New $15 million, Par-3 Course Features 100+ Feet of Elevation Change; June 30 Dedication Event Scheduled
MONKEY ISLAND, OK – Shangri-La Resort, Oklahoma’s premier waterfront golf and outdoor recreation destination, and Crescent Hotels & Resorts are celebrating the grand opening of The Battlefield, a spectacularly designed 18-hole par-3 golf course. Oklahoma government officials and other dignitaries – including Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, State Representative and Gulf War veteran Josh West, and former Broadway performer Ron Young – will be on hand for the official Grand Opening and Dedication hosted by Shangri-La owner Eddy Gibbs, Executive Chairman Jason Sheffield, and President & CEO Barry Willingham, on Friday, June 30.
The Tom Clark and Kevin Atkinson-designed, 3,000-yard Battlefield layout is a short course of creative, articulated scale and vision, constructed on an exceptional piece of land that features more than 100 feet of elevation change across its acreage. The scenic, strategic course was completed for $15 million with each hole named in honor of an Oklahoma veteran of WWII.
It’s a memorable, immersive playing experience from any of the five sets of tee boxes, plus up-close “Felix Tees” for beginners, youngsters or those wanting to work on their short game. This short course also has a 165-yard warm-up area and 10,000-square-foot putting green, and there’s also a practice range and short-game facility at the main clubhouse. While challenging from the back tees – the course record since the soft opening is just one-under-par – 12 holes-in-one have already been recorded in this thrilling, hilly funscape.
“The Battlefield is a beautiful, captivating, and purposefully designed short course like no other,” says Director of Golf Operations Rob Yanovitch. “It’s an endlessly fun and engaging experience for golfers of every skill level that also recognizes our brave military personnel, with special commemorations to World War II veterans on every hole. Daily presentations in The Battlefield Clubhouse also honor military personnel and American veterans. The course has an energy and excitement that, along with our renovated, world-class 27-hole championship course, elevates the golf experience at Shangri-La into the ‘Must Play’ category among Midwest destination resorts. We’re living in Shangri-La’s ‘Hello, World!’ era.”
This enjoyable, accessible par-54 course which features holes from 110 to 245 yards, joins the acclaimed 27 championship holes at Shangri-La, the Legends, Heritage and Champions courses (framed elegantly on the shores of the expansive Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees) to present an extraordinary 45-hole golfer’s paradise that buddies’ trip groups and golf aficionados from all over the country will want to add to their bucket list.
READY FOR THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Shangri-La’s visionary owner Gibbs has transformed the resort into the pride of Northeast Oklahoma and put the lakefront vacation oasis on the map nationally with an investment of more than $100 million into the property’s accommodations and upscale leisure amenities since taking it over in 2010. Crescent Hotels & Resorts, the award winning, nationally recognized, operator of hotels and resorts with over 120 properties in the United States & Canada, recently added the Shangri-La Resort & Marina to the growing list of properties Crescent manages under the Latitudes: Lifestyles by Crescent collection.
In addition to the 119-room resort hotel, an indoor pool, 6,500 square-foot outdoor resort pool with splash pad and tanning ledge, luxury spa, full-service marina on gleaming, 46,500-acre Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, and six distinct dining and cocktails venues culminate in an unforgettable getaway for golfers, families, groups, corporate and association retreats, and weddings.
Surrounded by the waters of Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees on three sides, the revered 27-hole championship Shangri-La golf course meanders through rolling parkland landscapes with elevated Bentgrass greens and clever bunkering along with more open, flowing fairways accented by ponds, streams and the breathtaking lakefront. The Legends ninth, “The Mickey Mantle Hole,” uniquely features two separate greens complexes separated by a blissful but daunting waterfall. It’s named after the New York Yankees legend who hosted his Mickey Mantle Golf Classic charity tournament at Shangri-La from 1991 until his death in 1995 and once holed an albatross on this iconic par five.
The Anchor, a two-year-old, six-acre indoor/outdoor activity park has basketball, tennis, pickleball, cornhole, and a unique “Mini-Fenway” WIFFLE®Ball park, as well as a catch-and-release fishing pond for children under 12. The Anchor’s 11,000 square-foot indoor space offers traditional arcade games plus virtual reality games, a LaserShot shooting simulator, and Trackman Golf simulators.
A popular spot for drinks and dining, the Sports Bar at The Anchor features dozens of sports screens including two giant video walls, along with ping-pong, pool, shuffleboard, darts, and foosball.
JUNE 30 GRAND OPENING AND DEDICATION
The June 30 open-to-the-public Grand Opening and Dedication event begins at 10 a.m. with the formal presentation of colors by the Ritual Team from Grove American Legion Post 178 and Young’s stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Lieutenant Governor Pinnell (who also spoke at dedication ceremonies for The Anchor Activity Park and USS Oklahoma Memorial at Shangri-La in 2021) will keynote the opening.
As Lieutenant Governor, Pinnell serves as Chairman of the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Commission and as Secretary of Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage on Governor Kevin Stitt’s cabinet. In that role, he leads Oklahoma’s efforts to promote tourism, the state’s third largest industry. He is currently leading the launch of the Oklahoma Golf Trail.
