Course Review: Lake of Isles – October 15, 2021
Last Friday I played Lake of Isles ~ North Course ~ for the first time in about 15 years.
The only significant difference in my experiences is that the 9s have been reversed and the front nine is now the back nine. Everything else seemed to remain the same.
The complex is run by Foxwoods Casino. Foxwoods had an initial foray into golf to complement their casino by collaborating with Boulder Hills in RI ~ The Foxwoods Golf and Country Club at Boulder Hills. Then it was time for them to have their own golf show to run ~ Lake of Isles.
There are two courses – the North which is the one with greater public access (Resort) – and the South Course which is generally private. The course uses Dynamic Pricing (as a result, golf rates are constantly being adjusted (up and down) based upon a variety of factors including demand, availability, weather and number of days in advance.
Apparently, I know the right people and our play was complementary (I.e. zero cost). If you are not as fortunate as I am who happen to have friends who frequently lose to the casino, the rates this time of year generally are under $150.
The insiders will tell you the Public / Resort public access course (North) is a harder and a better course. From the Blacks, the North Course is Slope rated 147. The South Course 141.
Both courses are design by Rees Jones ~ (think richer man’s version of Pine Hills Golf Club in Plymouth MA). Jones had a masterpiece of land to work with and the course is very spread out. Walking the course is absolutely not an option ~ it really cannot be done and it is not allowed.
Like many resort courses, there are multiple tees – from 7.279 yards from the back tees to 4,895 from the front tees on the North Course. In today’s raw material shortage, one may wonder if this course would have taken years to complete. Many paths between holes go over water and are supported by breathtakingly beautiful – and extremely long – wooden bridges.
The course itself is extremely hard and extremely fair at the same time. From the back tees, there are a few 250 yard carries just to reach the fairway. The course in general is in excellent condition and play. Clearly advertised to play at a speed of no more than 4 hours and 35 minutes, we finished our round in 4:05 minutes; no one ever pushing us, no one ever holding us up.
Although I arrived to a fairly full parking lot of enthusiast players who got out before us, I could not find a second ball mark to fix on any green. Every bunker appeared to be recently ranked by a professional caddy. If this review was about finding fault in any of the course conditions, this column would be blank.
Every employee we came into contact with was nice and welcoming. The starter truly bent over backwards to make us feel comfortable and welcomed.
After the round, we enjoyed cocktails and food on the member’s lounge. The food was underpriced and exceptional ~ as was the booze.
Some minor criticisms:
There was no outside staff to clean our clubs after the round. The practice facility is weak. As an average length hitter, my ego was lifted by hitting my drives pretty much out of the range.
However, it was a fascinating experience to hit a driver and then briefly stop and listen to other range participants warming up inform complete strangers how much money they lost at the craps table the night before.
All in all, a great experience that I hope to repeat again.