Gary Koch has been named the recipient of the 2023 Payne Stewart Award, given annually in recognition of character, integrity and charitable giving via the PGA Tour and the Southern Company.
Koch, a longtime broadcaster who won six times on the PGA Tour and starred at the University of Florida, will be honored Aug. 22 at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
The Payne Stewart Award is presented to a professional golfer who best exemplifies Stewart’s values of character, charity and sportsmanship. Stewart, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, died in 1999 in a plane crash during the week of the Tour Championship. The award was created a year later.
Koch, 70, lives in Tampa. He played 15 years on the PGA Tour and spent 33 years in broadcasting with ESPN and NBC Sports.
“To be honored with this award and to think that people may think of me in the same vein as Payne Stewart is truly unbelievable,” Koch said. “When you’re recognized by your peers for something you’ve accomplished and how you treat people, it means a tremendous amount. I would say this is the highlight of my career.”
Part of the honor comes with a $300,000 charitable gift from the Southern Company that Koch has chosen to direct to the Gary and Donna Koch Family Foundation, Gift of Adoption’s Florida chapter and the First Tee of Tampa Bay.