The Battlefield’s formal dedication by State Representative Josh West will honor all military veterans, but especially WWII veterans, in keeping with The Battlefield’s theme and mission. West, who earned the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with “V” device for Valor for his service in the U.S. Army, has since founded the Oklahoma Veterans Caucus in the Oklahoma legislature and remains involved in numerous veterans’ organizations.
“We take great pride in Shangri-La having become a beloved destination for outdoor recreation, world-class golf, quality time with family and friends – all in an idyllic natural environment,” says Shangri-La President & CEO Barry Willingham. “The opening of The Battlefield, though, marks an achievement and source of pride that’s difficult to put into words. To have a grand-scale living monument that honors our veterans and military service people fulfills a meaningful vision for our team and our commitment to never forget to honor those who have made our freedoms possible. We can’t wait for golfers of all ages to enjoy the special experience of playing The Battlefield.”
Visit shangrilaok.com for more information.
About Shangri-La Resort
Shangri-La Resort, located on northeastern Oklahoma’s 46,500-acre Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, is the ultimate destination for relaxation and both indoor and outdoor activities. The 119-room resort hotel offers 9,000 square feet of versatile meeting and conference space, as well as a medical spa, steam room, sauna, fitness center, an indoor pool, and an expansive 6,500-square-foot outdoor pool with hot tub, tanning ledge, and splash pad.
Shangri-La’s Championship Course – frequently ranked among the state’s Top Five golf courses – features 27 holes and is made up of the Legends, Champions, and Heritage nines. Surrounded by the waters of Grand Lake on three sides, the course challenges golfers of any skill level, with five tee boxes on each hole. Our signature hole is Legends Nine, which features two separate greens complexes separated by a dramatic and spectacular waterfall. Known as “The Mickey Mantle Hole,” it’s named after the New York Yankees legend who hosted his Mickey Mantle Golf Classic charity tournament at Shangri-La from 1991 until his death in 1995. Mickey once shot an albatross on the challenging par five.
The addition of The Battlefield par-3 course in 2023 makes Shangri-La one of the few golf resorts offering 45 holes to members, guests and the general public. Built in honor of WWII veterans, each hole at The Battlefield is named after an Oklahoma WWII hero. Additional veterans are honored with weekly displays in The Battlefield Clubhouse.
The Anchor indoor/outdoor activity park was added in 2021, making Shangri-La a true year-round destination. Built on six acres, the park offers basketball, tennis, pickleball, cornhole, and a unique “Mini-Fenway” WIFFLE®Ball park, as well as a catch-and-release fishing pond for children under 12. The 11,000 square-foot indoor facility offers traditional arcade games, virtual reality games, a LaserShot shooting simulator, and Trackman Golf simulators. The popular Sports Bar at The Anchor features several sports screens, including two giant video walls. Traditional games such as ping-pong, pool, shuffleboard, darts, and foosball are also offered here.
Shangri-La offers various dining rooms, ranging from the fine dining of The Summit Restaurant in the main clubhouse, to Eddy’s Lakeside Bar offering seasonal al fresco dining and cocktails at Shangri-La Marina. Doc’s Bar & Grill, in the hotel, offers food service for all three meals, 365 days a year. The Canteen at The Battlefield Clubhouse and the Pool Bar at the resort pool also offer food and beverage service.
The resort’s full-service marina offers permanent rental slips and courtesy docks for those who visit the resort by water and is replete with a ship store that even sells gasoline and diesel. Boat and personal watercraft rentals are available, along with yacht charters and Oklahoma’s only parasailing adventures.
Originally developed in 1969, Shangri-La Resort had deteriorated by the early 2000s and was closed in 2010 when Eddy Gibbs purchased the property. Since then, there’s been some level of construction going on daily. Gibbs’ personal investment in the resort now exceeds $100 million, making Shangri-La a desired destination for golfers, families, corporate and association events, retreats and weddings.
Crescent Hotels & Resorts, the award winning, nationally recognized, operator of hotels and resorts with over 120 properties in the United States & Canada, recently added the Shangri-La Resort & Marina to the growing list of properties Crescent manages under the Latitudes: Lifestyles by Crescent collection.
About Crescent Hotels & Resorts
Crescent Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, nationally recognized operator of hotels and resorts with over 120 properties in Canada and the United States. Crescent is one of the few elite management companies approved to operate upper-upscale and luxury hotels under the brand families of Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt. Crescent also operates a collection of independent and lifestyle properties under the Latitudes Collection umbrella. These properties include PGA National Resort, Horseshoe Bay Resort, and The Opus Westchester Autograph Collection. Powered by innovative, forward-thinking experts, Latitudes is a modern management platform for lifestyle hotels and resorts where creative concepts connect with modern travelers from urban boutique hotels to oceanside luxury resorts.
Crescent’s clients include premiere REITs, private equity firms and major developers. For more information, please visit www.crescenthotels.com and www.latitudesbycrescent.com or connect with Crescent on LinkedIn.