Small-town Maine teen making big waves on the golf course

Jul. 22—There are 1,042 people in Hartford, Maine, and probably the best-known of those residents is just 16 years old.

Ruby Haylock, who plays out of the Turner Highlands Country Club in Turner, has racked up quite a resume on the golf course.

She won the Maine Women's Amateur Golf Tournament as a 15-year-old last year with a dramatic chip-in on the first extra hole to beat Newcastle's Bailey Plourde at the Augusta Country Club.

She finished second by six shots to Plourde at this past week's Maine Amateur at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course after firing three consecutive four-over par 75s.

She had already won the Maine high school girls Class B state title in 2020 after sharing a state championship among all classes with Leavitt High School teammate Morghan Dutil in 2019.

Golf is in Haylock's blood.

"My parents [Harry and Heidi] used to push me around in a stroller on the golf course before I could walk. I've always been around a golf course. I started playing competitively when I was 8 and played in my first Maine Amateur when I was 10," Haylock said.

Two years later, after playing in the Maine Amateur, she accompanied a team to play in a tournament in New Mexico where she also got a chance to play with her parents.

That proved to be a game-changer for her.

"I had so much fun. I realized how much I loved the game," Haylock said.

With her passion for the game soaring, she began taking it more seriously and the results showed.

The 5-foot-8 Haylock recently played in a tournament for high school state champions at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina and finished 47th among 214 players.

Plourde said one of the keys to Haylock's success is her composure.

"Nothing rattles her. She keeps her composure real well, no matter what she is doing or what anyone else is doing," Plourde said.

Haylock, who was also an Alpine and Nordic skier for Leavitt, said she has been contacted by multiple colleges and hopes to make her decision this fall.

She said her swing coach, David Cummings, has been instrumental in her success and that there is plenty she needs to work on as she prepares for her senior year and then college.

"I need to get more serious in the weight room this winter. I want to get stronger so I can hit the ball farther," she said. "And I want to get more accurate with my irons and chips. I want to put myself in position to make easier up-and-downs."

The LPGA Tour is the goal of most serious young female golfers, but Haylock isn't obsessed with it.

She said she just wants to "play in college" and get an education.

"But I'll keep an open mind [about a pro career]," she admitted.

Her senior year at Leavitt will be special, she said, because she will get to play with her freshman sister, Jade.

Jade also played in the Maine Amateur with mother Heidi acting as her caddy. Jade Haylock, one of the youngest players in the tournament, finished 16th with a 30-over-par 243.

Haylock and her little sister do a lot of trash talking.

"Our family is very competitive," Ruby Haylock said. "My sister is talking about taking my title away. She has a big mouth for a little girl."