Ladder Golf

Everything you need to know about Ladder Golf

Ladder golf, also known as ladder toss or ladder ball, is a game that was discovered in campgrounds in the early 1990s and has since become a popular back garden pastime. 

People speculate that the game was a fond choice of old-school western cowboys, giving the game a certain charm when playing it these days. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Ladder Golf

How many points is the top ladder worth?

The top rung is 3 points, the middle run is 2, and the bottom is 1 point.

How far apart do you play Ladder Golf?

About 15 feet.

Do points cancel in Ladder Golf?

Yes, points are canceled when bolas of opposite teams land on the same rung. For example, if both players land one bola the top rung, then 0 points are scored.

Ladder Golf Rules

To play ladder golf, you need two ladders and three sets of bolas per team. Each ladder has three rungs, and each rung is worth a different point. Many different point allocations exist, but the most common is to score them at one, two, and three from the top down. 

If a bola bounces on the ground and then onto a rung, it isn’t worth any points. 

Each team throws their bolas, at which point the round is over, and the scores are tallied. 

Ladder Golf Distance

The distance players need to be standing away from the ladder varies from game to game, but the official distance is 15 feet. Most of the time, though, players count five paces from the ladder to set the throw line. 

This rule allows for the game to be more balanced and friendlier towards children that are playing. 

Ladder Golf Scoring

We’ve already spoken about the ladder golf scoring rules, with each rung being worth a different point. While the score is tallied at the end of each round, the goal is generally to score at least 21 points to win the game. 

There is another popular scoring variant that people play to speed the game up. As well as bolas being worth one, two, or three points, a bola on each of the three rungs is worth an additional 10 points. 

As well as these two variants: there are a few optional rules that allow players to earn more points. 

A tight dangle bonus occurs when the bola wraps around the rung, and the ball can no longer loop it. This is worth one additional point. 

A springboard bonus is when a ball launches back in the direction from which it was thrown. This is also worth one additional point. 

An optional rule to make the game last longer is to have bolas cancel out each other. For example, if a player lands a bola on the second rung, they score two points. If their opponent lands on the same rung, both bolas are cancelled out, resulting in both players receiving 0 points for that rung. 

What Are Ladder Golf Bolas

Ladder golf bolas are the foundation of the ladder golf score, so understanding what one is made up of is important. 

More often than not, the balls on the bolas are golf balls, but you can use any uniform weight. Other popular options include tennis balls, plastic or rubber balls, and even a monkey’s fist knot. 

Each team’s set of bolas are a different color to differentiate the two, and usually uses some kind of rope or string. 

The ladders that players use are also homemade and typically consist of rungs made from PVC pipe. 

How Many People Can Play Ladder Golf?

Ladder golf can be played by two to six players. 

You can have one or two people per team, but you cannot exceed that amount. This means that a maximum capacity ladder golf game consists of three teams of two players.

How to Make a Ladder Golf Game

To construct a ladder golf game, you need these materials:

· 16′ – ¾” PVC pipe

· 2 – ¾” PVC Elbow joints

· 6 – ¾” PVC “T” joints

· 12′ – 3/8″ rope

· 12 – balls (six each of two different colors.)

· 4 – ¾” PVC end caps (optional)

People often use either white or gray PVC. White is the most widely used, but gray is the better option, although it comes at a higher price. 

Gray PVC has UV inhibitors that prevent the pipes from getting brittle in response to sunlight. Alternatively, you could paint a white PVC pipe to achieve the same effect.

Ladder Golf Game

Hopefully, we’ve told you all you need to know about ladder golf, from scoring to construction, to the actual rules of the game. 

Ladder golf is a fairly new grassroots game, so don’t be afraid to experiment with home rules to suit your needs.