Pristine conditions lured Shangri-La’s new director of golf to Grand Lake resort

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MONKEY ISLAND, OKLAHOMA – Ryan Snyder has been the new director of golf at Shangri-La Resort since mid April and he’s still looking for the first weed on the property.

“Since I got here six weeks ago, everybody I’ve run into says this is a great place to live and raise your kids,” said the West Virginaia native. “As for the property, we have one of the best-conditioned facilities in the state. The conditions are so good all the time. This spring, summer and fall, golfers can expect peak playing conditions. I actually called the superintendent before I took the job and talked to him for several hours, to make sure he wasn’t going anywhere. There is no weed penetration on the entire property, which is absolutely amazing and led to me actually taking the job.”

Snyder spent the past 13 years in various golf-professional roles in Florida, including Island Country Club in Marco Island, Eagle Creek Country Club in Naples, and The Boca Raton Resort & Club. Most recently, Snyder served as director of golf at Indian Spring Country Club in Boynton Beach. He started his golf career at Kanawha Country Club in his hometown of South Charleston, W. Va. – a club where his father was a member – before moving on to courses in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Georgia.

“The Shangri-La team is extremely pleased and fortunate to have Ryan Snyder as our director of golf,” said General Manager Lance Funderburk. “Ryan’s experience in the golf industry, expertise in operations, personality and talent at managing a golf staff is an ideal fit for our world-class golf operation.”

Snyder is a Certified PGA Member in every advanced field offered, including golf operations, general Management, player development, and teaching and coaching and earned a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Public Administration with minors in Economics, Sociology, and Biology from West Virginia University. Snyder says Shangri-La felt welcoming and home-like from his first visit.

Shangri-La’s visionary owner Eddy 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.

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 Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, and six distinct dining and cocktail venues culminate in an unforgettable getaway for golfers, families, groups, corporate and association retreats, and weddings.

Snyder believes Shangri-La is a fantastic place for a group getaway, with so many renovated and completely new amenities like the hotel, marina, food and beverage outlets, tennis courts, simulators, and boat rental.

“This place is at the top of the list in Oklahoma,” says Snyder. “People love to use this place as a retreat. They just want to come play golf and just enjoy the peacefulness. That’s what this place is about. We are a little more laid back and relaxed than some of the other upper echelon clubs, but Shangri-La is an incredible place with an interesting history. The executive team and staff here is amazing, so I don’t plan to leave anytime soon.”


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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source