Medalists in Ladders Golf include Tony Cole and Lionel Brangham (l-r, top photo), Claudia Beene, Ruby Thomas and Teresa Lambert (l-r middle) and Curtis Boyette, James Russom and Duane Chilton (l-r, lower photo).
LOTS OF LUCK FOLKS
It is a game, full of gnashing of teeth, moaning, staring off into the distance, nearly crying and other responses to near misses. It is Ladders Golf as played in the Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics.
On a warm, sunny Saturday morning 30 contestants in the sports carnival for men and women 50 years old and older played their way to medals and memories in a game that is the Northwest District’s own, played in none of the other districts that make up the Louisiana Senior Olympics Games (LSOG). Donna Monroe, Velma Johnson, Ruby Thomas, Mary Jones, Mary Price, Jackie Conner, Tony Cole, James Russom and Gary Price nabbed Gold Medals for their work and perseverance.
“It is the old ladders game you can buy at the toy store for the kids to play in the backyard,” explained Doyle Blasingame, who introduced Ladders Golf to the seniors festival a few years ago as Redneck Golf. “We have made a few changes (like using PVC pipe instead of wood to make the 3-foot wide by four-foot tall ladders with three crossbars).” The piping gives more bounce than wood and therein lies the catch.
The object is to toss the ropes (two orbs the size of golf balls connected by 30 inchers of light rope) so they will wrap around or hang on one of the three crossbars. Points are awarded for rungs your ropes hangs on, how many times they loop around the rungs and if they survive the throws of your opponent who can knock them off. The unpredictability of the ropes and fragile staying power are keys to the frustration of the players.
“It’s aggravating,” said Teresa Lambert, retired from the Sabine Parish Association for mentally impaired. Teresa took home a Silver Medal. “It’s frustrating. But it’s fun,” added the first-time player. “What those ropes do, how they will bounce or miss tangling on the rungs or how they will come loose when your opponent hits a rung is just unpredictable,” she added. She is asked how she tries to control the outcome of her tosses. “I pray a lot,” she responds, laughing.
Females Ages 50-59: Donna Monroe Gold. Donna Cole Silver. 65-69: Velma Johnson Gold. Linda Brangham Silver. Peggy Massey Bronze. 70-74: Ruby Thomas Gold. Teresa Lambert Silver. Claudia Beene Bronze. 75-79: Mary Jones Gold. Juanita Tucker Silver. Sherrie Vullo Bronze. 80-84:Mary Price Gold. Retta Matthews Silver. Nell Bartlett Bronze. 85-plus: Jackie Conner Gold. Ivy Thomas Silver.
Males Ages 60-69: Tony Cole Gold. Lionel Brangham Silver. 70-79: James Russom Gold. Curtis Boyett Silver. Duane Chilton Bronze. 80-89: Gary Price Gold. George Jernigan Silver. Dick Hainey Bronze.