If you’re looking for games to add to your game day tailgate schedule, don’t forget to include Ladder Golf. It’s a safe, simple, and ridiculously fun game that puts your hand-eye coordination to the test as you pound your next beer. Better yet, it’s easy to make your own affordable DIY Ladder Golf game.
What is Ladder Golf?
Ladder Golf, also known as Ladder Toss, Balls Awesome, Hillbilly Golf, Lasso Golf, Sling Nuts, and even “Testicle Toss” in some parts, is a fun and simple outdoor game that’s similar to horseshoes. The object of the game is to toss two balls connected by a string, or a bola, over the rung of a ladder frame without it falling.
Players need a combination of both skill and luck to launch their bola at just the right angle to wrap around the ladder. While Ladder Golf can be a little bit more challenging to play than other tailgate games, it’s fun to see your friend try to spin a bola after a couple of beers.
How to Play Ladder Golf
You need at least two players to start a game of Ladder Golf, or you can include more players by assigning teams. Each team or player gets three bolas that are differentiated by color. Traditionally, bolas are made of golf balls connected by a nylon rope.
The object of the game is to throw your bola and wrap it around one of the rungs of your opponent’s ladder to get the highest score. You can play by aiming to get the highest score, or you can play by trying to knock opposing players’ bolas down. Bolas should be thrown from the toss line, which lies fifteen feet (or about five paces) from the ladder.
During each round of Ladder Golf, both teams get a chance to throw their three bolas and score. The winner of a coin toss gets the first turn, and the winner of a round gets the first toss in the next round.
The number of points you score with each toss depends on which ladder rung your bola wraps around. The top step is worth three points, the middle is worth two, and the bottom is worth one. Players can also earn a bonus point for getting a bola on each step, or for getting all three on a single rung. If the opposing team knocks one of your bolas down, you don’t get any points for that throw. A team or player wins once they reach exactly 21 points.
While Ladder Golf encourages friendly competition, in no way does it necessarily encourage sportsmanship. Though it’s against the rules to touch other players, it’s considered your duty to your team to distract your opponents. You can startle them with sudden movements, heckle them, start a chant–but the end goal is to make sure that their bola misses the mark.
How to Build a Ladder Golf Game
If you want the chance to get creative and save some money, you can craft your very own Ladder Golf set in mere hours. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to build everything that you need for a game of Ladder Golf.
Making the Bolas
- 12 feet of twine or nylon rope
- Six white golf balls
- Six colored golf balls
- To make each bola, first, you need to drill a hole in your golf balls. Place the balls in a vice to hold them steady, and using a drill bit just slightly larger than the twine or nylon that you’re using, drill a hole through the center of each ball.
- Cut your twine or nylon into six pieces, each measuring 24” long. Feed the string through the hole that you drilled in one of your golf balls and knot it securely on both sides. Do the same on the other end of the string with another ball of the same color.
- With the remaining twine and golf balls, make five more bolas for a grand total of six. If you aren’t able to find colored golf balls, you can make all of your bolas using white balls and spray paint three. You can also skip the white golf balls altogether and make your bolas in your team’s colors instead.
Making the Ladder
- 48 feet of ¾” PVC piping
- 12 ¾” PVC elbows
- 12 ¾” PVC Tees
- PVC glue
- Measuring tape
- First, use a chop, table, or hand saw to cut your PVC piping into eighteen 2’ sections and twelve 1’ sections.
- Make the base of your ladder using 2’ pipe sections. It should be rectangular, 4’ in length and 2’ in width. Connect the corners using elbow joints and cement together with glue. Connect the middle sections using a tee, but don’t glue the pieces together. This makes storage a little bit easier.
- Next, make the ladder. Each side should be made of three 1’ PVC sections connected by tee joints. The rungs should be 2’ sections that slot neatly into the joints. For the top rung, use elbows instead of tees.
- Once you’ve built your assembly, you can leave it plain or paint it in your team’s colors. Using white PVC makes it easier to customize your ladder setup.
Challenge Your Friends with DIY Ladder Golf
Ladder Golf is fun, relatively simple to play, and a great way to kill some time before kickoff. With just a few materials from the hardware store and a couple of hours of hard work, you can make your very own DIY Ladder Golf game and add some excitement to your next tailgate party.
Feature image via DIY Network