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Peyton Manning joins a who’s who of the game as he’s picked to receive 2024 Ambassador of Golf Award

By Gary Baines – 12/20/2023

Peyton Manning is embedded in the public psyche as a football player and icon of the game. He helped the Broncos to their third Super Bowl title, he’s one of the top quarterbacks of all time and was a first-ballot inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

And after retiring as a player, he’s remained very much at the forefront of the game by, among other things, serving as a co-host of the Monday Night Football “Manningcast” with younger brother Eli.

But in recent years Manning has also been making his mark in the game of golf. A pretty good player in his own right — he owns a Handicap Index of 4.7 at Cherry Hills Country Club and Castle Pines Golf Club — Manning competed in two of the nationally televised iterations of The Match. (And in the 2020 Match, which he and partner Tiger Woods won, more than $20 million was raised for Covid-19 relief efforts.) Then Manning served as the honorary chair for this year’s U.S. Amateur at Cherry Hills.

And on Wednesday, it was announced that “The Sheriff” was named recipient of the 2024 Ambassador of Golf Award by the Kaulig Company Championship, PGA Tour Champions and Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation. 

The award — which honors a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concerns for others extends beyond the golf course — will be presented to Manning on July 11 in Akron, Ohio, on day 1 of the Kaulig Company Championship Champions event at Firestone Country Club. The tournament previously was known as the Senior Players Championship.

Manning will join a stellar list of Ambassador of Golf Award winners that includes Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby; former Presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush; Condoleezza Rice, Dinah Shore and Nancy Lopez.

On a more local level, Colorado Golf Hall of Famers Jack Vickers (2003) and Hale Irwin (2009) have received the honor.

“It is a privilege to be named as the recipient of this award,” Manning, a five-time NFL Most Valuable Player, said in a release. “To see my name listed alongside the many distinguished individuals who have won this before me is a tremendous honor. I’ve been able to see the impact that golf can have in a community and opportunities that we have to make a difference in people’s lives. This award is an encouragement to continue making a difference through the game of golf.”

Said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan: “Through the game we all love, Peyton Manning, one of the preeminent athletes of his generation and currently one of the most recognized personalities in sports and entertainment, has used his platform to make golf more welcoming to all. These efforts and his values align with everything our sport stands for, and we are thrilled to honor him with the 2024 Ambassador of Golf Award at next year’s Kaulig Companies Championship.”

Among the awards and honors Manning has received over the years for his philanthropy include  the Bryon “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award and NFL’s Walter Payton Award in 2005, the Bart Starr Award in 2015 and the Lincoln Medal in 2017. He also serves on the Pat Summit Foundation advisory board and co-chairs several related fundraising events, and he sits on the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet.

In addition, in 1999 Manning and his wife Ashley established the PeyBack Foundation, which promotes the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk. Three years ago, the PeyBack Foundation endowed a total of nine (9) scholarships at three HBCU schools in Tennessee and five in Louisiana. Also, Manning serves as an ambassador, fundraiser and advocate for the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent in Indiana.

Manning spent most of his NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts, but capped things off with four seasons with the Broncos (2012-15), a run which included two Super Bowl appearances and the Super Bowl 50 title. In his time with the Broncos, Manning threw for 17,112 yards and 140 touchdowns.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates