Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Build Your Own Ladder Golf Set Using Official Dimensions

There are quite a few variations of rung geometry, both horizontal/vertical spacing and diameter. There are no official dimensions so I chose to go with spacing consistent with the most reliable source,, which says:

Glossary of Terms:

Bolas: A Bola consists of 2 golf balls attached together with a piece of nylon rope. Golf Balls are spaced 13” apart.
Ladder: The ladder is the structure that consists of 3 steps each spaced 13 inches apart.
Steps or Rungs: Each ladder has 3 steps. The top step is worth 3 points, the middle 2 and the bottom 1 point.
Toss Line: The line that the players tosses from. Officially is set to 15 feet. For backyard games 5 paces works fine.
By using vertical pieces about 12” in length after the T’s are assembled it gives a spacing of about 13”. I chose to go with 3/4” PVC for durability reasons. Many people complain that 1/2” cracks or breaks after a fair bit of use.

Step 1: Materials
For 1 Rack
  • 18ft. of 3/4” PVC straight pipe
  • 2x 3/4” PVC 90 elbows
  • 6x 3/4” PVC Tees
  • PVC Glue
For 2 racks, double the above materials.

2 Sets of 3 Bollards:
  • 9’ of ⅜” rope
  • 12 golf balls
  • Some masking tape
  • Something to melt the ends of the rope with
Optional: Spray paint (your choice of color) - I suggest using “Krylon Fusion for Plastics”

Step 2: Cutting and Drilling
  • Cut the 18ft of 3/4” PVC into 5x24” and 8x12” pieces.
  • Drill a 3/8” hole through each golf ball (Be careful with newer golf balls that have a liquid core... it could get messy!)
Step 3: Painting (Optional)
  • Before you assemble things is a great time to paint things to make the set a bit more playful and colorful. I chose to go with patriotic colors Red and Blue, leaving one rung PVC White. And colored different bollard sets red and blue.
  • Lay the pieces you want to paint out on a piece of plastic or cardboard and spray away. Make sure to get an even coat or two.
  • Give the paint plenty of time to dry

Step 4: Cutting and Melting
  • Wrap tape around the 3/8” rope every 18” (This will keep the rope from fraying when you cut it, and aid in the melting process)
  • Cut in the middle of each piece of tape
  • Melt the ends of the pieces of rope using a lighter (Be careful and make sure that the melted portion doesn’t get larger than the 3/8” otherwise it won’t fit through the golf balls!)
  • Tie a nott in one end of a piece, thread two balls on, and tie a nott on the other end.
  • Remove the tape
Step 5: Assemble
  • Before you begin gluing think about how you are going to store and transport the set, which will tell you which joints not to glue to allow disassembly. I glued the entire rack except for the feet to the frame.
  • Glue the desired joints and let the glue set.
Step 6: Play!!!!

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