California Courses

Bonfante Golf & Games

First Review:
Submitted by: Kirke La Shelle
Company Web Site:

Second Review:
Submitted by: Jim Green

Price:            6.95  6.00
Challenge:        10    8
Variety:          10    8
Fun:              10    10
Overall Value:    10    9

First Review:

The much-awaited first phase of Bonfante Gardens -- a Family Entertainment Center featuring two 18-hole miniature golf courses, a gallery of video and redemption games and a fresh food grill -- debuted to the public June 30.

Located three miles west of downtown Gilroy on Hecker Pass Highway 152, Golf and Games precedes the Spring 2001 opening of Bonfante Gardens Theme Park, a family-oriented multi-million dollar facility integrating rides, entertainment and food with the spectacle of nature accented by thousands of trees.

The Golf and Games 36-hole miniature golf course will offer the most scenic setting of its type on the West Coast. The two layouts -- the Redwood Course and the Circus Tree Course -- are designed in a thicket of mature trees including magnificent redwoods. Greens fees for either course will be $6.00.

A special element of the Circus Tree Course will be a five-hole stretch (numbers 1-2-16-17-18) fully handicap accessible with wheelchair and scooter access from tee to hole. The adjacent Double Nickel Family Entertainment Center, requiring a $1.95 admission (children under 3 are admitted free), features 100 video and redemption games ranging from the Alpine Racer to the Wacky Gator.

The Double Nickel will also exhibit a selection of antique arcade games from the private collection of Bonfante Gardens President Michael Bonfante.

The selection of amusement games follows a family-friendly theme. "From the very first day that these plans reached the drawing board, the basic element of our park consisted of creating a healthy family atmosphere," Bonfante explained. "The concept of games where human figures are targets for killing does not fit with our philosophy and we've selected our games accordingly."

Complementing the indoor and outdoor attractions of Golf and Games will be the Double Nickel Grill, a fresh food grill offering a daily variety of items ranging from Sausage Bread to the "Salad of the Day" and including an ice cream cart.

The reputation of the food service is as sturdy as the trees lining the mini-golf courses: Bonfante will staff the dining facilities with the same personnel who have operated the Family Adventure Picnic Park at Bonfante Gardens, serving barbecue entrees to corporate and private parties for over a decade.

Golf and Games at Bonfante Gardens operates Wedndesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Children age 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Golf and Games has already begun booking children's birthday parties, offering a "kid friendly" environment. More information on party activities can be obtained by calling 408/842-2121.

Location: Gilroy, California.

Important Editor's Note: I received this submission from a member of the family that runs this park. He provided me with an email address that didn't work (included above), the web page (also above), and a rating of the site. He provided no other information. I have copied the description from the web page in order to show the fuller potential of the location. If someone from the course or someone who has been there could provide me with a more objective rating I would appreciate it. Also, If the people from the course would prefer not to have this text, please contact me with the description you would prefer I put up. Thank you. (It looks like a pretty good place to me, based on the web site. If I ever get out that way, I will be sure to head there.)

Second Review:

I have visited Bonfant Gardens Mini Golf and Arcade several times (ok, maybe 20) and really enjoy it. It has only been open since June of 2000.

There are two courses.  One called the Circus Trees that contain replicas of the famous circus trees that are to be located throughout the amusement park.  This course is about a 7 on a scale of 10.

It is a basic course with several obstacles such as rocks and poles.  Not too many multilevel holes.  I've scored a 44 as my lowest on that course.  I've heard of a 42 being scored.

The second course opened about 3 months later and is called the Redwoods.  It has actual redwoods throughout the course.  It is a 9 out of 10.  I've scored as low as 55, but average 58. Every hole actually has roughs and sand traps (thicker colored carpets).  There are many intriguing holes.  An ant hill (my son got a hole-in-one on, I've done a 4 as my best).  One hole that has a wooden trough you can go down to put in to a hole in one.

We usually play the Redwoods.  Beginners or less experienced should probably go to the Circus Tree course.

The Grill does have good food!  The Dogs are big and the pizza is fresh.  We've had birthday parties there and the do it up right.  The Arcade is a good deal too. You pay 2 bucks to get in and there isn't a game over 25 cents.  And a lot only 5 cents.  They have the tickets you can win to redeem for toys and the like.  We've been there for about 3 hours and spent just under $40 for the arcade. We've had birthday parties there and they do it up right.

Over all experience, I'd give it a 9.  Lot's of fun.  Just wait til the Amusement park opens.

Neptunes Kingdom

Submitted by: Cassidy Loydd Martin

Price:            5.00
Challenge:        6
Variety:          10
Fun:              8
Overall Value:    8

    Fun pirate style golf course 18th hole not that chalanging because biger pipe than others places ive been all around i give it 1 1/2 thumbs ups alot of fun and variety. Now I'm building a mina golf course at my house a little  like it

Location: At the Santa Cruz beach and bordwalk in Santa Cruz California on Cliff Street.

Any other comments? Send me mail to

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