By Design – Issue 63, Fall 2023

28 TURFGRASS It’s quiet now at Shangri-La Resort, save for the call of birds, the clink of an iron hitting a ball down a fairway, and the rush of water tinkling over a waterfall’s boulders. However, for a while, the echoing boom of dynamite blasting through solid rock accompanied the construction of Oklahoma’s first eighteen-hole par-three course, The Battlefield. Grassed with Tahoma 31 bermuda on all playable areas except for the greens, which feature 777 bentgrass, the contrast between the rock features and dense green playing surfaces is stunning. The Battlefield was designed by ASGCA Past President Tom Clark, who also oversaw the renovation of Shangri-La’s 27-hole championship layout. A short course carved out of the native stone on Monkey Island, The Battlefield is bordered on three sides by Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, in the northeastern corner of the Sooner State. To realize Clark’s vision, developed in collaboration with resort owner Eddy Gibbs, the course was formed not only with excavators but also with dynamite, due to the limestone bedrock. The dynamite’s aftereffects have made boulders a focal point of the course. Waterfalls, rock ledges and rock retaining walls, all crafted from native stone, help to create a signature look. Stacie Zinn Roberts discusses the new par-three golf course at Shangri-La Resort in Oklahoma, and the role of Tahoma 31 grass in its design. Building The Battlefield Stacie Zinn Roberts Stacie Zinn Roberts is an awardwinning writer and marketing expert specializing in the golf and turfgrass industries.