Remedy Oak opened for play in November 2005 and Englishman and former Ryder Cup Captain John Jacobs designed the golf course. 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.
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.
Played on 6 March. Unfortunately owning the site receiving a fair amount of rain recently, the course was drenched and a number of fairways had no dry areas at all. From the previous comments on the course, it would seem that at certain times of the year the conditioning is decent, however, the soil did not seem to drain at all. This is hardly the course is fault although it spoiled the enjoyment. I have disregarded the conditioning for this review and concentrated on design, variety, aesthetics and challenge.
It's a tough golf course especially when there is no run on the fairways. There are some fabulous holes including 1, 2, 5, 10, 14 and 15. In terms of design, it could have been built by Jack Niclaus as there seemed to be a number of left to right holes (6) and only 1 "draw" hole. Some holes were, I'm sorry to say bland. Staff were friendly and welcoming. It was also very good value for money.
The final stop on our Dorset tour. This is more your modern day club. A relatively new course, ranked number 2 in the county and its easy to see why. Its an experience – from the endless drive from club gates to car park, the welcome at reception, the introduction on the first tee, the practice facilities – everything is done to make your time at Remedy Oak a full experience.
As to the course, it costs a little more than its other illustrious neighbours of Ferndown and Broadstone, but for the sheer experience its worth the fee. Clearly its not the sort of green fee you’d be expecting to pay at your average local course, but as a one-off, whilst away on tour, definitely add it to the schedule.
The course is much more tree-lined, forest based than the gorse and heather of other courses in the area, and uses the natural landscaping well to carve out some lovely holes. As you’d expect from a modern course, water comes into play on numerous holes, each representing great “risk & reward” opportunities and also at the par 3 11th. The 18th too, is a great finishing hole across water from a downslope approach.
In terms of condition, this is the one area we felt the course could have scored a little better. The first green was not in good shape, it appears to sit in a shady area and as a result was strangely very slow (compared to the rest of the course). There were also several areas near to greens that seemed to be lacking of any maintenance which meant that it could be pot luck in the lie you acquired – of course if you hit a lot of greens then you wouldn’t experience this so much ! The greens in general appeared to quicken as we went around the course; we felt they were decent, if not the same quality of Ferndown. One other thing, some of the walks between greens and tees were a little excessive, but again this is typical of the modern day, buggy laden courses that are now the norm.
These minor things aside, we found the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable.