Dining Furniture SALE!
Up to $90 in savings. View offer
Free Shipping & Easy Returns
On over 1,000,000 products. Learn more
Dining Room Sale
Style 101: Mid-Century Modern
Upholstery Sale
Pet Supply Sale

Ladder Golf Rules & Scoring

Isn’t it time you brought one of the most popular lawn games in the country to your own backyard? Ladder golf is fun for all ages and anyone can get the hang of it in seconds, in fact, hanging is what this game is all about! Just toss the tethered golf balls, often called bolas, so they wrap around one of the ladder’s rungs. Each rung features a different point value and the first player or team to reach 21 points without going over wins. It’s easy to play, easy to set up, and can be enjoyed almost anywhere. Here are some helpful tips on how to buy the perfect ladder ball set for you and your gang’s next outing.

By | Share
Ladder Ball Buying Guide Infographic
Infographic: Jessica Smolinski / Copywriter: Jessica Stensrud

Get your kids outside and into the fresh air with outdoor play equipment from! Ladder golf (also called “Ladder Ball”) is a blast for friends and family of all ages, and it’s completely budget-friendly. Here’s what you need to get started…

The Gear
  • Two Ladders with three rungs each
  • Six bolas (3 per team)
  • Scoreboard (optional)
  • Cup holders (also optional, but once you try ‘em, there’s no going back)


Does it matter what your ladder golf game is made from? Of course it does! The construction of any piece of equipment is important and when it comes to this popular pastime you want to get a ladder that won't fall over easily, but can be moved from the tailgate to the parking lot and beyond without being cumbersome. Here are some ladder target options:

  • PVC Pipe
    When this game first got started on the camp grounds and beaches of America the ladder was made of glued PVC pipe. If it didn't work beautifully the game would've never become as well-loved as it is today, right? PVC is the standard in ladder golf because it's lightweight and easy to transport, making it the number one choice among tailgaters. The only drawback to a PVC game is that it has the weakest balance. If someone throws their bola too hard or the wind gusts too strong then there's a chance that the entire ladder could topple over.
  • Wood
    It's not as lightweight and maneuverable as the PVC ladder, but it's not gonna sway in the breeze or topple over after a toss either. It's also got presentation on its side-- if you like to compete with other tailgaters to see who has the most awesome setup you'll definitely get more attention with a wooden ladder. Wood is also a great option if you want to start a DIY project.
  • Steel
    As sturdy as it gets. Wind? Forget about it! If you want to play through powerful gusts then have at it! Your bolas may fall nowhere close and even be swept into the heavens, but your ladder will stand resolute! However, you are sacrificing the affordability of PVC pipe and the attractiveness of wood for heft. Not a terrible trade-off since this ladder should last you a lifetime.


Call them balls, call them bolas, call them whatever you like and customize them in whatever colors you want! Bolas are what you’ll toss at the ladder and you’ll need three per team. While the original design featured used golf balls tied together by cord or shoelace, the modern game has grown more sophisticated and that means you have options. So what’s the right bola for your style of play and budget?

  • Golf Balls
    The word “golf” makes up 50% of the game “Ladder Golf” so it makes sense to want to play with bolas that actually feature—you guessed it—golf balls. The best bolas are made from real golf balls with specially designed brass inserts and premium nylon rope that’s resistant to wear and weather so you can enjoy a lifetime of gameplay.
  • Rubber and Plastic balls
    o Rubber and plastic balls aren’t traditional, but they’re cheaper, safer for kids to chuck back and forth, and they are offered in even cooler designs. Some rubber balls will even include LED lights for nighttime play! You’re not going to get a truly authentic ladder golf experience without real golf balls, but you’ll save money on something that could last longer, is more kid-friendly, and, arguably, looks way more impressive.

Optional Ladder Golf Accessories

A ladder and six bolas are all you need for good, quality outdoor fun, but nobody ever turned down sprinkles on a sundae! There’s a wide variety of affordable little doodads and other helpful bonuses that make the great game of ladder golf even better. Here’s a quick rundown of ladder ball extras worth considering:

  • Scoreboards
    Scoreboards – Nobody likes arguing over who’s really in the lead. Save yourself the potential aggravation and embarrassment of a counting conflict by purchasing a simple sliding rack or dry-erase board that stakes into the ground. This is a must-have for serious players.
  • Cup Holders
    Cup Holders – As much as you dislike losing track of the score, even fewer players want to hold your drink! A portable cup holder takes into the ground so you always have a convenient place to set aside a beverage and, best of all, some designs include a scoreboard!
  • Multi-Game Sets
    “Two for the Price of One” always gets people’s attention. has a diverse catalog of ladder golf sets and some of those sets include more than one game. You could make an entire day of outdoor activities by buying a kit that throws in such classics as horseshoes, bocce ball, washers, cornhole, and more!