The Club History of Tripoli Country Club (Now The University Club of Milwaukee)


On April 14, 1920, Dr. J. P. Carmichael presented a suggestion at a meeting of Tripoli Temple, that a golf course be purchased and a country club be started for the benefit of the Shriners. The Temple would not undertake such a proposition. However, the idea was a good one and a new committee was appointed by the Potentate of Tripoli Temple. The Temple membership was polled and response to the idea of forming a club was encouraging. An option was secured on two neighboring farms - the Hassel farm and the 174 acre Bill Nielsen farm. A Land Company was formed, stock sold, and the land acquired. The Club was chartered in 1923 as Tripoli Country Club. By spring 1928, golf at Tripoli was in full swing.


The Dutch Mill, which has become a symbol for Tripoli, was designed by the architect Armin Koch, who had been engaged to plan the clubhouse. He felt that the lovely natural pond which is Tripoli's #7 water hole, and the winding stream draining the pond deserved an attractive pump-house.


Between 1946 and 1956, the clubhouse facilities were upgraded to accommodate the growing membership and the growing popularity of golf for the entire family. The ladies locker room was extended with the construction of the porte cochere over the main entrance. In 1948, the dining room was enlarged by enclosing the long porch on the west side, and the Men's Grill was modernized.


In 1956, the Club hosted the Miller Open Golf Tournament for the first of four years in a row. The tournament drew such fine golfers as Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper and Cary Middlecoff.

The pool was constructed in 1956, after a petitioner's campaign brought it to the top the list of needed improvements. In preparation for the building the cabanas and snack bar, the old farm house on the property was burned down as a firefighting exercise by the Brown Deer Fire Department.

The original Dutch Mill - struck by lightning - burned down in a spectacular fire one snowy Sunday morning in March 1959. The newspaper reports and photographs brought letters and offers of replacement far and wide. One letter came from Holland offering an authentic Dutch Mill if the Club would pay the costs of dismantling and shipping the parts. But the original drawings were located, and the present Dutch Mill is an exact copy of the first one.


In May 1968, restrictions were lifted regarding Masonic affiliations for membership. The scimitar and other emblems of the Shrine are no longer used. The Dutch Mill, a landmark at the Club for nearly 50 years, is recognized as the rightful and delightful symbol of Tripoli. The single greatest improvement on the golf course was the installation of the fairway watering system in 1964.


The Greater Milwaukee Open Tournament was held at Tripoli in 1971 and 1972.


In November 2009, Tripoli formed a relationship with ClubCorp that gave members access to an unprecedented list of benefits at hundreds of private country clubs, business clubs, resorts, spas and other venues through a complimentary ClubCorp Membership. Plus, Tripoli Members were given access to VIP tickets for virtually any theater, concert or sports event, and more by simply calling a Concierge line.

In December 2009, Tripoli gave every Member and their spouse a complimentary Wisconsin Athletic Club Membership with access to all locations in the area.


In 2013, the Pool Deck was renovated to create more space for lounging, plus an outdoor bar was added to create a gathering spot and to enhance the social aspect of the Club.  

In spring of 2015, the men's and women's locker rooms were totally renovated and upgraded, with modern, high-end finishes producing stunning results.  The men's locker room added a new bar and lounge area, plus an outdoor deck for the men to relax and socialize.  The women's locker room also received a new lounge area, with a fireplace and beautiful bay window overlooking the golf course.