Light Up Ladder Golf

Introduction: Light Up Ladder Golf

"Have you ever seen a light up ladder golf?"

Was my brother-in-law just making conversation or was he requesting I make one? I don't know, so I made him one.

The parts list is for one ladder and six bolas.

Supplies:

Parts:

  • LED fairy lights, approx 26ft.
  • (22+ feet)
  • 3/4" PVC
  • (6) 3/4" PVC T-Connectors
  • (6) 3/4" PVC 90 degree elbows
  • PVC cement
  • Primer, paint, and clear coat
  • 12 pack of golf balls
  • 3/16" nylon rope
  • (optional) 8' x 5/8" ground rod galvanized (to add weight to the base)

Tools:

  • Miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Lighter or torch
  • Label printer
  • Drill
  • Locking pliers
  • Drill block

Step 1: Cut PVC to Length

Using the miter saw (or a hack saw) cut the 3/4" PVC as follows:

  • (8) 3/4" PVC to 1' lengths
  • (7) 3/4" PVC to 2' lengths

For the ground rod I used the miter saw (with protective eye wear). It was quick, but I should've used a hack saw.

  • (4) 24" lengths (doesn't have to be exact, just cut it in 4ths)

Step 2: Cut Dado Into PVC

This took some experimenting. Wrapping the lights around the horizontals would interfere with the game.

I built an improvised jig to help support the PVC for running a dado through the length of the surface, allowing the LEDs to be recessed below the surface.

I should've made the jig longer, to support the PVC exiting the blade (and keeping the blade from being exposed).

Somehow I got through with all my fingers intact, but one of the PVC lengths got nicked while exiting the jig.

I cut a dado into the surface of all the PVCs lengths.

Step 3: Drill Bolas

I used a pair of locking pliers to hold the golf balls for drilling. Seemed safe enough.

Adjust the drill bit size according to the thickness of the rope you purchased.

I used a drill block to try to keep the hole is straight as possible (sort of using a drill press). Drill a hole in each of the twelve golf balls.

Step 4: Test Fit and Prime

Without cementing, I assembled the PVC frame to test the fit and prepare for applying the primer.

Step 5: Paint

After the primer has dried, I removed three of the horizontals as they will be painted different colors.

I painted the remaining frame white (and later applied some glow in the dark paint).

I painted the three horizontals separate colors.

I also painted the twelve golf balls. Six in red, six in blue.

Step 6: Assemble Bolas

Cut the rope to six pieces of 20" lengths.

I found wrapping some tape around the ends helped with feeding them through the holes in the golf balls.

Tie a knot at one end of each rope.

Feed the rope through two matching golf balls, each.

Tie a 2nd not at the other end of each rope. (You could get fancy at tie two extra knots to ensure the balls stay at the end).

I cut off the extra length extending past the end of the knots, but did so with a knife attachment of my Dremel Versa to prevent the end from unraveling. A lighter to melt the end should work as well.

Step 7: Assemble PVC, Glue LEDs, and Cement

Dissemble sections of the PVC, to finalize the installation.

In the base insert the sections of ground rod add some balancing weight.

Run the LED lights along the dado edge, using the hot glue to hold in place. Just a dab of hot glue is fine for now.

When approaching a connector, I ran the light inside the connector and out the other end using the gap that the dado created.

I ran some of the LEDs inside of the PVC in order to run back to a side that already had the LEDs glued to the outside.

Use PVC cement to permanently attach each connector to each section of PVC... except, the two connectors from the base to the uprights.

If you don't cement those, and leave some slack in the LEDs, you can partially collapse the unit for easier transporting.

With the unit assembled, cemented, and the LEDs glue tacked in place; you can now go back over the LEDs adding additional hot glue to keep them in place and protected.

(I also went back and applied some hot glue on the bolas to keep the golf balls from sliding out of place).

Step 8: Apply Label and Clear Coat

I used a label printer to print off numbers for scoring.

Apply clear coat to the entire PVC unit, as well as the golf balls.

I used two colored zip ties to keep track of scoring.

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