The Hit of the Beach – Ladder Golf

The night before we left California, we wanted to spend one last evening on Laguna Beach and what better way to enjoy the evening than playing beach games. We chose Ladder Golf since it’s our favorite beach game and it was a huge hit. Everyone that walked by either stopped to watch us play or ask us where we bought the game. 

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.

It only took seconds to set up the game and we rotated in players so that one person could relax with the baby at all times. Darren and Kevin were up first. The basic etiquette of Ladder Golf, or what we consider as official rules, states that contestants should make as many remarks, sounds, or movements as possible during play in order to distract the opponent’s during play. Two brothers playing against each other intensified our rules and added to the commotion. It was Kevin’s first time playing but he picked it up quickly, especially the trash talk. Instead of going with the winner continuing, we opted for  letting the loser play through. it seemed like the fair option for the new player rotation in. Darren won the first round 21 to 16, but Kevin was a great sport about it, after all, he got to keep playing. I won against Kevin but stayed playing so that each person would get to play twice.

People of all ages checked out the game and asked us where we bought it. One little boy, who was no older than 7, was particularly interested in the game. As he watched in amazement, I asked him if he wanted to have a turn. His eyes grew big and he looked to his father for approval. We might have amended the throwing location slightly, but he got the hang of it quickly. He left a happy camper after successfully landing four tosses. An elderly man jumped at the chance to toss a few as well. He took it more seriously as his wife stood by. She was too timid to attempt a toss herself but they vowed to buy the game and practice at home before taking it out in public. Even a few younger boys looked on and encouraged our game play.

We lived in California for a year and a half and only met a handful of people, yet in one evening we had meaningful conversations with the boy’s father, the elderly couple, and a couple slightly younger than us. Maybe we should have brought the games to the beach sooner.

67 thoughts on “The Hit of the Beach – Ladder Golf

  1. I want that game for my yard! We play Cocktail Croquet all the time and love it but this game sounds equally fun!


  2. Thanks for visiting my humble blog yesterday, Lesley.

    ACK! Your bucket list and ambition makes me feel like an old lady! I am in awe of your adventurous spirit. And, inspired. Inspired to begin looking at my list of goals as a Bucket List instead of a To-Do List. Hey, this is my life we’re talking about!


  3. We live on the beach in the summer and see lots of people enjoying this game. They seem often to have a drink in one hand and the balls in the other. I’d try it but that would involve getting up, wouldn’t it? Maybe I’ll just continue to sit, but I’ll keep in drink in one hand, anyway.


  4. Till now I was not even aware of this! Your blog rocks so I have nominated you for a Beautiful Blogger Award!


  5. Love your blog! I just saw “ladder golf” on a friend’s list of things to do with her family this summer (posted on facebook). I had know idea what it was. Sounds like fun. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day!


  6. I absolutely love the rules of the game! It makes it that much more fun. But, you didn’t stop there. You shared it with complete strangers. What a fabulous way to spend time at the beach. Thanks for sharing. much appreciated.


  7. Isn’t it great that something so simple can bring strangers and family together. No large outlay.. just lots of energy for laughing and jumping… so much better than sticking a child in front of a pc… if you gave most children this nowadays they would look at you and say “What”.. then wonder off with their phone….. great blog thanks for sharing x


  8. Hi there, I nominated you for the Very Inspirational Blog Award. I think it’s a way to get exposure and circulation. If you wanna play, you choose 15 inspiring bloggers and link to them from your blog and say why you are nominating them. Then put in 7things that most people don’t know about you. You can look at mine if you need a format type thing, although I just winged it. Good Luck!


  9. I’ve got to admit I’ve never heard of this game before. I’m guessing it is an American past time and not one that is popular here in the UK. It sounds good fun and a great way to meet folks and interact with them. Nice post!


  10. Hey Lesley,

    I really adore your blog and it would be an honor for me to challenge you for the Game!

    I’ve been burning to know so many things about your life (how can you afford your huge amount of travels for one) but decided to narrow it down to one question for the start.

    At what age did you pick up your travels and which tradition/culture/country have you found so far the most interesting or exciting?

    Of course this is on a purely voluntary basis, feel free to pass. Would be nice if you did do it, though!


    • Sometimes our travel costs or adventure costs are covered as media expenses, but most times we pay for things on our own. We live our regular lives very modestly. I buy second-hand clothes, don’t wear make-up or go to salons, and we rarely eat out. We don’t have car payments and we live in a reasonable apartment, although we are looking at buying a home. We just decide what is important and finds ways to make it happen. 🙂

      I didn’t travel extensively until in my 20s. My first major travel experience was a backpacking trip around Europe in 2005 (I think). I covered 11 countries during that trip and enjoyed Italy the most. Everything about the Italian culture and environment has a major draw for me. I love ancient history, warm climates, and water, and varied environments – all of which are offered in Italy. I also loved Ireland for its people and unlimited sight-seeing opportunities.

      I worked for a few travel magazines and they sometimes covered my travel expenses, but before I met my husband, I still traveled regularly on a teacher’s salary. Again, I just decided what were the most important things in my life and found ways to make them happen.

      Thanks for your continued support and feel free to ask any questions; I’m an open book 🙂


  11. next you have to do the Beach Bocci… as a kid we used to play daily on the Beach in Maui… people were intrigued as if it is not one of the more popular games in the world, or so I thought!! Essentially Bocci Ball on the beach, so no roll, just chuck the point ball and see who gets their follow ball closer!! Ha. The simple things in life! Great Blog… well done



  12. Great post! Essentials of life is game inspired by the joy we carry within! You bring life with your words here, thank you!

    In the latter part of the blogpost you mention the concept “meaningful conversation”.
    What is a meaningful conversation to you?



  13. Pingback: The Game – Recap « German-American Abroad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s