A long-rumored par-3 course will be the latest addition to the expanding wonders of Shangri-La Resort on Monkey Island, it was announced Friday at a dedication for The Anchor Activity Park.
The announcement by Shangri-La Executive Director Jason Sheffield came as the $12 million activity park and the USS Oklahoma Memorial were dedicated in a stirring ceremony that included a flyover by WW II-era War Birds and remarks by Shangri-La owner Eddy Gibbs, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell and Shangri-La President and CEO Barry Willingham.
The 18-hole par-3 course named The Battlefield will be on land north of the resort behind the Monkey Island Fire Station. Designed by Tom Clark, it will be built by Tulsa-based United Golf and ground is expected to be broken within three weeks. The land features a 100-foot change in elevation lending itself to dramatic holes.
Mike Williams, director of communications, said there is no set timeframe for construction to be completed.
“There has been something under construction since the day Eddy bought the facility in 2010 and now it looks like there will be into the foreseeable future,” Williams said.
The new course will be the first course new constructed in Oklahoma since The Patriot opened in 2010, although much of the Shangri-La renovations were completed after that.
Since Gibbs, the former owner of Ameristar Fence Company, bought the once-dilapidated resort in March of 2010, he has pumped over $100 million into the facility, including completely rebuilding the courses into 27 holes of championship golf, clubhouse, 119-room resort hotel and conference center and now the indoor-outdoor activity center.
“What Eddy has done is transformational,” Pinnell said Friday. “Shangri-La is now such an asset for the state, not just for Northeast Oklahoma but the entire state. It is getting rave reviews regionally and nationally. With the incredible Activity Park and now you’re adding a world class par-3 course, the sky is the limit.
“Tourism is the front door to economic development and the people coming here see that Oklahoma is a world class state. That leads to other conversations and hopefully some people and companies locating here.”
The 11,000 square foot indoor facility at The Anchor features Hologate virtual reality games, Trackman golf simulators, LaserShot shooting simulators, CXC driving and flight simulators, escape room games, arcade games, pop-a-shot basketball, billiards and ping-pong tables, shuffleboard, darts, a plethora of sporting event video screens, and a large indoor-outdoor bar & lounge on Grand Lake.
Outdoors, the new activity park includes a new racquet club facility with four outdoor tennis courts, six pickleball courts, basketball, sand volleyball, fire pits, a kids’ fishing pond, an outdoor event area, and a mini-Fenway WIFFLE® BALL park. All the facilities are open to the public.
Friday’s activities also included remarks from war hero Rep. Josh West. The USS Oklahoma Memorial includes a replica of one of the 20,000-pound anchors from the USS Oklahoma and the names of the 429 sailers and marines who perished aboard the vessel when it was capsized during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Shangri-La Resort is included in the district represented by Representative West in the Oklahoma legislature, where he serves as majority leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Chairman of the Tourism Committee. West joined the United States Army in 1996, he was deployed multiple times, including combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.