Friends introduced us to "The Golf Ball Game" while staying at a RV resort in Colorado. We were there for a week of Square Dance "summer camp". The game folds down to about the size of a folding camp chair. (2008 update: since we first made this game, we're now seeing it being sold for $40+. They call it "Bolo Toss")

This is an outdoor game with two or more players (4 players is ideal). It's kind of a variation of horse shoes. The object is for players to toss bolos around a target. Points are scored by wrapping the bolos around one of the rungs on the target. Players take turns (if playing with a single set), or go head-to-head (with two or more sets).

A single set consists of 6 bolo's made of nylon rope and golf balls, and a target made of PVC pipe. A single set costs about $7 to make. Having two sets (6 bolo's and two targets) and playing with 4 or more people is double the fun!

The bolo's are made by using a 23" piece of nylon rope with golf balls on each end. Drill a hole through the golf ball, run the rope through the hole, tie a knot at the end, and use hot-glue to keep it together. We've found using a shorter rope makes the game more difficult, and longer ropes make it easier. We spray-painted the golf balls on 3 bolo's red to identify one set. You could make three sets (6 players) or four sets (8 players) and paint each set a different color (still only two targets).

The targets are made from a 10' section of 1/2" PVC pipe and a 10' section of 3/4" PVC pipe. Click here for plans and dimensions of the targets. (pdf)

We alternate taking turns tossing a bolo towards the target. Wrapping a bolo on the top rung is worth 1 point, middle rung is 2 points, and the bottom rung is 3 points. Wrapping a bolo on a side support isn't worth anything. If an opposing player wraps a bolo on the same rung, neither player gets a point. The opposing player's bolo voids the first one. However, if one of the players get a 2nd bolo on the same rung, those points would count (unless voided again by the opposing player). This adds some excitement to the game. Each player alternates tossing a bolo until a player (or team) reaches 21 points. We also make it a little harder to win by requiring a player (or team) to get EXACTLY 21 points without going over. Otherwise, the points count as a negative. For example, if I have 19 points - I need EXACTLY 2 points to win. If I accidentally toss a bolo on the bottom rung and get 3 points, I now have only 16 points (can't go over 21).

The combination of voiding each other's points and requiring exactly 21 points adds more excitement to the game. It's real possible for the underdog to pass up the higher scorer and win the game!

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