Sometimes known as hillbilly horseshoes, hillbilly golf, or redneck golf, ladder golf is a great summertime sport for everyone. You can find it being played by families in backyards, by students on college campuses, by children on a playground, by tailgaters at sporting events, even by senior citizens at RV parks. It was named the 2007 ION Sports Toy of the Year.
Ladder golf is lawn game that is played with a ladder that consists of three rungs and bolas. The bola is a nylon rope with a golf ball attached to each end. The ladder is set up, with each player taking turns tossing their bolas at the ladder from about five paces away. The official throw line is 15 feet from the ladder. Teams of two or individuals take turns tossing the 888bola (each player gets three) at the ladder to earn points. Usually a coin toss decides who gets to go first. The opposing player or team stands next to the ladder while the other player or team throws. Often, the opposing player or team will make distracting remarks, sounds, or movements, but they cannot touch the others bolas.
The number of points gained per rung may vary from game to game, but one of the more common scoring variations is that the top rung is worth 3 points, the middle rung is worth 2 points, and the bottom rung is worth 1 point. Players get no points for bolas that fall short of the ladder or go past it without hooking on to a rung. Some players like to bounce the bolas off the grass, which may cause them to bounce up and hook onto a rung. Other rules vary. In some cases, if both teams score on the same rung, neither of the points counts. Also, if balls are looped around other balls, those points may not count.
If a player’s bola knocks another player’s bola off, the points for the bola that was knocked off do not count. Scoring is only determined after all players have tossed their bolas, in case some are knocked off during play. At the end of each round, only the bolas that remain on the ladder are counted for points. The winner of each round gets to go first in the next round.
The goal of the game is to get exactly 21 points without going over. If a player gets over 21 points – say he had 19 and hits a 3 point rung by accident – that player is usually reverted to their previous total. If players or teams are tied at the end of the game, overtime rounds are necessary until one player or team has a two point advantage.
Ladder golf has become so popular that in 2007, the Ladder Golf National Championships were held in San Diego. If you are looking for a fun and relatively inexpensive backyard game that will be fun for the entire family, give ladder golf a try!