ATLANTA, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company and the PGA TOUR today recognizedPeter Jacobsen as the recipient of the 2013 Payne Stewart Award. Jacobsen was honored in a ceremony at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in Atlanta.
The Payne Stewart Award is presented annually to a professional golfer who best exemplifies the principles 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.
"Payne Stewart was a true champion both on and off the golf course," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "The foundations of the Payne Stewart Award are the very same principles we have built our business on. We are proud to honor Peter Jacobsen as the worthy recipient of this award."
The award honors the memory of Payne Stewart, an 11-time winner on the PGA TOUR and World Golf Hall of Fame member who died tragically the week of the TOUR Championship in 1999. Southern Company, the "Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour," was the TOUR Championship sponsor the year of Stewart's passing. The PGA TOUR created the Payne Stewart Award in his honor, and Southern Company has supported the annual presentation since its inception.
Jacobsen, 59, made his PGA TOUR debut in 1977 and has 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 1980s and early 1990s. He covered the 1991 Ryder Cup matches for NBC Sports and, in 2011, joined its golf broadcast team. He was also featured in 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.
Jacobsen and his wife, Jan, have been married for 37 years and have three children and two grandchildren.
In presenting the Payne Stewart Award, Southern Company contributes each year to three charities, including Payne and his wife Tracey Stewart's primary charity, The Stewart Family Foundation, as well as The First Tee of the Ozarks ‒ located in Stewart's native Missouri ‒ and a charity selected by the recipient.
"Southern Company is bigger than our bottom line. We want to ensure the communities we serve are better off because we are there," said Fanning. "Our support of the Payne Stewart Award is a reflection of our longstanding commitment to be a citizen wherever we serve."
Jacobsen becomes the 16th recipient of the award, joining a group of respected golfers including Steve Stricker, who won the award last year, and the inaugural winners: Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer (2000). Other recipients include David Toms (2011), Tom Lehman (2010), Kenny Perry (2009), Davis Love III (2008), Hal Sutton (2007), Gary Player (2006), Brad Faxon (2005), Jay Haas (2004), Tom Watson (2003), Nick Price (2002) and Ben Crenshaw (2001).
With 4.4 million customers and nearly 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was namedElectric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.