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)

Every baseball fan fantasizes about a trip to 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.”

An eagerly anticipated visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is almost certainly what first draws you to Cooperstown.

But there are other excellent reasons to linger awhile in this bucolic village in central New York State, including Leatherstocking Golf Course at historic Otesaga Resort Hotel. Opened in 1909, the original layout by the great Devereux Emmet, best known for his work at former U.S. Open site Congressional Country Club, received an impressive renovation by Bob Cupp several years ago.

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 up to 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 of 1,770 that Architectural Digest has called one of the 25 best small towns in America. Of course, the big attraction is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, an endlessly entertaining repository of artifacts and displays recalling the game’s past 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.

 

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