Shangri-la Resort

Legends #9


Eddy Gibbs has transformed a dilapidated resort on the shores of Grand Lake into the premier destination of Oklahoma – sweet Shangri-La Resort. He has invested well over $100m and continues to creatively enhance the property and experiences.

Heritage #9
The original 18-hole golf course had a few good bones which were strengthened by Eddy’s complete renovation. It was converted to two nine-hole courses and combined with a new nine to make 27 championship style holes at the core of the resort.

The stunning clubhouse with a sentinel eagle statue sets the stage for quality time at Shangri-La.  Jerrod Neighbors, Head Golf Pro is neighborly indeed as he and the team welcome golfers. Leading that team is a new Director of Golf, Ryan Snyder. He is excited to share his vast experience, most recently at Boca Raton Resort. Ryan is moving his family out of Florida for a more rural life. They will surely find that in this serene setting.

Bald Eagle

The pro shop is filled with colorful logoed choices to remember the visit as in, “Been there, bought the shirt.” In our case, it was a Shangri-La golf bag. Shangri-La means “an imaginary paradise on earth,” a sweet notion to carry around the globe.

Locker rooms are spacious for trying on apparel and readying for a round of golf or practice. Hone your skills on the expansive range and chipping area to tackle the nines.

Heritage 9

Heritage #9

The Heritage course rides over rolling hills with blind tee shots and elevated greens. There is an equal distribution of draw and fade strategy with a closing par 5 hole that is not for the faint of heart. A strong drive downhill is required to position the next shot over a creek and approach the rising green. It is an even greater challenge when the wind comes sweeping down the lane.

Legends 9

Legends #9

The Legends course is most famous for its ninth hole which is visible from many holes, building anticipation of the final test. The challenge is in full view from the tee box with a choice of two greens, via the straightish long fairway to the left or a peninsula green over water to the right. It’s safer to opt left but more fun to the right. It takes moxie to reach the peninsula in two, yet layup considerations can be costly as the water is a ball magnet. This superb hole is as pretty, as it is deadly.

The Champions 9

Champions #9

The Champions routing offers more high-risk, high-reward holes. The Grand Lake shoreline skirts along numbers 2 and 3 with waves lapping and water white capping on a windy day. A beautiful bald eagle soars above, a living embodiment of the regal statue at the Clubhouse. The final hole climaxes with waterfalls cascading down the landscape by the ascending green. It encapsulates the essence of Shangri-La, returning golfers to the elegant clubhouse across the road.

Back at the Clubhouse, the Turn serves sandwiches, hot dogs and more from a window by the shop. Upstairs, the Summit Restaurant is where to go when you want to doll up a little bit and enjoy fine dining while watching the sun set over the lake with the eagle statue glowing in the light.

Our waitress, Brenda suggested trying a couple wines before deciding. Both were nice but truth be told, she had us at the fine wine glasses. The same proper glasses and diverse menu are served at the adjoining Buffalo Bar, a more casual setting on a balcony overlooking the course.

Owner Eddy Gibbs is an equity partner in The Patriot Golf Club in Owasso, Oklahoma, which shares real estate with Folds of Honor. He carries his patriotism over to Shangri-La with the addition of:

The Battlefield

Battlefield Golf Course

Unveiled in 2023, the Battlefield engages golfers in war with the steep, rugged terrain on 18, par 3 holes, extending 3,000 yards with dramatic 100-foot elevation changes, water, rock outcroppings, and bunkers in play. Tom Clark and Kevin Atkinson designed this very fun run to be playable over and over. Every round is different with varying flag positions and five tee box lengths plus, close to each green, a cutout of Felix, the cat cartoon character of old is positioned, holding a bomb. This is where youngsters or anyone who wishes, may skip to, and simply chip and putt their way to glory. The course is so crazy that any hole can blow up the scorecard.

The Battlefield is where hilarity and solemnity dare to meet. Oklahoma Veterans of WWII are memorialized on plaques at each of the 18 tee boxes with their name, duty, and a QR code for more info. Additionally, veterans from anywhere, in any role may be submitted by anyone to be honored on a screen in the pro shop. Golfers who made aces are mixed in with this show as winning Battlefield warriors.

The shop is filled with commemorative merch as well as concessions to enjoy on the patio which overlooks the entire course. This is an entertaining spot to watch others battle, while reliving your own round. A full practice facility with driving range and grand putting green are included for a full play day. The Battlefield is an absolute blast.

For more fun at Shangri-La, the new Anchor recreation center combines the best of traditional and modern gaming for family and friend camaraderie. From shuffleboard to video games and virtual reality stations, there is a diversion for everyone as well as big screens for watching the sports du jour. A full bar and pub food menu satisfies all.

Doc’s is another full bar and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in The Lodge. Accommodations in The Lodge are very relaxing and well equipped, many with views of the lake and a few rooms have a balcony to preside over the grounds. A runabout boat owned by JFK fills the lobby, inspiring life on the lake.  

Battlefield Canon
The adjacent Marina has all the options to float your boat on the Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, from fishing to even parasailing. Get out on the water to explore the lake or watch as others do, from the pool complex or from Eddy’s lakeside restaurant, open during the prime season.

Shuttles are available for transport to the courses or a boutique ladies’ shop. Add in the spa and there is no end to the fun at Shangri-La Resort. That is, until you leave and a thank you sign says, “Back to Reality.” Boo hoo.

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