Ladder golf doesn’t have much to do with golf, but it’s plenty of fun and it’s exploding in popularity. Stop by any tailgate party outside the football stadium and there’s a good chance you’ll see several fans engaged in a heated game. Also called ladder toss, ladder ball, and many other names,ladder golf is a relatively new backyard game that involves tossing short bolas made from golf balls at a ladder-like stand. If the bola wraps around one of the ladder rungs and stays, you earn points.
Ladder golf doesn’t have much to do with golf, but it’s plenty of fun and it’s exploding in popularity. Stop by any tailgate party outside the football stadium and there’s a good chance you’ll see several fans engaged in a heated game. Also called ladder toss, ladder ball, and many other names (some not especially polite), ladder golf is a relatively new backyard game that involves tossing short bolas made from golf balls at a ladderlike stand. If the bola wraps around one of the ladder rungs and stays, you earn points. You can make your own ladder golf game in a few hours using PVC tubing, some 3⁄8" nylon rope, and a dozen golf balls in two different colors. It’s best to make a pair of goals so all the players don’t have to traipse back and forth after every turn, but a single goal is adequate to play.
Ladder Golf Rules
Ladder golf can be played by any number of players or teams, with each player using three bolas. The top rung of the ladder is worth three points, the middle is two points, and the bottom is one point. The official throwing line is 15 feet from the ladder, but children and the elderly may play closer. Each player throws all three of their bolas before the next player has a turn, and the player who has exactly 21 points at the end of a round of play wins.
Players are allowed to:
• Throw the bola in any way they wish, including bouncing.
• Knock other players’ bolas off the ladder, thus taking away their points.
• Distract opponents with questions, loud remarks and rude noises.
Players are not allowed to:
• Touch or hit opposing players, even gently.
If a player goes over 21 points in a round, none of that player’s points for that round count. A player who wraps all three bolas around the same step or around each of the three steps during one round of play earns one extra point.
If more than one player gets 21 points, the tying players continue playing rounds until one of them finishes two points ahead of the other.
From: Complete Guide to Backyard Recreation Projects: 978-1-58923-518-2
How to Make Ladder Golf Goals
Cut all of the parts for each goal to length from 3⁄4" CPVC tubing. If you have one, use a tubing cutter for clean cut. You can use a hacksaw instead and deburr the cut ends with emery paper.
How to Make Ladder Golf Goals - Step 2
Test fit the parts to dry-assemble each goal. In most cases, the fit between tubing and fittings is tight enough that a simple friction fit with no glue will hold the parts together. This has the added benefit of letting you disassemble the goal easily.
Solvent-glue the parts together for a permanent goal that will not fall apart during use. PVC primer alone will create a strong enough bond that the parts are unlikely to come apart, but if you foresee great stress you can use solvent glue. One compromise option to gluing versus not gluing is to glue the parts of the upright together and to glue the parts of the feet together, but allow the joints where the uprights meet the feet to be friction-fit only. That way, the parts can be partially disassembled for easy storage and transport.
Marking the Ladder for Scoring
Wrap bands of narrow electrical tape (comes in multiple colors) around the scoring bars as a scoring reminder.
How to Make Ladder Golf Bolas
Secure a solid-core golf ball into the jaws of a wooden handscrew clamp. It is very important that the ball be secured during drilling.
How to Make Ladder Golf Bolas - Step 2
Set the handscrew clamp with the golf ball onto the table of a drill press and position it so the ball is centered under the point of a 3⁄8" bit. Drill all the way through the ball. You can use a drill without a drill press, but take great care and make sure the clamp is well secured to the worksurface.
How to Make Ladder Golf Bolas - Step 3
Feed 3⁄8" nylon rope through the hole in a golf ball. Tie one end tightly to secure the golf ball, and then feed the other end through another golf ball. Tie that end so the distance between golf balls is 13".
How to Make Ladder Golf Bolas - Step 4
Trim the ends of the ropes so about 1⁄2" sticks out from each knot. Carefully singe the nylon fibers so they melt together and will not unravel.