by Kateri Wozny

Driving Highway 101 near Victoria Avenue, all eyes dart to the huge white castle and sign at Golf N’ Stuff. The park opened on Aug. 10, 1974, and after 45 years of providing family fun, it keeps on buzzing with laughs, smiles and cheers.

One afternoon I indulged in a round of miniature golf ($11) and go-karts ($9). The last time I played miniature golf at the park was in 2012. Ahead of me, I met Steve Chopp of Thousand Oaks, who has been coming to Golf N’ Stuff since 1980. He brought his sons Garrett and Matt along for a fun outing.

As I watched the trio, they killed it as they got the ball through a windmill and into the hole with about three strokes. My game? I need more practice. Fore!

“I like coming here because this is a good spot to golf,” Garrett said.

Go-karts are my favorite activity at the park. I have a love for driving in general, I feel so free — maybe it’s a control thing? When I go-kart race, I always try to outrace the person next to me. After about six laps around the course, I came out a winner.

General Manager David Blaser estimated more than 200,000 people come to the park each year. The company also has locations in Norwalk, California, and Tucson, Arizona.

“We provide wholesome family fun in a safe and friendly environment while creating an exciting and enjoyable work place that keeps people coming back time and time again,” said Blaser, who has been the general manager for 25 years. He even has “Employee of the Month/Year” plaques hanging on the wall going back to 1995 to recognize their impact.

The castle is a landmark visible from highway 101.

According to Blaser, Golf N’ Stuff is owned by George Brimhall, who developed a passion for building miniature golf courses at a young age while working with his cousins in Utah. Brimhall helped develop the first bumper cars, bumper boats, concession go-karts with bodies and other family entertainment centers/fun parks across the western U.S.

“We like to believe and hope we are a staple in the community, both as a business and an employer,” Blaser said.

Golf N’ Stuff offers miniature golf with two courses (18 holes each), go-karts, bumper boats, bumper cars, a laser tag arena and an arcade filled with games, including Halo Fireteam Raven, Guardians of the Galaxy pinball, Maze Escape, DC Super Heroes, Luigi’s Mansion and Angry Birds.

Blaser said Golf N’ Stuff is always expanding with new activities.

“We take our time and make precise decisions on what needs to happen when, so it works for everyone,” Blaser said. He said that a new virtual reality game called Finger Coaster, where customers can draw their own thrill roller coaster ride, would be launching soon.

As for me, I’ll be back to work on parring three and under in miniature golf.

 

Golf N’ Stuff is located at 5555 Walker St. in Ventura. For more information, visit www.golfnstuff.com/ventura/info.html.