The History of the Amazon Golf Course
By Leo Jones
"Are you crazy Mike!?" "It can happen, Leo!"
Fifty five year old Mike Collis assured me. "We can have a golf course here in the jungle. It'll be the most isolated golf course in the world and it'll be famous." This conversation took place on the 24th of January 2004 in the Texas Bar. Then I didn't think it was possible, but I shouldn't have doubted Mike, a giant of a man from Birmingham, England who has always believed that nothing is impossible. Now, his dream of building a golf course here in Iquitos is a reality. The beautiful Amazon Golf Course was originally designed by Wally Lloyd another English man and is just 10 minutes from the airport. Located not much more than a stone's throw from the Iquitos to Nauta Highway, the 9 hole , 2,500 yard course stretches across 22 acres. Although when we started construction in April 2004 the site was completely covered in bush we have taken every precaution possible to limit ecological disturbance. In fact over the last 2 years over 4,000 trees and shrubs have been planted around the course mostly fruit trees and flowering shrubs.
Joe Boatright, Mike Collis and Wally Lloyd with the first construction crew
When Mike first had the idea the only person to come forward to become the Amazon Golf Course's first investor was Bill Grimes, who although himself not a golfer saw the importance of having a golf course here in Iquitos. Mike himself became member number 2. In May 2008 the Amazon Golf Course officially opened for business and many golfers have tried the difficult course since then. The Amazon Golf Course also encourages local people to take up the sport and offers free golf lessons every Saturday morning to beginners. Some of the students said after their first couple of rounds said that they found the course difficult. Wally Lloyd said before his death in January 2009 "A 9 hole golf course that is easy ain't worth playing". The course consists of 2 par 3s, 6 par 4s and a 505 yard par 5. There are lots of sand traps and 8 water traps , the water traps being infested with pirahnas. In fact Mike Collis put 450 young red bellied pirahnas into the water traps in 2010. There is also a covered driving range for those who haven't the time to play a game and a nice 9 hole putting green. The magnificent clubhouse has a lounge/restaurant overlooking the entire course , an office, pro shop, mens and womens changing rooms with showers and a kitchen. Cold beer and soft drinks are always availiable. A swimming pool is currently under construction and should be in use by the middle of May. Mike Collis said, "This remarkable achievement would not have been possible were it not for the more than 60 Founder Members from 14 different countries worldwide who had bought shares and funded the construction. It must also be stated that Mr Peter Schneider the owner of the Amazon Rainforest Lodge has helped the course substantially with his kind donations for the installation of electricity and construction work". Mike continued "Some day when we are all dead and gone the history books will say that early in the 21st century the Amazon Golf Course was constructed by a group of intrepid gringos along with a hand full of Peruvians who followed "Crazy Mikes" dream to bring golf to the Amazon.
Visiting golfers are cordially invited to visit the course and play on the first golf course in the Peruvian Amazon. First tee off is 6.30 a.m. last tee off 4.00 p.m. Golf clubs are availiable for rent.
For more information call at Mad Mick's Trading Post at Putumayo 163/202,Iquitos,Peru. Tel. Iquitos 79958 Please check out the website at, www.amazongolfcourse.com
The clubhouse from the 8th fairway.
Taking delivery of the Husqvana ride-on mower in September 2011.
Green No 6 surrounded by piranha infested water.
The 3rd green, viewed from the rough, on the Amazon Golf Course
View a video of our Golf Course
Click here: Amazon Golf Course Video