Paradise Park Miniature Golf began like most things do – with a dream. When in high school, Gary Novik told himself someday he would own a miniature golf course. After high school, life directed Gary into the construction industry for many years, putting his dream on hold. In the late 1990’s, Gary realized his career helped motivate his dream, not put it on hold. With the knowledge he gained over the years, Gary decided it was time to build his own miniature golf course.
In 2000, Gary and his wife Clova purchased a 3-acre piece of land just a few miles south of Marion city. 80-foot shade trees, a pond and stream lead you through 18 holes that make you feel like you’re putting in paradise. Listen to the singing birds and frogs or take advantage of the occasional opportunity to see horses graze in the distance while waiting your turn. Paradise Park is far enough away from the commotion to relax and unwind, yet just minutes away from everything else.
Ever thought of a wedding reception at a miniature golf course? It’s been done at Paradise Park. They’ve hosted birthday parties and other outings too. Only one thing could make this better – ice cream. Nothing beats the refreshing chill of an ice cream cone in the summer time. After putting the course, treat yourself to an ice cream cone in their parlor and peruse the new gift shop full of antiques, collectibles and crafts or stretch your legs in one of their lawn chairs overlooking the pond and course.
Gary and Clova raised their three children in Marion, two remain in the community – Clova’s son Chuck was recently appointed as Marion City’s Fire Chief – and they have always appreciated the undeniable hometown feeling Marion has.
That hometown feeling was on display recently at Paradise Park. A family with a daughter in a wheelchair visited the course and, before grabbing a putter, the young girl asks Clova if she can play too. Clova replied, “Of course!” and helped them to the first hole. A while later, as the family came back in the young girl’s eyes were filled with joyful tears as she thanked Clova for their course being handicapped accessible so she could play. The littlest of things can mean the world to someone and the Noviks are an example the big hearts in our community.