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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote New
« on: October 26, 2015, 07:29:01 AM »
Edward the Confessor and his French counterpart, Philip I, initiated a centuries old remedy for curing various forms of tuberculosis (aka King’s Evil).  Legend has it that while sitting under the Remedy Oak, the Boy King, Edward VI, “touched for Evil”.  That is, King Edward put his special relationship to Edward the Confessor and God to good use and cured his subjects by touching them.  The oak in question is much larger than it would seem during a casual drive by.  While all but dead and requiring more support than a suspension bridge, the tree does have an impressive girth of nearly 20 feet.  The local council deems Remedy Oak such an important local landmark that it has made arrangements for an heir.  A few yards away, the son of Remedy was planted and like his father, will hopefully be part of a medical breakthrough some day.  Taking its name from this tree, Remedy Oak Golf Club’s gates are perhaps a mile or so distant.  It will take nearly the same distance up the entrance drive to finally reach the house! 

Another legend has it that the owner, Bill Riddle, after seeing the area which is now the 4th thought this 256 acre parcel would make a wonderful golf course.  John Jacobs was on the design team, but I am not sure how much involvement he had.  I suspect Mr Riddle had as much or more to do with design as anybody.  Already sporting a strong reputation as one of the best inland modern courses in England, the announcement that Remedy Oak will host Open Regional Qualifying in 2018 will only increase its standing.  Perhaps with the goal of hosting Open Qualifying, the club took the momentous step of closing the course recently to relay the greens to USGA specifications.  It is clear Remedy Oak will retain more water than is ideal during the winter as there are already signs of mud in the rough.  The property is heavily treed, therefore some areas will not receive much sunlight in the winter; consequently, the move to relay the greens was likely very wise. However, I can report that with a few exceptions, the greens are coming along quite well. 

My first impressions are mixed.  There are some wonderful holes, but the course is held back by holes of dubious merit and too many water carries.  It is clear the design is meant to have high points which cause some anxiety and in cases this is done quite well.  The shaping around the greens isn’t terribly creative, but that needn’t be a negative as the greens themselves have enough interest. The single most annoying aspect of the design is the length of time it takes to get around.  The concept of isolation between holes is taken to such an extreme that a quick game around Remedy Oak is not on the cards.  On the positive side of the ledger, the single most impressive aspect of the design is the general width on offer.  The architects had the good sense to realize that a medal course of nearly 6500 yards with a fair amount of water over terrain which will not yield much roll is all most golfers can handle. 

I can't fault the archie too much because I see this issue again and again.  Why build bunkers to have them hidden behind trees? Otherwise, this is a straight forward opening tee shot with a lovely view of the dead tree. 

The green is brand new.  It used to be well left in the open area, but apparently tree cover was an issue for growth.  Its probably better in its current location because the hole now doglegs.


I am not keen on the three-shot second.  Water is hard on the green leaving no option but to make the carry and thus rewarding flat bellies for brute length. 


Turning back on the second, the tee shot for #3 is attractive even if the bunkering isn't.


The 4th is a lovely set piece hole which is very difficult.  For those who like to fade the ball, trees block out the safer route to the left.  Because of its 200+ yards, perhaps the archie should have given some thought to the rabbit who may want to play for a bogey. 


One of my favourite holes on the course, the fifth uses the marsh shy of the green very well.  Just about the perfect amount of width is on offer for those who want to thread the needle and for those who can carry the green in two, the green slopes sharply back to front.






More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 06:58:13 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Paul Gray

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2015, 07:55:27 AM »
The relatively tame land and tree lined nature remind me somewhat of Pine Ridge, a very nice public course in need of some TLC.
In the places where golf cuts through pretension and elitism, it thrives and will continue to thrive because the simple virtues of the game and its attendant culture are allowed to be most apparent. - Tim Gavrich

Sam Krume

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2015, 08:57:12 AM »
From what I am aware, they have recently completed a full renovation of all 18 greens. I think this was completed in April this year and would be interested to get your thoughts on the new surfaces there.

PPallotta

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2015, 09:32:26 AM »
It's interesting to think that Edward VI likely roamed this very land on his horse, hunting deer and wild boar with a royal party that included his soothsayer/prophet; and that one day, that old man stopped stone dead in his tracks and, trance-like as his eyes peered dimly into a distant future, intoned:

Sir Jacob of John
32 on his outward nine
The Rabbit, the Tiger
a bold 3 over water
The men and their sticks
and the pellets of white
for the Belt of Old Tom
They do surely Fight!!

And the royal party stood there for a moment in silence, and then the King muttered "Oh you old nutter, you're cracking up again" and they all moved on.

Will Lozier

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2015, 09:51:38 AM »

Turning back on the second, the tee shit for #3 is attractive even if the bunkering isn't.




Freudian Slip?!  ;)

Ryan Coles

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2015, 10:18:13 AM »
Sean


re: the 2nd (Which I really like), common sense dictates that a longer hitter will usually have an advantage and brute strength is sometimes rewarded in the same way that good putting or distance control is on some holes. Is it the architects job to negate this advantage? Should he aim to always cater for the lowest common denominator?


