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).”
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”
I have never seen a better site for a modern inland UK golf course in more than thirty years of looking. The land on which Remedy Oak is laid out is truly magnificent and I have to say that the course exceeded my expectations.
Dorset still remains one of my blind(ish) spots golfing wise, but I’m slowly but surely working my way through the list (it will take a little more time).
There’s more than a hint of Woburn here (Remedy Oak is better than any Woburn course in my opinion) and there’s a dash of Bearwood Lakes, which Remedy Oak easily surpasses in my view.
In my review for Ferndown, which I posted some eighteen months ago, I said: “ If the Old course at Ferndown Golf Club is the fourth best course in Dorset then Broadstone, Remedy Oak and Parkstone must be out of this world.” For me, Remedy Oak is a better course than Ferndown, but not by a country mile.
The reason I think Remedy is better than Ferndown is purely down to the site which I’ve already stated is magnificent. The land has the perfect amount of movement and I’d struggle to identify a weak hole. There’s a great mix of short, mid and long par fours, a couple of reachable (in two for the handicap golfer) par fives and one-shot holes that vary in length from more than 200 yards to less than 150 yards. For me this type of configuration is perfect as it offers engagement and variation throughout the round.
Too many modern courses are a slog for the average golfer, but not so at Remedy Oak. We played from the white tees (6,466 yards) and felt it was a perfectly manageable test. Open Qualifying will be staged here in a week or so and the 7010-yard tips will no doubt test all the aspiring Open champions. The yellow tees measure 6,053 yards and ladies tees 5,395 yards. Remedy Oak really is a course that can be enjoyed by every standard of golfer, but be prepared for a number of forced carries over water, which messed with my brain on a couple of occasions.
There’s so much to like at Remedy Oak. Width and scale is evident on virtually every hole, and small things, such as false-fronted greens and the wonderful terraced tee boxes on #9, endorse the fact that you’re playing at a quality venue.
If I’m being very picky, the routing is a tad awkward in places, with a couple of longish walks from green to tee (but it’s still a very walkable course), and the bunker shaping (while well positioned and of high modern quality) is a tad uninspiring.
These may be very small personal niggles, but we’re talking fine lines between the very good and the excellent. For me Remedy Oak falls into the very good category with the caveat that excellence is by no means out of reach.
As an aside, it always intrigues why clubs feel it’s necessary to annex a “headline” designer. I’m sure the late John Jacobs, who was instrumental in getting the European Tour off the ground, had plenty of input into the design here at Remedy Oak some 12 years ago – I can certainly see a similarity between the Dorset bunkering and the traps at The Buckinghamshire – but I think Jonathan Gaunt routed the Remedy Oak layout. Whoever was involved should be very proud indeed; it’s a cracking golf course.
Remedy Oak is a prestigious, exclusive and unique golf course recently constructed in Dorset and was the brainchild of local businessman Bill Riddle.
Since opening its doors in 2006 it has quickly established itself as one Southern England’s finest and arguably the best inland course in the country that doesn’t play over a heathland. Its reputation was enhanced further when it was awarded Regional Qualifying for the Open Championship until 2018.
It is clearly a special, beautiful and tranquil place to play golf with secluded fairways that have been carved through ancient woodland on a site that covers more than 250 acres.
As somebody whose heart lies on the linksland I sometimes struggle to objectively look at courses like this. I personally believe the soul of the game lies in the ground game, the running nature of golf and this is never, and can never, be replicated on a property like this. Here you must carry the ball through the air and play the aerial game, the number of forced carries also ensure this is the case.
With that in mind I then look for what strategy and options are presented to golfer and in this regard Remedy Oak scores highly. There are number of excellent risk-reward holes throughout the round, none better than the exceptional second. For any realistic chance of reaching the green at this par five you must work your ball right-to-left off the tee before playing from a downhill lie to a green fronted by water which also wraps itself around the right of the putting surface.
So what’s not to like? Very little in fact. There were perhaps a couple of forced carries too many for my personal liking and I suspect the course may not quite play as well in the deepest winter months but otherwise there is nothing really to be critical of at Remedy Oak. There is a fantastic relaxed feel to The Club, excellent practice facilities and the clubhouse fits perfectly into the surroundings.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.