Make a Ladder Golf Game

Ladder golf and golf have little in common other than golf balls. But if you’re looking for an easy-to-build backyard game that’s fun for all ages, ladder golf will suit your needs to a tee.

Made entirely from 3/4-in. CPVC supply tubing and fittings, the ladderlike goal presents three scoring opportunities for ladder golfers who can wrap a bola around one of the horizontal scoring rungs. Made from two golf balls and rope, the bolas function exactly like the primitive weapons of the same name.

For easy storage and transportation, solvent-weld the parts of the ladder into three separate units: the ladder and two standards. Because the ladder is made with slip fittings (not threaded ones), you can slide the three parts together to set up the goal and then disassemble them when you’re done.

Exploded Golf Ladder: All of the parts for the ladder goal are made from 3/4-in. CPVC tubing and fittings. You’ll also need six golf balls (solid-core) and some 3/8-in. nylon rope to make bolas. Glue the tubing parts into three sections as shown.

The three horizontal rungs have specific point values, although some controversy exists as to which rung should be most valuable. I went with the apparent majority and valued the top rung at three points, the middle at two and the bottom at one. I used strips of colored electrical tape to indicate the values on each rung.

The trickiest (and most dangerous) part of building this project is making the bolas. If you have some familiarity with golf, you already know that golf balls have two basic constructions: one with a solid center and another with a wound center and a liquid core. Because you will need to drill a hole through the ball, use only solid-core golf balls to make the bolas. And for the sake of scoring, try to find colored balls. They’re not as common as they were a few years ago, but yellow balls are not hard to find today.

Bolas are created by drilling through a pair of solid-core golf balls and joining the balls with nylon rope so they’re 13 in. apart. Use a wood hand screw to hold the balls securely (inset) when drilling them.

Use 3/8-in. nylon rope to make the bolas. You’ll need three bolas of each color. Drill a 3/8-in.-dia. hole through the center of the golf ball; then string the rope through. Tie knots at the ends of the rope so the golf balls are 13 in. apart. Then trim and singe the ends of the rope to keep them from unraveling.

3/4-in. x 10-ft. CPVC tubing (3) cut into 24-in. pieces (9) and 12-in. pieces (6)
3/4-in. slip fittings (6 elbows and 6 tees)
PVC primer and solvent-glue
3/8-in.-dia. nylon rope (20 ft.)
Solid-core golf balls (6)

When thrown at the ladder target, bolas that wrap around scoring rungs and stay put are awarded points. Each player or team throws three bolas in each round.


  • Set ladders 15 ft. apart (or mark the tossing line 15 ft. from the ladder goal).
  • Player One tosses all three bolas at the goal, attempting to wrap around one of the three horizontal scoring rungs.
  • Player Two throws all three bolas next. If Player Two’s bola dislodges Player One’s bola from a scoring rung, the dislodged bola is disqualified.
  • Scoring rungs are valued at 3, 2 and 1 points from top to bottom.
  • Each player receives the number of points accumulated by his or her three bolas. Both players may score in the same round.
  • The first player/team to reach exactly 21 points wins the game. If a player/team exceeds 21 points, the point total reverts to the total before that round.
  • Bolas must be tossed individually.
  • Players may be awarded one bonus point (by agreement) if all three bolas are hung on the same scoring rung or if the players hangs one bola on each of the three scoring rungs.

Bonus Video: