The 40-year-old Swede enjoyed the best year of his career, although he didn't get into the winner's circle until the BMW International Open in Germany in June. He followed that with a breakthrough major triumph at Royal Troon, holding off Phil Mickelson during a memorable final round.
Stenson starred the following month as golf returned to the Olympics, earning a silver medal behind only Great Britain's Justin Rose. He closed out the season by winning the European Tour's season-long Race to Dubai, a feat he first accomplished in 2013 when he also took home Golfer of the Year honors.
"To win the claret jug, a silver medal at the Olympics, the Race to Dubai and now this means 2016 was a very special year for me, and I'm proud of what I achieved," Stenson said. "You can argue that my consistency was a touch higher in 2013, but in 2016 I produced my best performances at key moments, so it will go down as the best year I have had and this award is a very nice way to end it."
Other candidates for the award included Rose and Danny Willett, who became the first European to win the Masters since 1999. Dustin Johnson was named PGA Tour Player of the Year for the 2015-16 season in October.