On January 24 Ed Stadjuhar, president of the PebbleCreek Men’s Golf Association, presented the PCMGA Most Improved Player Award for the 2018 golfing season. The player’s background was provided by Howie Tiger. That player is David Burkhalter. The announcement took place at the Mid-Winter Classic tourney luncheon.
Dave grew up in Palo Alto, California. He graduated from Chico State and had a career in the restaurant (food and beverage) and resort businesses. Most of his career was spent at the famous Crow’s Nest Restaurant in Santa Cruz. It was here where he met numerous celebrities such as Clint Eastwood and L.A. Dodger’s Andy Messersmith and Sandy Koufax. He also managed restaurants/resorts in Vail, Colorado and Lake Tahoe. His wife was a huge country music fan, so they moved to Nashville in 2007 where Dave managed the dining center at Vanderbilt University.
In 2003, he purchased a home in PebbleCreek, rented it until he retired and moved here full time in 2017. His kids went to ASU and that is what attracted him to the Phoenix area.
Dave started playing golf at age seven. He played all day all summer at Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course for several years at a cost of $4 per month! The course was basically his mom’s babysitter. As a busy adult, Dave only played a couple times a month during the summer, but he could hit it a mile.
His golfing highlight is that on the picturesque 16th hole at Cypress Point he hit a driver 233 yards into a gale force wind across the Pacific Ocean landing it ten feet from the pin. Just getting to play Cypress is a highlight in itself.
In 2018, Dave improved from a 15.1 index to a 9.3. His secret is simple. He retired and started playing three or four times a week.
The PCMGA uses the USGA method to determine who is The Most Improved Player. The formula used is a ratio that encompasses the handicap index at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year. The formula also takes into account that it is more difficult to improve from an index of 10.0 to a 5.0 than it does to improve from a 25.0 to a 20.0. The PCMGA player with the highest ratio is the winner.
A check for $25 was awarded to Dave.
Congratulations to Dave for a great season!