The Battlefield, a par three course designed by Tom Clark for the Shangri-La Resort on Monkey Island in Oklahoma, USA, is set to open in spring 2023.
“I conceived a three-tier design, a course to serve: low handicappers with yardages from 130 to 230; the average member and resort guest with yardages from 100 to 210; and a chip and putt, where you can utilise just three clubs, for members and guests with families or just for sharpening your short game skills,” said Clark.
“To help embody the battlefield theme we incorporated a number of railroad tie features, which adds visual interest and definition throughout the course,” said Clark. “Each green is unique and allows a constant rotation of pins, to keep the players coming back time and time again.”
Clark worked with golf course architect Kevin Atkinson of Atkinson Design and Dale Forrest of construction firm United Golf on the project. While the conceptual layout for The Battlefield was ready in 2020, the pandemic delayed the start of construction until summer 2021, with completion in August 2022.
“The tees were topped with a mixture of Humalpha and sand, fairways and green surrounds were sodded with Tahoma 31 and the greens were built for a SubAir system in their internal drainage,” said Clark. “The formal bunkers were lined with Better Billy Bunker and a lovely off-white sand, while the ‘waste bunkers’ received a more brownish coloured sand.”
The course is laid out across 80 acres and features rugged terrain with over 100 feet of elevation change.
“Due to the topography that was rather severe in many areas, it became a necessity to install golf cart paths to accommodate the players, help direct drainage and prevent erosion. An existing drainage channel that bisected the site was reimagined into a series of waterfalls, pools and a rippling stream, which come into play on several holes.”
Shangri-La is also home to a 27-hole course, renovated by Clark in the early 2010s, comprising the Legends, Heritage and Champions nines.