Pack the Sticks for Your Trip to Cooperstown

Otesaga Resort Hotel Cooperstown NY (Image: Otesaga Resort Hotel)

Leatherstocking Golf Course, a classic Devereux Emmet design dating from 1909, is the centrepiece of Otesaga Resort Hotel. (Image: Otesaga Resort Hotel)

Baseball fans dream of visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. But don’t forget to pack your clubs for a tee off at Leatherstocking Golf Course, a classic beauty set beside the lake James Fenimore Cooper called “Glimmerglass.”

(Last updated December 2021.)

It’s almost certainly the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum that first draws you to Cooperstown.

But starting with Leatherstocking Golf Course, there are other excellent reasons to linger awhile in this bucolic village in central New York State. Opened in 1909 at Otesaga Resort Hotel, Leatherstocking is a classic parkland-style design by the great Devereux Emmet (best known for his work at former U.S. Open site Congressional Country Club) that was later updated by Bob Cupp.

National Baseball Hall of Fame Cooperstown (Image: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

Crowds gather outside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum during Induction Weekend. (Image: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

Leatherstocking’s narrow fairways, deep bunkers and small and fast greens overlook Otsego Lake and the hotel. The final two holes are stunners: the par-three 17th plays as much as 195 yards over the water, while the 18th is a par five with an island tee and a lakeside fairway.

Otesaga Resort Hotel has been the preferred place to stay in Cooperstown for more than a century. Set on the shore of the lake made famous as “Glimmerglass” in the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, the now luxuriously updated Federal-style hotel recalls a more genteel past. It is on the hotel’s expansive veranda facing the lake that baseball Hall of Famers gather in rocking chairs to swap tales every July during Induction Weekend.

Just a short stroll from the Otesaga is the main street of a tightly knit community Architectural Digest has called one of the 25 best small towns in America. Of course, the big draw is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, an endlessly entertaining repository of artifacts and displays that draws about 350,000 visitors annually.

Babe Ruth's circa 1926 baseball glove. (Image: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

Babe Ruth’s circa 1926 baseball glove. (Image: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

Another local highlight is Fenimore Art Museum, which displays an impressive collection of American folk art and American Indian art in a 1930s neo-Georgian mansion. And a summer-long tourist draw is the Glimmerglass Festival of opera productions staged at the 913-seat Alice Busch Opera Theater.

Or maybe you’d prefer to tee it up at another local course or two. Colonial Ridge Golf Course is set in a forest between Cooperstown and the nearby town of Oneonta. Oneonta Country Club, meanwhile, rolls through the hills of the Susquehanna River valley. And for a quick nine holes, head to venerable Otsego Golf Club, built in 1894 on the shore of Otsego Lake.



Canadian Golf Traveller does not necessarily agree with the comments posted here. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments entirely. The editors will not correct spelling, grammar or syntax. Read our full policy here: Disclosure, Privacy and Comment Policies


One more step! To block spam robots, please complete the following: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.