Sunday, March 28, 2010

Grizzly Golf (Ladder Golf) . . .Life. . .

The weather here in Vegas has been nothing less than SPECTACULAR lately. If you are from Vegas, or have spend any time here during this short period of season switch, you know that you need to spend as much time as possible outside os you can soaking up the fresh air and sunshine before the scorching months take over. This transitions usually only lasts a few weeks.

We like to BBQ. We bought a really nice infared BBQ grill last summer, and it has become a seasoned member of our family. We also did a bit of an overhaul of the backyard last spring. It's now one of our family's favorite places to spend time. The problem that we have run into is this: when we have friends over for a BBQ- we don't have much to occupy our time other than hovering around the BBQ torturing ourselves with the smell.

Oh boy did we find a solution for that! Ladies and Gentlemen- I would like to introduce to you a little game that we like to call Grizzly Golf. This is not the typical name for the game. It's more commonly known as Ladder Golf, or Bolo Golf. That just seemed a little too boring for us. Jeff and I learned how to play Grizzly Golf in Montana last summer. For just about $20 a a trip to Home Depot and Wal-mart you can have your own Grizzly Golf game!

Ladder Golf (Grizzly Golf.... grrr)

Ladder Golf is played with 2 or more players or teams. Each player has 3 golf ball bolas. A bola is 2 golf balls attached by a nylon rope. The object of the game is to wrap your bolas around the steps of the ladder. The ladder consists of 3 steps, a top, middle and a bottom step.

Playing the Game:

Prior to game play a line must be set 5 paces from the ladder. This is the called the toss line. The official toss line is 15 feet away but most players measure 5 paces from the game ladder to set the toss line. This allows for a closer toss line for children’s games.

Ladder Golf is played in rounds, each round consists of all players tossing 3 bolas. A coin toss is used to decide which player or team will toss first.

The first player must toss all 3 bolas before the next player is able to toss his or her bolas. Bolas can be tossed in anyway the player chooses, as long as they are tossed individually and can be bounced off the ground.

The winner of the round earns the first toss in the next round. Games are played to an exact point total of 21.
In order to win, a player must be the only one to score exactly 21 points after the completion of a round.

If a player goes over the exact point total, that players points for that round do not count.

For example: A player with 18 points needs 3 points to get the exact score of 21 in order to win. If that player has 5 points hanging on the ladder after all the players have tossed all strands, none of those points count and the player will enter the next round with 18 points again needing 3 points to win.
In the case of a tie, the players that tie will play as many overtime rounds as needed until one player ends a complete round 2 points ahead of the other player. The 2 point rule only applies in overtime rounds. During regular play any player can win as long as that player is the only one to score an exact total of 21 points at the end of that round no matter how many points the other players have.

Etiquette of the Game:

Basic etiquette of Ladder Golf states that contestants should make as many remarks, sounds or movements as possible during play in order to distract the opponent’s during play. Touching the player during tossing is never allowed.

In the course of play no contestant is to walk to the ladder prior to completion of the current round of play.

After all teams have tossed all their bolas, scoring is determined by the bolas that are still hanging from the steps. Players can knock-off bolas during the course of the game, in fact knocking-off other players bolas is encouraged and a good way to play defensively. Bolas that are knocked off during play do not count as points. Only bolas that are left hanging after all bolas are tossed are counted as points.

     HOUSE RULE: Bolas hanging on the same step cancel each other out!


Points are determined by which step your bola wraps around. The top step is worth 3 points the middle step is worth 2 points and the bottom step is only worth 1 point. Players can score an optional bonus of 1 point by hanging all 3 bolas from the same step or by hanging a bola on all 3 (1-2-3) steps in one round. The highest amount of points available per player is 10. This is accomplished by hanging all 3 bolas on the top (3 point) step.

Team Play:

Four players can play Ladder Golf by alternating play each round. Players simply alternate turns with teammates. Extra bolas can also be purchased so up to 4 players can play individually on the same ladder or a second ladder can be purchased for team play. With multiple ladders 2 players on opposite teams would be on one side and the other 2 opposing players would be at the other game ladder. One side would toss all bolas and the other team would toss them back. Same rules apply.

Plans and Construction

2 Ladders
1" PVC pipe 24'
¾" PVC pipe 24'
1" PVC elbows 8
¾" PVC elbows 4
¾" PVC T connectors 8
1" to ¾" PVC T connectors 4

2 Bolo Sets (6 Bolo/Set)
24 Golf Balls
¼" nylon rope 16'
Optional: 2 pkgs RIT fabric Dye (this will by the rope AND the golf balls)

Distance Rope
golf balls, white 2
¼" nylon rope 16'

For the ladders, simply get all the necessary PVC pipe and connectors, cut them to size, and glue them together as shown in the diagrams below. If you don't already have PVC cement, then of course you'll need to add that to the list.

For ease of storage, we keep our ladders in two sections, as shown in the diagrams. This allows you to lean the ladders against a wall in your shed or garage, or hang them from a hook. We've also made them so that no parts are glued, and they are completely disassembled and stored in one of those canvas bags that soccer chairs come in. This worked great to save space on a trip, but it's probably too much work to put it all together and take it apart on a regular basis.

A bolo is just two golf balls on a rope. The rope is 16" long. Each golf ball is about 1½" thick, so there is approximately 13" between the golf balls. Use nylon rope. This will allow you to burn the ends (instead of tying a knot) so the golf balls stay on.

We recommend that you not cut up the rope at first. Drill ¼" holes in all the balls first. Then string all the balls onto the rope. Then, one at a time, cut a 16" length of rope with two balls on it, and burn both ends. This is much easier than cutting all the ropes first and stringing the balls on all those small lengths.

Distance Rope:
The distance rope was a last minute add-on, but we have found it to be very valuable. This is simply a 16' length of rope with a golf ball on each end. We use this when setting up the game, to make sure that the ladders are the right distance apart. Without the distance rope, we never set up the ladders the same distance apart, and the game was more difficult to play as a result.