It has been a busy and successful summer for youth golfer Lincoln Melcher.
But spending a great deal of time on the golf course is nothing new to the 14-year-old resident, who has logged countless hours on the links practicing his game.
Along with practicing at the De Bell Golf Club, his home course, and the Oaks Club In Valencia, Melcher takes part in the Southern California PGA Junior Toyota Tour Series, the Ventura County Junior Golf Tour, the San Diego Junior Tour, the Future Champions Tour, the Hurricane Golf Tour and the American Junior Golf Assn. Tour. In addition, he is the youngest member of the L.A. County Junior Golf team.
“I do play a lot of tournaments and I keep very busy during the summer,” said Melcher, who recently graduated from Luther Burbank Middle School and will be a freshman at Burroughs High. “But really, that’s the way I like it. I would rather be playing golf and competing in tournaments than doing anything else.
“To play at the level where I’m at right now and to be able to get better, you almost have to play all day every day … but it’s not work for me. It’s really fun for me to play golf and it’s my favorite part of the day.”
It is that dedication that has helped Melcher develop into an accomplished junior golfer who has enjoyed his share of success.
One of his biggest accomplishments came earlier this summer. Melcher took part in a PGA Junior Toyota Tour Series event June 25-26 and captured the tournament championship. At the Tustin Ranch Golf Club, Melcher fired rounds of 69 and 74 to card a one-under-par 143, winning in a playoff against Peter Di Bernardo of Huntingon Beach.
“It was really great to be able to win that tournament,” said Melcher, who netted nine birdies over two days. “Something like that is why I work so hard and play so much.”
Melcher tied for fourth July 31 in a Toyota Tour Series event at the Industry Hills Golf Club Eisenhower Course. He finished with rounds of 71 and 71 for a two-under-par 142.
With that result, Melcher earned a top-five finish in the series, which allowed him to grab a spot in the AJGA Under Armour/Alison Lee Junior Open, which began Tuesday and runs through Friday at the Valencia Country Club.
Melcher first picked up a golf club at age 4 in a Tiny Tots program. Barely out of diapers, Lincoln would tag along with his father, Charles Biers, while older sister Louisa learned the game.
“After my dad first took me to the driving range at 4, I asked him every day to take me to the range because I just really loved it,” Melcher said.
“After that, I just wanted to play all the time and I started to enter into tournaments and I’ve been playing ever since then.”
Melcher, who plans to play for the Burroughs boys’ golf team in the spring, has gotten his share of help along the way in his quest to ultimately play on the collegiate level and maybe even in the PGA.
He has played alongside and received some valued advice from Burroughs High graduate Emily Tubert. Tubert is a former CIF Southern Section champion, U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links champion, multiple All-American at the University of Arkansas and is currently a rookie on the LPGA Tour.
Along with playing alongside Melcher at De Bell, Tubert has become a confidante to the young golfer, giving him insights on what could lie ahead in the high school ranks and beyond.
“Lincoln is a great kid to work with. I've seen him grow and he's continuing to improve his overall game,” Tubert said. “We've played together and we've become friends. I like to be a role model for him.
"I can share some of my experiences with him from when I first got started that might be of help. I think you'll see him continue to do so well on the course and he'll have a lot of success."
Melcher receives instruction from Zach Allen, who taught at De Bell for many years and who is now at Vista Valencia Golf Course.
“He has always had a good short game and a good mental game, which he has had from the start,” said Allen, who has worked with Melcher since he was 7. “But he has really been able to improve his swing and he has just gained more strength and stability and height and that’s helped him improve as a golfer.
“He is a kid who, when we go over something and he sees the importance of it, he will go out and practice it for hours.”
Melcher will continue to play in tournaments and looks forward to competing for the Burroughs team.