The History of the Amazon Golf Club
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 January 2004 in the Yellow Rose of 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 on the verge of becoming a reality. The Amazon Golf Club 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 - Nauta Highway, the 9 hole and 2,340 yard course stretches across 10 hectares. Although when we started construction in April 2004 the site was completely covered in jungle we have taken every precaution possible to limit ecological disturbance.
Joe Boatright, Mike Collis and Wally Lloyd with the first construction crew - May 2004.
The 9th fairway July 2004.
Construction of the club house foundation - August 2004
When Mike first had the idea the only person to come forward to become the Club’s first member 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. Now after 2 years the course in nearing completion, with 4 greens playable and the remaining 5 still under construction. It is believed that the course will be completed by the end of this year and will include a swimming pool, tennis court and a clubhouse with a bar and restaurant. Mike told me “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 founder memberships and funded the club. It must also be stated that Mr Peter Schneider the owner of the Amazon Rainforest Lodge has helped the club substantially with his kind donations for the installation of electricity and construction work” Although the club is still under construction visiting golfers are cordially invited to visit the club and play on the 4 completed greens. The club offers golf club hire and the services of a professional golfer.
The 9th fairway looking towards the club house - August 2005
The 9th green being mowed - September 2005.
Some day when we are all dead and gone the history books will say that early in the 21st century the Amazon Golf Club 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.