Lead Asst. Golf Professional
Lead Assistant Golf Professional
When you begin playing golf at age 2, par your first hole at age 4, and continue to play near scratch golf as an adult, you are passionate about golf. Shangri-La’s Lead Assistant Golf Professional, Ryan Dalton, is passionate about golf! A native of Joplin, Missouri, Ryan learned to play on the old Loma Linda Golf Course (now Eagle Creek at Downstream Casino). He honed his golf skills under the tutelage of the late Ben Pell, who was the pro there during his formative years. Today, he sports a handicap of 0.2 (if you’re looking for a partner). “I did have a 0.0 handicap when I started here,” he grins. “But now that I work at a golf club, I don’t have as much time to play. My handicap is starting to inch up a little.”
Ryan began his business career in the retail liquor business, first operating retail stores owned by a friend, then as owner of Dalton’s Discount Liquor and Tobacco in the Joplin area. He later moved to the Miller-Coors distributorship in northeastern Oklahoma, southeastern Kansas and southwestern Missouri. “That’s how I learned the Grand Lake area,” Ryan laughs. “I used to deliver beer to Serenity point in my boat, because it was so much faster than trying to get there by land.”
Just before joining the Shangri-La staff, Ryan joined the team of the nation’s largest lawn care company, Trugreen, first as a sales rep, then satellite manager, then Business Development Representative. But his passion for golf continued to tug at his heart. “I’d been thinking about what I really wanted to do for the rest of my working life. The first thing that came to mind was something in golf. That’s my passion,” he says. “It’s great on the Island,” Ryan says. “I used to drive an hour to work. Now, living right at the edge of the golf course, the only way it takes me an hour to get to work is if I ‘play’ my way there on the course. It’s just the best!” he says.