The Milwaukee Country Club was originally established in 1894 with a property on the near east side of of the city. As other golf clubs in the area were established on superior properties in the outskirts of the city, the membership decided to purchase a dramatic plot northwest of the city on the Milwaukee River. The development of Milwaukee Country Club was a key catalyst to the establishment of River Hills.
Golden Age architect Charles Alison, perhaps best known for his outstanding designs in Japan, was commissioned to expand and improve the original layout, and to incorporate additional land near the river. What followed is largely considered Alison’s finest original design in America, a masterpiece of routing that maximizes the incredible river setting.
After many decades, with trees encroaching on the intended playing angles and diminishing the layout’s scenic appeal, the course underwent a restoration project by Tom Doak and Renaissance Golf that was just recently completed. Many trees were removed, most notably near the river, which have opened up more spectacular views, expanded the area of play to make the course more fun, and called attention to the property’s beautiful and unique architecture.
The property is incredibly unique in that the sizable Milwaukee River flows through the course, not simply alongside it. This sets the stage for one of the best routings in America, incorporating the river in extravagant fashion on holes 10 through 15. This stretch has excellent variety, as well, with a great mix of par 3’s, 4’s and 5’s, doglegs that bend both ways and bunkers and slopes placed in a variety of spots to test a player’s complete set of skills.
by Brian Murphy, Wisco Golf Addict