Breaking News
More () »

A junior golf mecca: North Texans are dominating the PGA these days, and the next generation of greats from the region aren't far behind

Texas transplants are dominating golf tournaments these days – from juniors to PGA Tour.

MCKINNEY, Texas — When you watch The Masters this week, the announcers will undoubtedly spend part of the broadcast waxing poetic about the immense talent of Scottie Scheffler.

Two months ago, the 25-year-old was winless on the PGA Tour.

But three victories in his last five tournaments have vaulted the former Highland Park High School star to No. 1 in the world.

Like many now living in North Texas, Scheffler is a transplant.

Born in New Jersey, he lived there until his family moved to Dallas when Scottie was six years old.

There is no way of knowing for sure, but you'd like to think trading the seasonal conditions of the Metro Atlantic for near year-round golf weather in DFW played a role in his development and rapid ascent.

After all, golf requires vigorous practice regimens. And indoor golf domes and simulators cannot simulate Texas wind and humid, gnarly tallgrass.

Scheffler is not the only transplant to find near-major success, either.

Will Zalatoris, ranked No. 29 in the world, moved from San Francisco to Plano when he was nine years old.

Zalatoris, also 25, battled Scheffler often in junior golf tournaments in Texas before the two united on Team USA's dominant 2017 Walker Cup team.

Related: Now rising stars on the PGA Tour, Scheffler and Zalatoris are a couple of transplants making their adopted home-state proud.

Meanwhile, these days in North Texas, the next generation of golfers is getting dialed in.

For proof, look no farther than Cole Murphy, 8, and Lincoln Rubis, 10,  who just experienced an April weekend for the ages.

One week before Sunday at The Masters, the junior golf stars from Prosper and Farmers Branch competed in the annual Drive, Chip and Putt Finals at Augusta National.

"It's been a bucket list [item] my whole life," Cole said.

Cole might be the only 8-year-old in the world to have a bucket list, but he's now one of the lucky few to swing a club on golf's sacred grounds.

"Oh, it's a pinch-me moment," said Cole's father, Ben.

Cole won the driving event for his age group and came up one point shy of first place overall. Not bad for a young man who had never competed in any Drive, Chip, Putt event until this year!

The whole Murphy family was there to support Cole in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But, based on the results, they might be back for years to come -- and not just for Cole.

Cole's older brother, Bryar Murphy, 10, is also a talented junior golfer, as is Lincoln Rubis' older brother, Zach Rubis, 11.

"I think we can all agree," Zach said. "With us, it's super competitive."

The tandem of brothers often compete against each other in local and regional tournaments -- but, in February, the boys teamed up to play for the North team in the inaugural Texas Showdown, a Ryder Cup-style junior golf event between kids from the North Texas region (Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, McKinney, Prosper, Celina) and the South Texas region (Houston, Austin, and others).

"My boys just love being a part of a team and being a part of this group of kids," said Ben Murphy, who co-founded the tournament with some of the other dads.

The two-day competition took place at Texas Rangers Golf Club in Arlington, while multiple practice sessions were held at Trinity Forest Golf Club and facilitated by high-performance coach Nick Dunn and Altus Performance.

"Now it's easy for us," said Jon Rubis, Lincoln and Zach's father. "We just get to stand back and watch."

In support of the North Texas community, the Texas Showdown made a $1,000 donation to The First Tee of Dallas.

Despite some frosty conditions at times, the North team prevailed in a thriller over the South team that featured Texas Terry, a young phenom who won the U.S. Kids World Championship in 2021.

As more people move to North Texas, the talent level of junior golfers here has continued to explode.

"I think over 50 percent of our team were actually transplants from different parts of the country," Murphy said.

Originally from Wisconsin and South Dakota respectively, the Murphy and Rubis families are among the Texas transplants.

Like Scheffler and Zalatoris, it's a matter of time until this next generation makes its way to Augusta. 

And not just to drive, chip and putt, either. 

But to compete for a green jacket.

Paid Advertisement