Ring Around the Ladder
DIY: Ladder golf ages 5+
Step 1: Cut the PVC pipe and nylon rope to the appropriate lengths.
Step 2: To ensure you’ve cut everything correctly, assemble the ladder and stand before gluing. In a well-ventilated area, glue the ladder pieces together using the PVC bonding adhesive, then glue the stand pieces together. Don’t glue the stand to the ladder, or you won’t be able to store the goal flat. Allow the glue to dry.
Step 3: Place a golf ball on the wooden block, and hold it securely with the pliers. Drill completely through the ball and into the block. Drill all 12 golf balls.
Step 4: Assemble the bolas: Tie a knot into one end of a 16” piece of nylon rope. Slip one golf ball onto the rope and slide it down so it touches the knot. Tie another knot against the ball, so the ball is held securely in place. Tie another knot about six inches from the other end of the rope. Slip another golf ball onto the rope and slide it down so it touches the knot. Tie another knot against the ball, so the ball is held securely in place. Repeat to make a total of six bolas: three with Color #1 nylon rope; three with Color #2 nylon rope.
Step 5: In a well-ventilated area, use the lighter to seal the ends of the bolas so they don’t fray.
When you’ve finished assembling your ladder goal and gluing it together, it should have two parts: a rectangle with two rungs (the ladder) and a rectangle with no rungs (the stand that will keep the ladder upright).
Materials needed for the project:
- 20 total feet of 3/4” PVC pipe, cut to the following lengths: 5 pieces, each 2 feet long; 10 pieces, each 1-foot long.
- 6 PVC 90 degree elbows, 3/4”
- 6 PVC tees, 3/4”
- Small can PVC bonding adhesive
- 4 total feet of 1/8” nylon rope in Color #1, cut into 16” lengths (3 pieces)
- 4 total feet of 1/8” nylon rope in Color #2, cut into 16” lengths (3 pieces)
- 12 solid-core golf balls (avoid liquid-cores)
Illustration by Charles Bakofsky
Tools need for the project:
- PVC pipe cutter or handheld saw
- Handheld power drill and 5/32” or 3/16” drill bit
- Large pliers that can open to fit around a golf ball to secure it while you drill (like Channellock tongue-and-groove pliers)
- Wooden block (to place golf balls on while drilling through the balls)
How to play
- Play one-on-one or in teams of two or three.
- Players stand at a designated distance from the ladder goal; the further the distance, the more challenging the game.(The playing area is called the “pitch.”)
- Players take turns tossing a golf ball bola at the goal, with the intention of wrapping the bola around a ladder rung.
- Scoring: Each rung has a different point value:
Top rung = 3 points
Middle rung = 2 points
Bottom rung = 1 point
- After all bolas have been thrown, retrieve the bolas and continue play.
- The first person (or team) to reach 11 points wins. As the players’ skill-level grows, increase the point goal.