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.
Date: September 06, 2020