Site Overlay

Madness minigolf experience: a classic game in a funkier-than-funky setting

Madness is a contradiction in terms: a harmonious cacophony of colour, design, insta-vibes, competition and fun. Hysterical in the best way. Madness promises a frenetic mini golf experience in an instagrammable setting.

Text: Nathalie Schalke | Photography: Fred Sonnega

Alexander de Bruin, concept designer at Dekker Warmond Recreation Centre, is the man behind this unique location in Western Europe. Madness Minigolf Experience is a cross between a full-fledged minigolf centre and a selfie museum. With a crazy interior, full hospitality, and street food dishes such as Noodles on a Stick or menus such as Madness Bites ‘n Balls and Hole in One on the menu. ‘It was a special challenge to shake off the cheesy image and take the game to a funky level and playful environment.’

Bigger, weirder, crazier

Caroline Dekker – owner of the Protest brand, Dekker Warmond and Zoetermeer and Lucky’s Bowling – wanted to add an enriching group activity to her leisure centre. Bigger, weirder, crazier was the motto during the development and creation process. No repetition of concepts, but an innovative, multi-channel experience with fun and experience as the starting point. Alexander: ‘Because we were looking for a female counterpart to male bowling, the colour pink plays a leading role in Madness. It’s less about competition and more about having the most fun.’

Margarita machine

Throughout the creation process, Alexander was constantly challenged by Caroline to push his limits, expand his comfort zone, and become more daring. ‘I am very happy with the trust and freedom I was given. Because a design must be practical, we constantly sparred with our operations and logistics departments. The intensive collaboration resulted in the most inviting hospitality areas and the creation of crazy holes with catchy names such as Monkey Madness, Pretty Fly and Margarita Machine.’

The text continues below the photos

Retro vibes

For Alexander, the harmony between the furniture and the concept is a hit. A unique environment needs a unique statement. ‘Lars Snellaars’ ReUnited chair for Satelliet Originals – in turquoise velvet – was the starting point for my design of the central hospitality island. This centrepiece fits in perfectly and embodies everything I wanted to convey: retro vibes, geekiness, frills and class.’

Experience is the key word

Hospitality is the most important aspect of the formula. ‘We want people to come not just for the game, but for the whole experience,’ explains Alexander. ‘This is enhanced by the opportunity to have a bite to eat and a drink in an inspiring environment. We want them to continue to discover us. Madness is a one-off – we are aware of that – but Dekker Warmond has more to offer: tennis or squash, pool and bowling, soccer squash, golf and padel. Experience is the key word, and not only in the activities we offer. Experience is also in the look, the quality, the details, the mix of colours and designs.’

Passion and ambition

Guests who enter Madness are left with a shortage of eyes and ears. ‘I don’t know where to look’ and ‘I’m entering a world of, yes, what, actually?’ are common reactions. Alexander and Caroline have big ambitions for Madness. ‘In the short term, we want to take the online Madness world to a higher digital level. In the longer term, I hope we can be a franchise formula. Bring on the world! I can see it before me: London, Paris, Dubai. As a designer, enthusiasm is my great strength to take the formula to the world. That’s how I think a concept should be: from the interior to the staff, it should radiate energy. You must feel the fire, the passion.’