Most babies sleep with a stuffed animal or a blanket. Lincoln Rubis cuddled with his plastic 7-iron.
Rubis, now 11, has been obsessed with golf from the moment his parents gave him his first set of plastic clubs at 18 months old. His father, Jon, said you could tell there was something special about Lincoln when he swung the club.
“I’m going, ‘OK, this is crazy,’” Jon said. “He could just swing it over and over again. He really took a liking to it.”
Fast forward 10 years, Lincoln and his family now live in the Dallas metroplex, and his love of golf has only grown. He has become one of the best junior golfers in the country. He has five holes-in-one, including three in a 22-day span a month ago. Lincoln also goes to the same childhood coach that Jordan Spieth did and has the same winning percentage as Scottie Scheffler on the Northern Texas PGA Junior Tour.
Not bad footsteps to be following.
Those are just a few of the amazing things Lincoln has accomplished, and he just turned 11 in January.
When he was 6, he got his first two aces within a month of each other. Fast forward five years, his tally is up to five holes-in-one, more than even some professionals have.
On Feb. 25, he was playing in a tournament at Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Arizona, when he hit a pitching wedge from 101 yards to an island green. The ball one hopped, hit the flag stick, and dropped.
“It was loud,” Jon said. “It just went bang.”
A week later, at Rock Creek Golf Club in Gordonville, Texas, Lincoln hit another ace, this one with a 9-iron from 113 yards. Jon was playing in a group behind and found out through a text message from other parents who were keeping score.
Then, 15 days later at Coyote Ridge in Carrollton, Texas, Lincoln played in cold temperatures with the wind chill below freezing in a tournament. On the uphill par-3 11th hole, Jon was standing next to the green and videoed Lincoln’s swing from the tee. He hit a 9-iron from 110 yards.
“It was blind for me because I was below the green, but the ball was tracking and I thought it was a good shot,” Jon said.
Jon shut off the camera as it landed and released. He couldn’t see the ball, but he knew it was a good shot. That’s when Lincoln started yelling and celebrating. Jon walked up to see the green, and he couldn’t see a golf ball.
“That’s when I knew it was in,” Jon said.
Three holes-in-one in 22 days, with two of those coming in tournaments. He won the latter at Coyote Ridge.
Speaking of tournament records, Scheffler, the six-time PGA Tour winner and second-ranked golfer in the world, won nearly 60 percent of his starts on the NTPGA during his career. So far, Lincoln has 27 wins in 47 events (57.4 win percentage) and has finished top two all but five times.
His scoring average in 2023 is 69.67. Lincoln is a bit smaller for his age and doesn’t hit the ball as far as some of his competitors, but he excels at finding ways to score and get the ball in the hole.
Last year, he tied for seventh at the U.S. Kids Worlds and also qualified for the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National. He’s also sponsored by Titleist.
Then there’s the Jordan Spieth connection. Spieth’s first coach was Joey Anders, who teaches at Brookhaven. The Rubis’s are members at Brookhaven, and Anders has been teaching Lincoln at the same age he taught Spieth.
Lincoln has even played some rounds with Shawn Spieth, Jordan’s father. As Shawn was getting ready for the PNC Championship last year, they played a couple rounds together.
“Shawn is so great, not only with Lincoln, but plenty of the junior golfers at Brookhaven,” Jon said. “It’s really cool.”
Last year at the Dallas Junior Golf Championship, a tournament that dates to the 1920s, Lincoln shot a 59. Jon is quick to point out the Ages 9-10 Division played about 4,200 yards, but no one had shot that low in the tournament’s history.
Most of Lincoln’s events now are played at 5,500 yards or close to, but a couple weeks ago, he and Jon, who’s a near-scratch golfer, went and played a course from 6,800 yards.
And what did Lincoln do? Knocked a wedge close for birdie on the final hole to beat his dad.
“I couldn’t have been happier,” Jon said. “I didn’t think he would beat me this early.”