What costs less than $30, takes less than two hours to make and provides endless hours of fun? Ladder golf, that’s what! If you haven’t heard of ladder golf before (or ladder ball or ladder toss for that matter), brace yourself because it is the perfect game for all ages. This lawn game will provide all the entertainment for your next graduation party, birthday, shower, backyard party, tailgate and more.
Ladder golf is a yard game involving two “ladders” to which opponents throw “bolas,” also known as two golf balls attached to a cord, at the ladders. The object is to wrap your bolas around the ladder. The top tier is worth three points, the middle is worth two, and the bottom is worth one. The person, or team, to reach a score of exactly 21 first wins!
It’s a crazy amount of fun, and easy to learn. Check the end of this post for additional details on how to play ladder golf.
What better way to honor the summer than to make your own DIY ladder golf and play all season long? So what do you say? Let’s get our DIY on!
How to Build a Ladder Golf Set
For this ladder golf DIY, you will need:
- (3) ½ inch wide, 10 feet long PVC pipes
- (4) ½ inch PVC elbows
- (12) ½ inch PVC tee sockets
- (12) golf balls
- Sash cord
- Drill and drill bit
Step 1: Cut the PVC pipes to size.
To assemble the two ladders for the ladder golf game, cutting the PVC to size is the first step. Using a hand saw with a fine blade is a great option if you don’t have a circular saw or the like. Whatever method you choose, be sure to wear safety goggles for the oh-so-tiny pieces of PVC that may fly your way. Safety first!
Pipe lengths cut to size based on official ladder golf dimensions:
- (12) 1 foot
- (6) 2 foot
- (8) 9 inches
Step 2: Assemble the ladders.
While tackling this step, keep in mind that it involves making two ladders. The instructions and photos will help guide you on the amount of pipes and supplies you are using.
To begin assembling the ladders, start by building the top tier by using the four PVC elbows and the remaining four pieces of the two-foot lengths of PVC pipe. Attach the pipe to the tops of the elbow holes with the open holes facing downward as shown.
Next, make the two lower tiers of each of the ladders by using four of the two-foot lengths of PVC pipe and eight of the PVC tee sockets. Attach the pipe to the middle of the tee sockets as shown.
During the next steps, the ladder shape will really start to take form! Take the top tier with the elbows and attach a nine-inch piece of PVC piping to each of the open holes. Then attach the middle tier to the bottom of the nine-inch pipe. Repeat this by attaching another nine-inch piece of PVC piping to each of the open holes and add the final tier.
Step 3: Assemble the legs.
Now that the ladders are assembled, it’s time to attach the legs to allow the ladders to stand on their own. First, attach a foot-long piece of PVC piping to the bottom of the ladders. Secure the remaining four tee sockets to the bottoms of the ladder as shown.
Finally, secure the remaining eight-inch-long pieces of PVC piping as the base of the structure. The legs will provide the support the frame needs to stand on its own.
Step 4: Create the Bolas.
Gather the golf balls and sash cord to begin making your bolas. (Have some left over sash cord from this DIY? Try making a DIY hanging macrame plant holder with it!) Also, reused golf balls do just the trick for this project because they are going to get dinged and dirty anyways, especially if this game is going to be played on gravel or concrete and not grass.
First, cut your sash cord to size. This lawn game requires six pieces of sash cord at 22 inches each.
Once you have your cord cut, move onto making holes in the golf balls. To do this, put the golf ball in the center of a clamp to stabilize the ball from rolling around. Using the drill, drill a hole in the center of the golf ball. Note: having an extra set of hands to help hold the clamp while you use the drill is a great and safe idea!
Lastly, assemble the bolas by simply threading the cord through the hole in the golf ball. Each string should have two golf balls with a knot tied tight at each end. Note: If you notice that your cord is unraveling, use scotch tape at the ends while you are handling the cord.
Since each player (or team, since ladder golf is played with partners) will use three bolas, it is a good idea to differentiate your bolas. Feel free to use whatever method you would like. Some ideas are painting the golf ball or adding a symbol or line to the balls with a permanent marker.
Now get out there and play!
If you’ve followed this DIY, you’re all set with equipment! Each set should consist of two ladders and six bolas. It’s time to have some fun and play ladder golf! Have fun and good luck against the competition.
Looking for the ladder golf rules?
Playing ladder golf the correct way is important, especially when facing your super-competitive aunt Kathy, brother Gregg, friend Kelly… you get the gist. You will want to be straight on the rules before a friendly argument arises. Visit laddergolf.com for the official ladder golf rules on how to play.