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Shangri-La Swings Higher: Oklahoma Oasis Revamps Golf Scene

A Q&A with Director of Golf & Club Operations Rob Yanovitch dives into the resort’s championship courses, innovative short course, and serene lakeside escape.

Shangri-La Swings Higher: Oklahoma Oasis Revamps Golf & Resort Scene
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Picture a golf haven where championship holes meander alongside breathtaking lakes, a creative short course offers thrilling mini-challenges, and every detail, from charming clubhouses to dramatic landscapes, is meticulously designed for your enjoyment. This isn’t a golfer’s fantasy; it’s the reality at Shangri-La Resort in Oklahoma, situated on the picturesque Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees.

To delve into the resort’s recent enhancements and enduring charm, we are delighted to present an insightful Q&A with Rob Yanovitch, Shangri-La’s Director of Golf & Club Operations.
A Q&A with Director of Golf & Club Operations Rob Yanovitch dives into the resort’s championship courses, innovative short course, and serene lakeside escape.

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A Q&A with Director of Golf & Club Operations Rob Yanovitch dives into the resort’s championship courses, innovative short course, and serene lakeside escape.

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With 27 championship holes and the addition of The Battlefield, a stunning new short course, how do you see Shangri-La’s position evolving in the national golf landscape?

The Battlefield isn’t just another course; it elevates the entire experience. We wanted to offer variety and accessibility while maintaining the championship caliber of our existing holes. The Battlefield lets golfers enjoy a quick 18 or complement a full round, all while hitting every club in their bag on challenging, unique greens.

What innovations and unique experiences set Shangri-La apart from other golf resorts?

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We embrace forward-thinking ideas like The Battlefield and The Anchor, our activity park featuring attractions like a mini Fenway Park wiffle ball stadium. We understand that not everyone wants to play 36 holes every day, so we create diverse experiences that cater to different preferences and offer something truly memorable.

Describe the distinct personalities of Shangri-La’s three course nines.

Each nine exudes its own charm. The Champions nine boasts lake views and strategic water hazards, while the Heritage and Legend nines, renovated with classic green complexes, offer challenging risk-reward scenarios. But ultimately, they all blend seamlessly, creating a cohesive golfing journey.

The Champions nine’s par-3 third hole, hugging the lake edge, is a beauty. Which other holes offer similar thrills?

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The Legends nine’s “Mickey Mantle hole,” a reachable par-5 island green, is another signature gem. We honor the course’s history while enhancing the overall experience with creative touches like island greens and dramatic elevation changes.

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The Clubhouse, Summit, and Buffalo Bar seem like golfer’s paradise. What’s it like working in such a well-designed space?

It’s truly a privilege. The rustic elegance and welcoming atmosphere extend throughout the resort. It’s not intimidating; it’s an invitation to relax, socialize, and enjoy the camaraderie of the golfing community.

What impressed you most about The Battlefield?

The unique green complexes and the freedom to experiment with shots you wouldn’t normally try on a championship course. It’s an experience unlike any other, designed to leave players buzzing with excitement.

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What drew Tom Clark, the course designer, to this special piece of land?

The dramatic elevation changes and natural rock formations presented a unique canvas for creative design. He seamlessly integrated the course into the landscape, creating a visually stunning and strategically engaging experience.

You describe Shangri-La as a “vacation escape.” How does the resort’s location contribute to this sense of serenity and isolation?

Nestled on a peninsula, you truly feel immersed in nature, surrounded by the calming lake atmosphere. It’s the perfect environment to escape the everyday hustle and bustle, put your phone away, and enjoy the simple pleasures of golf, good company, and attentive hospitality.

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What’s on the horizon for Shangri-La?

We’re always evolving. We’re constantly exploring new ways to innovate and create even more unique and memorable experiences for our guests and members. So, stay tuned; the journey at Shangri-La is far from over.

By weaving together Yanovitch’s insights with vivid descriptions of the course and its captivating setting, this Q&A paints a compelling picture of Shangri-La as a must-visit destination for golfers seeking both championship challenges and innovative delights, all enveloped in the serenity of a lakeside escape. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a weekend enthusiast, Shangri-La promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning for your next tee time.

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