If you aren’t already playing Ladder Toss, you should be. Ladder Toss is one of the cheapest games to add to your gaming arsenal, it travels well, the rules are simple, and it’s fun!
With my personal focus on Cornhole and Washers over the last few years, I’d missed out on Ladder Toss. I’d seen it around, but hadn’t really played it much – always encouraging everyone to try out my Cornhole game. ( in MT it’s the first time most people have played it ). I recently put together the steps for how to build a Ladder Golf game. For the sake of science, I knew I’d better try them out. Here’s how it went…
Building a Ladder Toss Game
Building the ladders is EASY, really easy. The shopping list is short and sweet. You’ll need roughly 44 feet of 3/4″ PVC pipe, so buy 5 sticks of 10 foot pipe. These run around $3 each, so you’re looking at around $15. If you’ve got some sort of cutting tool at home, you’re set. I used an old mitre box and a hand saw. There are much better ways to cut it, but it got the job done. As long as it gets cut, right?
When making your measurements, keep in mind that each cut you’ll lose a saw blade’s width in pipe. Your pieces will all be a tiny bit short, but that’s okay. This isn’t an exact science. As long as you’re consistent, you’ll end up fine. Cut your PVC in a way that you end up with 16, 1 foot pieces and 14, 2 foot pieces. That’s enough for both ladders. Feel free to quickly sand the cut edges to remove any debris left from the cuts.
Now assemble your ladder. I’m not the best at following directions, shopping, or double checking things, so I always find that it’s best to assemble at this point. It’s a good time to find out you forgot a cut or a connecting piece. Quickly put together both of your ladders. Once they are assembled, make sure they’ve turned out how you want them. This is your game, so if you don’t like the height or the way the bases are put together — change it. Many people will put a 2 foot piece below the lowest rung to raise the ladder. You have all sorts of options! Once you like your ladder, you can choose to glue your pieces together, leave it as is, or even paint it.
To glue or not to glue, that is the question. I’m not planning to do it, but it’s up to you. I’d like to be able to totally take things apart, just in case I’ve got a packed vehicle and want to take the game with me. If yours isn’t going to travel much, I’d say you’re better off gluing most of the joints. Glue will keep them from coming apart when you move the game. If you glue, it is often wise to glue the top ladder pieces together as one piece, and then the base pieces together as a second piece. Leave the connection between the two unglued. It’s easier to haul them in two pieces that can be laid flat.
Once I got my pieces cut, I went for one final step – painting. I wanted to do the joints gold and the rest blue, so taking things apart made the most sense. The gold paint on the joints went on really thick, and covered easily. The blue didn’t coat as well, but I basically accomplished the look I wanted. I stopped after 4 coats, but even 6 would have worked a little better. I can always touch them up later.
One thing to note if you’re taking things apart to paint. The pieces don’t slide together very easily once you’ve put paint on them. They end up sticky, and you ultimately just scrape the paint off again. Time will tell if game play removes the rest of the paint or not.
Your ladders are built! $15 and an hour in the garage. Can’t be that! Now your next decision… do you make the bolos or buy them? This part is going to require more time and energy than the ladders, so it’s up to you. I’ll make my own eventually, but for now, I cheated. A quick ebay search will give you several options. It’s about $12 for a set of bolos. By the time you have them shipped they’ll run you about $17. That ends up being more than the ladders but you’re still getting the full game set for about $30. Bolo making will be covered in a future blog post.
Ladder Toss is a game with MANY names. You might also hear it called Ladder golf, Bolo Toss, Polish Horseshoes, Hillbilly Horseshoes, Hillbilly golf, Redneck Golf, Ladder Ball, Monkey Balls, Spinnerball, Blongoball, Lasso Golf, Bolo Ball, Ladder Game, Horseballs, Tower Ball, Bolo Golf, Gladiator, Bola, Snake Toss, Bolo, Rodeo Golf, Dingle Balls, Bolo Polo, Cowboy Golf, Redneck Golf, Pocca Bolo, The Snake Game, Willy Ball, Ladder Ball, Slither, Zing-Ball, Snakes & Ladders, Flingy Ball, Top Toss, Norwegian Golf, Monkey Bars Golf, Swedish Golf, Polish Golf, Dandy Golf, Montana Golf, Australian Horseshoes, Rattlerail Toss, Golfball Horseshoes, Arizona Golf Balls, Spin-It, Ball Dangle, Poor Mans Golf, Testical Toss, Norwegian Horseshoes, or Snakes. Lots of names, but a great game whatever you call it!