The Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club was founded in 1897 by Captain (later Colonel) Stanhope Blunt, who then served as arsenal commander. The current clubhouse was built in 1906 after the original was destroyed by fire. The golf course was granted its license by Secretary of War William Howard Taft in 1905. Today, it is operated by RIA's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Division.


Established on July 24, 1897, the Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club was one of the first in the region. Members had been using small facilities as a locker room before fire destroyed the original building in 1905. The current clubhouse was built in 1906 at a cost of approximately $17,000.

The Rock Island Argus described the new clubhouse as fine as any in Chicago, short of the main dining area. Not to be outdone, the Grand Ballroom was added to the clubhouse in 1920.

Since their establishment in 1897, the clubhouse and golf course have hosted many tournaments and championships.

Through 2009, the RIA Golf Club was managed and maintained by Federal Sports Management, under a lease with the Department of the Army. This meant that the course and the club was privatized for arsenal employees and club members only. However, in 2010, the golf course was turned over to the U.S. Army's Department of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR). Upon the transition to MWR, the course was then opened to the public.

The clubhouse is open for a wide assortment of events, including banquets, weddings, receptions, meetings, conferences and more.

Clubhouse Facts

Established: July 24, 1897
Founded By: Colonel Stanhope Blunt
Second Clubhouse Opened: April 1906
Facilities: Ballroom, Bar, Veranda, Dining Area, North Porch