Leatherstocking Golf Course is part of the Otesaga Resort. The Clark Family built the Resort Hotel in 1909 in the Village of Cooperstown, New York, site of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. This refined retreat on Otesaga Lake represents an era of hospitality. leisure and old world charm. It’s one of only 275 hotels recognized by the prestigious Historic Hotels of America.
The Clark family still owns it today, and it’s pricey. Over 400 windows wrap around the hotel for striking views of the lake from most rooms. An outdoor dining venue complete with a roaring firepit overlooking the eighteenth green and the lake beyond engenders a comfortable summer evening.
Leatherstocking Golf Course
It’s located directly on the western shore of Lake Otesaga. It’s a fantastic old style golf course. White siding, green shutters and a pointed roof make the golf clubhouse a classic old style gem. An outdoor dining terrace blends cream-colored umbrellas with large potted plants. They separate diners from the fifth tee only by a large red flower bed.
Devereux Emmet designed this “old world” golf course. They regard him as one of the legendary architects of the “golden age” of the early twentieth century. He completed over 130 designs.
As with most of the early twentieth century golf course design, the course yardage is short. Back tees are 6401 yards. Tees are often elevated with fantastic views of the lake and clubhouse. Fairways are on the narrow side.
Plateaued greens surrounded by lumpy mounds are commonplace. These mounds are grassy and often surround fairway green-side bunkers making them deeper than expected.
On the par5 eleventh, the highest point on the course, players tee off with an incredible vista overlooking the course, the lake and the hotel in the distance.
Then there’s the downhill 366-yard par4 sixteenth hole. It requires a tee shot over a road with bunkers left and water right. Then an approach over water to a small green with wetland trouble over. The striking hotel view is prominent in the background.
The par 5 515-yard sharp dogleg left eighteenth hole stands out for most. A silver of the tee box juts out so that water surrounds it on three sides. Players must choose how much of the lake to carry left as the fairway lengthens as you go further left when trying to get home in two. The fairway then narrows to a small green that sits below the Otesaga Hotel’s restaurant patio and firepit. There are few scenes like it as diners watch your closing shots.
Leatherstocking Golf Course is a remarkable layout with small plateaued greens. The views of the lake and the hotel are magnificent. It’s no wonder it’s ranked #5 in the state for public courses.
If you are near Cooperstown, it’s worth playing!
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