hardly bunkered and fairway bunkers not often coming into play off the tee. Course condition was very good. Quite a long walk especially between tees and around greens on the cart tracks, overall about 7.5 miles. Despite the clubhouse being shut the welcome was very friendly and full marks to the members 4 ball due to tee off behind us who kindly suggested we (as a two ball) could go before them.
Best hole is undoubtedly the 2nd, a downhill double dog-leg par 5 with the approach to the green played over a lake. This hole is flanked by two solid uphill par 4's and the 4th hole is the pick of the par 3's, downhill and 224 yards with large bunker on right hand side of green protecting the rear pin. These first four holes were the most undulating part of the course and provided a really promising start, however they proved to be the best holes on the course. The back nine was I thought pleasant enough but nothing really to get the juices flowing, other than 16 which was a good hole and had arguably the most interesting and tightest tee shot on the course with two large bunkers set at an angle on the right of the fairway to catch errant drives. A couple of odd short par 4's at 8 and 18, both involving a short second shot over water but both requiring odd lay-ups off the tee. A playable par 72 off the white's but it looked like a beast off some of the back 'purple' tees.
Remedy Oak reminded me a bit of Woburn Marquess in style and also The Buckinghamshire (another John Jacobs design) and personally I don't see it as a top 100 golf course. In terms of Dorset rankings for me it doesn't hold the interest and variety of the traditional heathland courses and I personally would go for Parkstone at 1, Ferndown at 2, and Broadstone at 3. I think Remedy Oak would be vying for 4th spot with Purbeck; whilst Purbeck I think has the more interesting golf holes and stunning views, Remedy Oak has far far better course conditioning
Overall a welcoming place for a day out on a very well conditioned golf course
I played Remedy Oak last month and believe it is very deserving of it’s high ranking in England. The course was in immaculate condition with the fairways winding their way through ancient Dorset woodland. It’s not a course to just bomb the driver from every tee you have to plot your way round. The course has been incredibly well designed to be a test for all standards making it hugely enjoyable.
The staff go out of their way to welcome you and cater for all your needs. If the weathers kind, don’t miss the opportunity to sit out on the terrace and enjoy a well earned drink afterwards.
What is there to say about Remedy Oak other than that it is Millionaires golf! It felt like we had an entire majestic course to ourselves, as our voices echoed amongst the tall pines.
The course is in excellent condition and most holes feel framed perfectly by the trees.
Stand out holes are the 2nd, a winding par 5 downhill with a risk, reward approach shot over water to a narrow green. It is a very picturesque hole. The 4th is a long par 3 which you have to navigate through the trees and surrounding bunkers. The 8th is a par 4 tempter to go for it in one but you have to carry the water. From the tee the fairway cambers down to the water then back up towards the raised green.
The 11th is a good par 3 where the bail-out option from the water is left where the green kidney shapes to the right beyond the water. It's another nice looking hole. The 15th is a cracking par 5 that doglegs to the right. If you get a good tee shot away, you might have a chance to go for the green in two but that shot will be over water which is a common theme at Remedy. Again, it's a nice looking hole. The 17th is quite a nice par 5 and is potentially reachable in two shots, with bunkers protecting that option.
Remedy Oak finishes with a marquee par 4 where you have to hit a straight shot long enough to get past the huge trees on the right so you have a shot into the green which is at a 90 degree right angle. To make you think off the tee there is a bunker at the end of the fairway so there's lots of strategy here. If you've hit a good tee shot, then your approach is to a green way down below and over water with two big bunkers at the back of the green. With the clubhouse behind the green, it is a cracking finishing hole which provides much drama.
In essence, Remedy Oak is a very nice course in excellent shape and you couldn't fail to enjoy a round there. It is clearly a championship course. We did slightly prefer Parkstone and Ferndown as it felt like there was just something missing to elevate it to that company.
The staff are friendly and courteous and it was a great day out.
Excellent course, challenging and very well looked after! Everyone at Remedy Oak should be extremely proud of the quality of the course
Day 2 of Dorset tour. Remedy Oak is a marvellous set up. Fabulous clubhouse, immaculate tees, fairways and greens. Challenging holes, plenty of water hazards, beautiful mature trees.
A tremendous modern creation but can't put my finger on why it just didn't have the same wow factor or desire to play it again as Parkstone yesterday ?
As you arrive at Remedy Oak it is clear that this is a wonderful piece of ground. The clubhouse was superb and the staff very welcoming. All in all, worthy of long drive to get there.
We played the golf course after several days of heavy rain and it was certainly wet under foot leading us to wonder how well it drains… not a complaint though. The course is wonderful with some stand out holes – the 2nd a par 5, the two par 3s on the first nine and the 16th and 18th being notable for us. If there is one down side, you might want to mention that there are some extra yards to be walked between Green and Tee which won’t bother most but for the ageing golfer, a bit of a puff.
Now I like a walk but there is a little too much perambulation about The Remedy Oak Course. Between tees and Greens you will have plenty of time to talk. Perhaps complain about the impossible heat of this epic summer? Or the freakish bounce on the Indian cricket pitch fairways parched of water?
This country is incapable of dealing with extremes. If it is too hot the trains won’t run, If it’s too cold the roads will clog with Snow for days. Most people in winter I see, are incapable of dressing themselves below 5 degrees C. Unless they go skiing, then, they seem to be just fine. If I were to golf in any other Country in these temperatures, I would be walking down lush Green fairways, lavished morning and night with lake loads of water. I’m pretty sure this American style layout should not be golden brown? Purposefully parsimonious with the water or did we just let the last winter’s endless rain slip into the English Channel? Well, I am sure in years to come it isn’t going to get hotter. Is it?
Is it really a wonder then that our committee, general consensus, democratic paralysis of a government is failing to ameliorate the dichotomous and schizophrenic fiasco that is the Brexit we won’t be getting? Instead we will get a middle way that nobody wants. Again. AS we have done forever, neither in properly, or properly out. Compromised again. Sigh…..
The beauty of Remedy Oak is it is owned not by the members but by a self-made entrepreneur. So if he decides to do something about the course. It will happen. And it will be decisive.
Anyway, each hole has its own setting. Carved out of a mature Pine forest it feels Canadian or low alpine. However for me, depiste the wonderful short par 4’s and the decent par 3’s the course was incredibly disappointing. Especially the par 5’s which are all awful. This is NOT a top 100 design for me. It is naive in concept. Although the land is magnificent for Golf, the routing and execution miss the mark. Too much of the design seems arbitrary and contrived, or simply mundane. Dropped upon the landscape without much attention to the land it has been dropped on. Perhaps the architects plan was accidently executed by the construction team accidentally turned 90 degrees?
There are awkward Kinks on the second, in the wrong place and it feels claustrophobic. The field tee shots on 10,15,17 and 18. The retarded opportunity on the tee shots of 5,7 and 16. I didn’t like the lumpy bunkering and poor aesthetics going into greens. The Edinburgh at Wentworth is a much better Jacobs course. I’d rather play East Sussex National or St Mellion currently.
However in amongst the 9 or so poorly executed holes are some genuine keepers, is 1 the best hole on the course? The downhill fourth is also attractive. The eighth is a classy hole, if you Can blast the ball.
Remedy Oak is like eating a box of quality street. Blindfolded.
I doth my golf visor to you JCB Lay - even when you’re not talking about golf holes you encourage a person to seek out the latest new course you might have played (this one excepted, perhaps) because the attention & affection you usually bring to the whole experience is infectious. You even had me Googling “Instagram”