The Mashantucket Pequots pioneered the tribal casino-resort with their prosperous Foxwoods in southeastern Connecticut, but it wasn't until 2005 that they had a course worth bragging about.
Rees Jones chiseled two formidable spreads from the rock-studded hills, the North and the South. Only the North is open to outside play, and with its dramatic visuals, it's all the golf you could want.
Wetlands, rock ledges and rolling, forested terrain form compelling elements in a spectacular, unyielding design. Still, with tees as short as 4,937 yards, Lake of Isles is definitely playable, especially the stirring 525-yard, par-5 12th, which is framed with rock, tree and bunker peril but can be safely negotiated by a bogey player with three solid shots.
July and August are ideal months to go; you can sleep in after a long night of gaming and still finish your round with plenty of daylight. Also, Lake of Isles is newly affordable, thanks to its "dynamic pricing" policy.
Adapted from the hotel and airline industries, dynamic pricing simply fits your green fee to the anticipated demand. On a given Saturday you might shell out, say, $170 at 7:30 a.m. and $200 at 3 p.m. The next day, Sunday, isn't as coveted, so those same tee times could run $100 and $130, respectively.
Prices fluctuate, but you should have a few extra bucks left over for the table games next door.
Lake of Isles (North)
North Stonington, Conn.
7,252 yards, par 72
Green fees: $94-$199