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Ladder Golf Like a Pro

Learn how to become a pro at ladder golf for your next tailgating party.

We all know the game. Few of us know the rules. Follow these official instructions to get the most out of a game of ladder golf. No matter the outcome, ladder golf is sure to be a hit at your next tailgate.

Object of the Game

Ladder Golf Like a Pro
Learn how to play ladder golf! This fun game is great for backyard barbecues, camping, tailgating and more.

Ladder golf consists of two targets in the form of ladders and six bolas (three red and three blue). A bola is essentially a piece of thick string with a ball at each end. The game can be played with two single players against each other, in doubles, or with three people on each team. The object of the game is to toss a Bola at the target and have it wrap around or hang on one of the rungs on the target. The player or team that earns exactly 21 points first wins!

Course Setup

The ladder golf course should be set up on a level playing surface. The toss line should be 15′ to 21′ from the target or five to seven standard paces for an approximate distance. Targets should directly face each other, with both legs pointing straight ahead.

Game Play

Ladder golf is played in rounds. Each round ends when all of the bolas have been tossed by each player on the team. The bola can be held and tossed in whichever way is most comfortable for the player. Most players prefer an underhand toss, similar to horseshoes. A practice round may be held for first time players.

Flip a coin to decide who goes first. The winner of the coin toss starts the game. After all three bolas have been tossed, the second team takes their turn. When each round is completed, the players or teams alternate tossing first.


Each rung has a different point value. The top rung is worth one point, the middle worth two points and the bottom rung is worth three points. A one-point bonus can also be earned by hanging all three bolas on the same rung.

If a bola is knocked off the target by another bola, the knocked off bola doesn’t earn any points. If a player’s bola lands on the same rung as an opposing player’s bola, they cancel each other out and do not score any points. Points are counted only at the end of each round when all bolas have been tossed.

If a player or team goes over 21 points, none of the points earned in that round count. That player or team must then wait for the next round to try and earn the points needed to reach exactly 21. If the first player or team reaches 21, the opposing team must have a chance to come back if they are within 10 points.

In the event of a tie, the players or teams will go into overtime rounds until one player or team is two points ahead of the opposing player or team when that round is completed.

As always, read the complete rules and instructions included with your ladder golf set. Bring ladder golf with you to any tailgating party for some friendly competition and endless fun. Fire up the tailgating grill, start a ladder golf tournament and of course, have a blast!


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