Thursday, March 14, 2013

Portable Blongo Ball/ Ladder Ball Game

My kids love this game. Camping is always fun if they have something to do/ play with, and this is perfect. It is portable and cheap to make. For those who rather buy them ready-made, Amazon has them listed from $29.99 to the more expensive $89.98 sets. Here are the links: $29.99 set$56.07 set, and the $89.98 set.

For this project, you need a PVC pipe, PVC fittings, golf balls, a nylon rope, and a PVC cement. How much PVC pipe you'll need depends on how big you want your ladder to be - see the sample measurements below. You can use any size PVC, it's a personal choice, I used a smaller 1/2-inch pipe. You can find PVC pipe at a hardware store, as well as nylon rope. Buy 6-elbow fittings and 6-T fittings. Make sure the golf balls you choose are solid all the way through.

Cut all of your PVC pieces to size. Use a hacksaw, a miter saw or a plastic pipe cutter, I use the later, it's so much easier. For this built I ended-up using about 20 feet of 1/2-inch PVC pipe.
  • Cut (7) 24-inch  PVC pieces.
  • Cut (2) 18-inch  PVC pieces.
  • Cut (4) 8-inch PVC pieces.
Fit the pipes together. Build the ladder from the base upward. I did not use PVC cement on some of the PVC pieces so you can easily disassemble them for portability. I then painted (optional) the detachable PVC pieces for easy identification. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Making the Bolas
For a standard game of ladder golf, you need 24 solid golf balls (ideally, 12 of one color and 12 of another) and about 28 feet of thin nylon rope. You'll also need a drill with a 3/8- or 1/2-inch

Drill holes in the golf balls. I did mine using a drill press, or you can place the golf balls in a vise grip and use an electric drill. Drill all the way through each golf ball with the 3/8- or 1/2-inch bit in a straight line.

String the golf balls onto the nylon cord. Once each golf ball has been drilled, string it onto the 28-foot nylon cord. Ideally, It should be in colored pairs, i.e. 2 white balls, 2 blue balls...etc,etc. For this project though I only used white golf balls because that's what I have in hand.

Tie an overhand knot at one end of the cord, and move a golf ball down to it. You can tie another knot on the other side of the golf ball to secure it, but I'm too lazy to do that at this point. Measure about 12 inches away from that knot, and tie another one. String a second golf ball of the same color down to that knot. Tie a fourth knot on the other side of the second golf ball.

Cut the nylon rope after the fourth knot. You should have your first bola, with a golf ball on each end and about a foot of nylon rope in between. Continue doing this until you have 12 set of bolas.

Heat the ends of the nylon string at the ends of each bola so rope fibers melt together this will help to keep the knots secure. I used an old camping chair carry case to carry/store all the finished pieces. Here is the finished Ladder Ball game set. Never mind the sticky post-it-notes, my daughter placed it there while playing. Enjoy.

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