In the case of the 2nd, I recall that brute strength alone from the tee will see you in the trees on the right unless you shape the ball considerably from right to left.


I can understand like and dislike, opinions and all that, but it seems flawed logic to suggest that a hole is not very good because you personally can't reach it. There are lots of great holes with hazards at the front of a green. As long as there isn't overkill I personally don't have a problem with the concept.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 10:20:48 AM by Ryan Coles »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5 New
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2015, 10:44:15 AM »
Ryan

I reckon I can reach #2 in the summer.  The issue is more that brute length is overly rewarded when there is no way for the rabbit to get around the water.  I don't mind one or two holes of this general nature, but RO features a lot of crossing hazards. I count 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, 17 & 18!  I think the best water holes are 5, 11 & 15.  Both 5 & 11 have water that doesn't have to be directly taken on and 15's is diagonal making it easier to layup to a comfortable spot for the carry.  Plus, there is lots of room over the carry which isn't part of the green....very good hole for high and low cappers.

Ciao     
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 11:03:02 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Adrian_Stiff

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2015, 10:56:03 AM »
If you go on you tube and google Remedy Oak there is a great tour by Mark Crossfield of 1-18 of Remedy Oak.


I have not been there  but most comments concur with "yeah it's good but it should have been better". Which seems to echo the opinion here.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 05:54:49 AM by Adrian_Stiff »
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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5 New
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 06:20:35 AM »
REMEDY OAK CONT

The short par 4 sixth is a good hole even if it is somewhat puzzling as to why a course so heavily manufactured would leave the tee shot blind.  Legging hard right and over water, the extremely difficult 7th uses bunkering very well.  The right bunker guards the best line in to the left leaning green while the left bunker will catch shots played "too safely". 


The 8th seems to be much maligned, but it isn't a terrible hole when we consider the style of the design. Remedy Oak is a modern penal school design relying heavily on forced carries over water and water in general.  The carry from the medal tees is about 235 and being downhill will often play less.  When I first saw the hole my instinct was to lay-up, but I saw two chaps easily make the carry...as did I.  Below is a look at the green from a layup position.


The side ends with a short hole which is actually quite good.  All it needs is for a ton of vegetation to be removed so the hole can properly shine.
 

There is not much to recommend the 10th, but the 11th may be the best par 3 on the course.  There is an opportunity to play away from the water, but one will soon discover that the green slopes left to right.  Like the 9th, the green is quite large so there can be a dramatic change of yardage on any given day.


The rather blah 12th with yet another forced carry is followed by the decent short hole 13th.


More to follow.

Ciao
 
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 08:08:53 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-13
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 08:05:54 AM »
Sean


Thanks for yet another tour. As usual, I'm very much enjoying it.


I note that those who have played it are generally saying it could be better and looking at the photos there certainly seems to be a lot to commend it. This might annoy the architects on this site, but can't help thinking one of the drawbacks is the bunkers and particularly the style of bunkers. Flat bottomed with mounded banks style favoured by the likes of Dave Thomas just looks out of place on what looks like could be a great heathland site. A more "natural" favoured by the old dead guys allied with perhaps more strategically placed bunkers could probably work wonders. Certainly the internal contour look quite interesting as far as I can tell from the photos.


Fair comment ?


Niall

Marc Haring

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-13
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2015, 03:30:23 PM »
In my opinion a very fair comment Niall.

I had a course tour pre opening and then played it later on. The design was much influenced by the then course director for the company and he was determined to make it very maintenance friendly hence the utterly bland, flat bunkers that are set well away from the green sites. It could have been truly spectacular given the site but even now it does make for an enjoyable round with a delightful feel to the place......IMHO

Will Lozier

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2015, 03:40:01 PM »
REMEDY OAK CONT

The rather blah 12th with yet another forced carry is followed by a decent short hole.




I feel like the 12th is the most natural looking hole yet while also holding the most interest strategy-wise considering the clever (looking) green contours. I am curious about the yardages. It's a lovely hole to my eye.


Cheers

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5 New
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2015, 06:40:02 PM »
REMEDY OAK CONT

The rather blah 12th with yet another forced carry is followed by a decent short hole.



I feel like the 12th is the most natural looking hole yet while also holding the most interest strategy-wise considering the clever (looking) green contours. I am curious about the yardages. It's a lovely hole to my eye.

Cheers

Will

The short 13th is about 165 from the medal tee. 

Niall

I concur with you 100%.  The bunkering is rather listless and almost without exception very predictable. While the site isn't heathland, I think something could be learned from that general style or perhaps a more severe grass faced style...which I think looks quite good for parkland designs. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 11:05:20 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Marc Haring

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-13
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2015, 02:37:36 PM »
I am not sure if it was intentional but the 15th appears to me to be a mirror image of the 13th at ANGC. It plays well, a fade off the tee is the only way of getting home in two.

