With 4th of July right around the corner & family reunion season in full swing, many families with be having fun with outdoor games. Perhaps horseshoes, croquet, ping pong, lawn bowling, bocce ball, badminton, cornhole, or ladder golf?! We were first introduced to ladder golf about 4 years ago at a family reunion in Nebraska (that’s a 15-month old Big Brother in the pictures 😉 )!
So, when given the summer creative challenges revolving around the outdoors as a Lowe’s Creative Ideas Blogger, we thought building our very own patriotic-style ladder golf game would be perfect! For those not familiar, ladder golf is a toss game in which you toss tethered balls (called bolas) toward a ladder-type structure, trying to get your bola to rest on one of the 3 horizontal bars.
Here are the basic supplies you’ll need:
To create the ladder frame, you’re going to need a fair bit of PVC (we used 3/4″ diameter). We had nine 2-foot pieces, six 1-foot pieces, six standard T fittings, and six elbows (or standard 90 joints). It was so nice to buy it at Lowe’s as they cut all of our PVC pieces right there in the store. That made things really easy when we got home! Assembly is a breeze. You create a base & then build a ladder structure with the pieces. If you want an extra-sturdy structure, you could glue everything together. But, we found that everything fit together quite snug & we like having the option to disassemble for easier storage.
Now, at this point, you could be done with your ladder golf “goal” & just have it be all white. But, we decided to have one with some color (so we waited to assemble & painted first). Your options are limitless, but we decided to go patriotic with some red, white, and blue. Spray painting the PVC was easy. We even found some Valspar spray paint specifically made for plastic (that’s the red). It went on brilliantly. Sadly, they didn’t have any blue in the plastic variety at our store. So, we just got a premium Valspar can in the blue. It worked fine too, just not quite as nicely as the red. Once the paint is all dry, then you can assemble the ladder golf goal. We noticed that the pieces fit even tighter after painting, so we saw no need for glue of any kind.
Once you have your goal, you’ll need some bolas to toss at it. Now, obviously from the name “ladder golf”, golf balls are the standard. However, with the little guys around that just isn’t an option. The golf balls are too hard and there is just WAY too much likelihood that someone (or something) would get hurt. So, we used tennis balls instead! It worked great! To make the tennis ball bolas (ideally you want at least 6 bolas), you’ll need about 15 feet of nylon rope/cord, 12 tennis balls, a drill (with a 5/16″ bit) or box cutter/knife, paper clip, and a lighter. We started by drilling holes in the tennis balls. The drill bit didn’t go through easily unless it was already sort of started first. So, it’s a good idea to indent/puncture the ball first (even a smaller/sharper drill bit will work). Once you’ve drilled the holes, you’ll need to lace the nylon cord through. To do this, we cut six 25″ pieces of cord, then used a lighter to seal each end of the rope. Then, we made a sort of large needle out of a paper clip, laced it through the cord, and pulled the cord through the tennis ball. Then, you’ll tie knots on each side of each tennis ball. You’ll end up with tennis ball bolas containing approximately 12″ of cord between each ball.
To keep team bolas separate & easily identifiable, you could color coordinate the tennis balls by painting them or decorating somehow. But, the boys were too excited to go play so we haven’t done that yet! 🙂
They’ve had SO much fun playing! Now, we’ll have to try it with adults & play “for real”! 🙂 So, if you’re looking for an easy & inexpensive project, sure to provide lots of outdoor fun, make your own ladder golf set!
What outdoor games are YOUR family’s favorite(s)?
Disclosure: I am a member of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Creators & Influencers Network and received a Lowe’s gift card to complete my projects. All photos, opinions, and experiences are my own.