Shangri-La Resort, Oklahoma’s premier waterfront golf and outdoor recreation destination, has named golf industry veteran Ryan Snyder its new Director of Golf.

The West Virginia native has 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. Most recently, Snyder served as director of golf at Indian Spring Country Club in Boynton Beach, FL.. 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 to Oklahoma’s premier golf destination.

“Since I got here six weeks ago, everybody I’ve run into says this is a great place to live and raise your kids,” says Snyder. “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.”

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 Shangri-La resort hotel, an indoor pool, 6,500 square-foot outdoor resort pool with splash pad and tanning ledge, luxury spa, full-service marina on gleaming, 46,500-acre 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.

Surrounded by the waters of Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees on three sides, the revered 27-hole championship Shangri-La golf course – including the Heritage, Legends, and Champions Nines –meanders through rolling parkland landscapes with elevated Bentgrass greens and clever bunkering along with more open, flowing fairways accented by ponds, streams, and the breathtaking lakefront. The extraordinary year-old par-3 golf course, The Battlefield, with elevation changes of more than 100 feet, has already been hailed “the most incredible par-3 course” that “sets new standards in short course experiences” by leading golf publications. Each of the 18 holes on The Battlefield is named in honor of a military serviceperson from Oklahoma who made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States during World War II.

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.”

Photo: Ryan Snyder (Shangri-La Resort)