Marc Haring

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-5
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2015, 02:55:46 PM »

The 8th seems to be much maligned, but it isn't a terrible hole when we consider the style of the design. Remedy Oak is a modern penal school design relying heavily on forced carries over water and water in general.  The carry from the medal tees is about 235 and being downhill will often play less.  When I first saw the hole my instinct was to lay-up, but I saw two chaps easily make the carry...as did I.  Below is a look at the green from a layup position.


I truly did not like the 8th Sean but I defer to your expertise. It seemed to me a straight case of "if you can carry it that far, you have a huge advantage" Clearly you have been frequenting the gymnasium of late!

Paul Gray

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-13
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2015, 09:07:10 PM »
Think you've done enough to convince me to save my money. I'm sure the manicuring is lovely but there are plenty of similar modern courses which cost significantly less and would do as much for my golfing senses as Remedy. Thanks Sean. I owe you a drink then I guess!  ;D
In the places where golf cuts through pretension and elitism, it thrives and will continue to thrive because the simple virtues of the game and its attendant culture are allowed to be most apparent. - Tim Gavrich

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote 1-13 New
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2015, 06:43:51 AM »
Marc

I can fully understand not liking the 8th.  In truth, there are so many forced carries that its a bit of a lottery as to which ones are ok or not.  Its not my favourite water hole on the course.

REMEDY OAK CONT

Sort of a double dogleg, the 14th runs downhill while turning right then cuts back left for the green, or at least half the green.  I usually dislike a row of trees as a feature, but in the case of this hole I thought it a bit different.  If one leaves the drive in the left rough trees block the green.  However, one can go over them as they are set back far enough or go around because this par 4 is reasonably long.   


The green is also interesting as its much larger than it appears.  Reading the putt from the bailout side of the green is tough.  This hole is very simple in its concept, but executed very well. 


The next hole, a par 5 over water is probably my favourite of the forced carry holes.  Turning well right off the tee, longish hitters can reach the green in two, but there is a ton of space over the water and shy of the green for shorter hitters to have a go a thrilling carry.  Because of the angle of play amount of short grass over the water, there are real choices to be made on this hole and that is quite unusual for a forced carry.  I also notice the club cleared the trees out quite a bit to the right so a par can be scrambled even if one befalls a mishap and remains dry.




With an obscured tee shot, 16 is a very tight driving hole.  Thus, a not overly long par 4 can play much longer if one lays up.  The green seriously rewards those who take on the risky drive as the green design is definitely for a shorter iron approach. 


After three very fine holes, the finish is a bit of a let down.  The three-shot 17th plays over a burn then turns right along the water for a blind second with nothing but trouble in the way.  With its hidden rear pocket the green is the best aspect of the hole.
 

It seems as if the architects ran out of room for the last...which given the size of the property seems a ludicrous proposition.  Be that as it may, the drive calls for a lay up to play a finicky short iron over water.  With the car park on full display for the approach and the rather less than expansive feel of the hole, I have to believe this hole was a serious misjudgement. 

That then is it.  If I had to sum up Remedy Oak in one word it would be PENAL.  Without a doubt, this is one of the most penal designs I have encountered.  I am not terribly keen on the concept, but if I were to point toward a good course which is essentially penal in nature it would be Woodhall Spa.  However, Remedy Oak isn't without high spots with holes such as 5, 11, 14, 15 & 16.  But I think the real issues for me are twofold. First, Broadstone is just down the road.  I am not a huge fan of the course, but it is clear to me that Remedy Oak doesn't have holes which compete with Broadstone's best.  Second, the concept of isolated holes creating a lot of extra time to walk the course is not something which I find endearing at the best of times.  I am not rushing to go back, but for folks who enjoy isolation and lots of water carries, Remedy Oak is perfect.  2015

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 14, 2018, 07:03:27 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2015, 06:52:25 AM »
On the button as usual, Sean. I defy any golfer who is tolerably well travelled and educated to come away from RO thinking it is anything but a huge missed opportunity. The property really is that good, it should have been nailed on as a top quality course, but a combination of poor detailing and a few real misses (like the eighteenth) keep it a fair distance from that. But its highs are Hugh, and so it remains worth seeing.


But Bournemouth is a strong area for golf, with Broadstone, Parkstone and Ferndown all fine venues and all on the up. Hard to see how Remedy can stay competitive in that company.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
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Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2015, 07:27:24 AM »
Thanks for the tour Sean.


Couple of general questions -


- is the site sandy?
- is the bunkering as bland as it appears to look?
- is it expensive to play?


atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: REMEDY OAK GC: A Heathland Antidote New
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2015, 08:49:26 AM »
atb

There may be patches of sandy subsoil, but with so much water about it can't be much.  The rough was quite mushy and I wouldn't expect to see the course stand up terribly well in winter.  That said, the greens are new to USGA spec. 

The bunkers are a mixed bag, but generally don't add to the aesthestics of the course.

Remedy Oak is pretty expensive...about £90 I think...I wouldn't pay that much.  Although, you may find deals online and get it for £60-70 in summer...still quite a bit of dosh.  They may do the county card. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 08:52:41 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

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