The Battlefield, the much-anticipated new 18-hole par 3 golf course at Shangri-La Resort on Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, officially opened for play Friday, with a full slate of tee times booked throughout the weekend.
The course is not your typical par 3 course. The terrain is rugged – like a World War II battlefield set in a wooded area with dramatic elevation changes. The facility has its own clubhouse and turn house concessions and golf carts, as well as a short driving range for warm-ups and an expansive putting green. The full practice facility and driving range remain adjacent to the main Shangri-La club house.
“The Par 3 course is a great addition to the golf offerings at Shangri-La,” said PGA Director of Golf Rob Yanovitch. “Our course can be challenging, and many players – especially resort guests – prefer the relatively lesser challenging of playing only par 3 holes. If time is a factor, naturally it takes a lot less time to play 18 par 3 holes than the more traditional Championship course.”
Designed by architects Tom Clark and Kevin Atkinson, with building designs by Mark Thomas, the course features Bermuda grass fairways and bent grass greens, just like the Championship course at Shangri-La. Although the course can be walked, golfers who choose that method of play may want to make sure they’re in good shape due to dramatic elevation changes. From beginning to end, the 3,000-yard course features a 100-foot change in elevation as the course winds from hilltop to the bank of Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees. With multiple tee boxes like the Championship course, difficulty of the course will vary depending on the tee boxes chosen by players.
Paying homage to World War II veterans, each of the 18 holes on The Battlefield is named for an Oklahoma veteran of World War II. Videos in the club house pay tribute to additional veterans and military personnel.
“The Battlefield is a unique facility,” said Jerrod Neighbors, PGA Head Golf Professional at The Battlefield. “The facility is obviously beautiful. The piece of land is amazing for a par 3. It’s great for players of all ranges – good players can make their game more difficult by changing tees. The patio at the new club house is sensational. I think people are probably going to spend more time than they originally planned on the patio. It’s a spectacular view of the course and a very relaxing atmosphere.”
Jerrod promises players that The Battlefield is not like any par 3 course golfers may have played. The terrain is rugged. The existence of five tee boxes plus the close-up Felix tees gives golfers the choice of making play as easy or as difficult as they like.
“It’s a wonderful, relaxed family atmosphere at The Battlefield,” Jerrod says. “It’s a place where players are going to want to spend a lot of time. It’s a really fun course, but it’s challenging. Every hole has a different challenge. There are no cookie-cutter holes on this course; and the greens are difficult enough that, even though every hole is a Par 3, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of three-putts,” he laughs.
So, does Jerrod have any tips for golfers playing The Battlefield?
“It’s not like the typical par 3,” he says. “At most par 3 courses you find yourself using the same three clubs over and over. The Battlefield isn’t like that. Bring all your clubs. You can use them all! Play different tees. Experience different games. Mix it up. And have a great time! It can be a different experience every time you play!”
The Battlefield is open six days a week (closed Wednesdays). The Championship Course at Shangri-La is open for play seven days a week. For additional information, access the Shangri-La website at www.shangrilaok.com.