Peter Jacobsen, known for his passion and personality throughout his 37-year PGA TOUR and Champions Tour careers, has been named the 2013 winner of the Payne Stewart Award. Jacobsen will be honored tonight during a private reception as part of the festivities at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, the culminating event of the FedExCup Playoffs.
The Payne Stewart Award is presented annually to a professional golfer who best exemplifies the values of character, charity and sportsmanship. The past winners have all distinguished themselves through their respect for the game, the TOUR’s tradition of charity and their ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Stewart, an 11-time winner on the PGA TOUR and World Golf Hall of Fame member, died tragically the week of the TOUR Championship in 1999.
“I am incredibly humbled to receive such a prestigious award, particularly one that honors a dear friend of mine who was such a remarkable and esteemed individual,” said Jacobsen. “I was extremely lucky to have Payne as a friend, competitor and role model and the best way to carry on his legacy is by upholding the same values he did. Payne taught us all the meaning of sportsmanship and integrity, and I can only hope to pass that on to younger generations the way he did.”
Jacobsen, 59, made his PGA TOUR debut in 1977 and won seven times during his career. Jacobsen also collected 10 other victories, participated on four national teams and has won twice on the Champions Tour. Jacobsen’s most successful year on TOUR came in 1995 when he brought home two PGA TOUR victories and represented the USA in both the Ryder Cup and the Dunhill Cup. Jacobsen served as a player director on the PGA TOUR Policy Board in 1983, 1985, 1992 and 1994.
Jacobsen’s impact in the golf world has been felt outside the ropes as well. He started his work as a golf commentator for ABC-TV, covering the Skins Game throughout the late 80s and early 90s. He covered the 1991 Ryder Cup matches for NBC Sports and, in 2011, joined their golf broadcast team. He also had two shows on the Golf Channel for three seasons each: “Peter and Friends” and “Peter Jacobsen Plugged In.”
In 1989, Jacobsen established Peter Jacobsen SPORTS, LLC, a sports marketing and management firm. Since its inception, the firm has produced more than 250 events worldwide, including the CVS Caremark Charity Classic in Rhode Island. Jacobsen has also served as a principal of the Jacobsen Hardy Golf Course Design Company since 1995, and has co-designed more than 10 golf courses across Oregon, California, Washington, Florida and Texas. Over the last two decades, Jacobsen has written and released two books, “Buried Lies: True Tales and Tall Stories From the PGA TOUR” and “Embedded Balls.”
Jacobsen’s connection to Stewart extended beyond the golf course. The pair, along with Mark Lye, formed the band Jake Trout and the Flounders in the 1980s. The band released two albums, the first in 1988 and the second in 1999, shortly before Stewart’s untimely death.
Giving back to local and national communities has always been incredibly important to Jacobsen, and he feels particularly connected to nonprofit organizations that focus on children’s health and education and to organizations that work to improve the quality of life for military veterans. Over the years, he has given his time and resources to support nonprofits such as Devin’s Destiny, The First Tee, Folds of Honor, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Lines for Life, Summit Golf Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.
Since 1989, Peter Jacobsen SPORTS-managed events have contributed more than $40 million to various nonprofits around the United States, including Albertina Kerr Centers, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, I Have A Dream Foundation, March of Dimes, Randall Children’s Hospital and The First Tee.
“Peter has done wonderful things for the game over the years, and has set an example both inside and outside the ropes,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “His spirit and attitude truly embody the meaning of the Payne Stewart Award, and he is most deserving of this honor.”
Jacobsen becomes the 16th recipient of the award. The inaugural Payne Stewart Award was presented in 2000 to Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Ben Crenshaw was the 2001 recipient, followed by Nick Price (2002), Tom Watson (2003), Jay Haas (2004), Brad Faxon (2005), Gary Player (2006), Hal Sutton (2007), Davis Love III (2008), Kenny Perry (2009), Tom Lehman (2010), David Toms (2011) and Steve Stricker (2012).
In addition to receiving a sculpture designed by Bob Pack, the Payne Stewart Award is accompanied by an annual Payne Stewart Award Grant presented by Southern Company. The $300,000 supports several initiatives in Stewart’s name and is distributed as follows: $100,000 to Payne and Tracey Stewart’s primary charity, The Stewart Family Foundation; $100,000 in Stewart’s honor to The First Tee of the Ozarks located in Missouri at Kids Across America, which is affiliated with Kanakuk Kamps; and $100,000 to a charity designated by the winner. Jacobsen has chosen to divide his portion of the grant among four organizations: Folds of Honor Foundation ($30,000); The Independence Fund ($30,000), Cascade AIDS Project ($30,000); and Young Musicians & Artists ($10,000).
“Southern Company is proud to join the PGA TOUR in recognizing Peter Jacobsen for his exceptional character, charity and sportsmanship – the foundations of the Payne Stewart Award,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “Peter sets an example for all of us to follow, on and off the course. We’re pleased to support his valuable philanthropic work through this well-deserved award.”