Thomas Jefferson wrote “Lake George without comparison, is the most beautiful water I ever saw”. The Sagamore resort in Bolton Landing, NY, was constructed on an island surrounded by the beautiful crystal clear water of Lake George with mountain views in all directions. Originally built in 1883 the iconic hotel was a getaway for influential New Yorkers now anyone can experience and enjoy everything the idyllic hotel has to offer in any one of its 375 luxurious lake and garden view accommodations.
With eight options for dining from casual to formal from lakeside to fireside there is surely an option for everyone. The one thing I cannot recommend enough is the breakfast served daily and can be enjoyed in the beautiful La Bella Vita dining room or out on the veranda terrace with stunning views of the lake and mountains. If you do find yourself hungry while you’re off property enjoying the quaint village of Bolton Landing there is no shortage of dining options to satisfy everyone from Italian to BBQ to seafood you can find something for everyone on or off property.
If you get tired of lying on a comfortable lounge chair by the pool sipping a cold beverage and getting some sun, said no one ever, there are plenty of other things to do. From swimming in the crystal clear lake to fishing or enjoying a relaxing boat tour on the 19th century replica touring boat ‘The Morgan’ that also includes food and beverages. From championship tennis courts to a rec center filled with activities for kids there is something for everyone. Try your hand at Croquet on the grass lawn in front of the main hotel, don’t worry if you don’t know how to play like me, there are instructions inside the hutch that holds the mallets and balls.
Lying by the pool, fishing, boating, playing tennis, golfing etc. can be hard work so what else could be better than heading to the world class spa to release all that tension. From traditional massages to custom body scrubs and wraps there is surely a treatment to help you relax, revitalize and rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. Packages are available as well so check out the website for details. Just be sure to reserve your treatment, as the spa is a popular destination for resort guests.
The golf course at the Sagamore is a Donald Ross gem, constructed in 1928 it boasts beautiful views of Lake George. Designed in classic Ross tradition using the natural lay of the land the course is routed thru rolling terrain with elevation changes on just about every shot. Each hole presents its own unique challenges so course management is at a premium if you want to score well on this par 70 layout. Water only comes into play on three holes at the Sagamore but don’t let that fool you into thinking there’s an easy round in store. The course at the time I played was in impeccable condition from tee to green, hats off to Superintendent Mark Nichols and his crew. Some of best conditioned and consistent greens I have ever played.
Standing on the first tee it’s difficult not to take a moment and enjoy the beautiful scene laid out before you. From an elevated tee down to a generous fairway and back up to an elevated green with views of Lake George in the background, take in the view, trust me it’s worth it. Take into account the elevation back up to the green on your approach and a look at birdie is not out of the question on this opening hole. With a good tee shot on the slight dogleg right second hole you’ll be left with a short approach and a good opportunity to score. The par three third hole plays longer than the scorecard as it is up hill, take note of the pin placement as this green is fairly long back to front as well. Jumping ahead to the fifth hole you’ll encounter a cross hazard not visible from the tee, longer hitters beware you could end up in the water if you’re too aggressive off the tee, a good tee shot here should leave a wedge to this small green and a chance at birdie. The sixth hole with a good tee shot is a reachable par 5, keep in mind the miss on this hole is short left or left of the green, short right is wet and long is in the woods another good opportunity for birdie. The seventh is rated as the toughest hole on the course, but with a good drive on this slight dogleg left uphill par four a par can be had. Before teeing off on the par three eighth hole take a moment to take in the view back down the seventh and the mountains surrounding Lake George it’s one of the prettiest on the course.
Heading to the back and the eleventh hole is the shortest par three on the course playing at 175 yards from the back, it does require an accurate tee shot as it’s the only green on the course guarded by three bunkers. The par four thirteenth hole presents you with another cross hazard with water playing about 275 yards off the tee so longer hitters will want to keep that in mind, playing to a slightly elevated green two good shots will be needed to reach this green in regulation. Jumping ahead to the shortest par four on the course the sixteenth hole can be tempting to let one rip, but caution would do well on this hole as tee shot placement is a premium and should leave a short second shot on this gettable par four. Two good shots on the seventeenth hole could find you putting for eagle on this reachable par five, measuring at under five hundred yards from the back tees this hole could just about be the cherry on top of a nice round on this Donald Ross gem.
A classic golf course, exceptional course conditions and an amazing staff led by Dave Cummings made the round at Sagamore a truly memorable one. Stop by the fully stocked club house to say hello and maybe get an inside tip on how to attack the course.
If you visit in season be sure to check out the Club Grille Steakhouse located at the Golf Club overlooking the beautiful view at the first hole. Expertly prepared steaks and seafood in a classic Adirondack dining room what else could be better after a round of golf on one of the nicest courses New York has to offer.