RIDGELAND, S.C. (WSAV) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) sees South Carolina’s golf boom as an opportunity for people to get to know the state.

“Sometimes I think maybe we have just been discovered these last few years because it seems to me that everyone wants to come to South Carolina for very good reason,” McMaster said. “This is one of them.”

The state will get another opportunity to shine for a national TV audience in October when the CJ Cup comes to the Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland. Seventy-eight PGA TOUR pros will descend on Congaree for a four-day, no-cut tournament from Oct. 20 to Oct. 23.

Today, officials from both the state and the club gathered to hold a press conference touting the potential benefits of the tournament.

“There’s really not a better time to put the pedal to the medal while things are taking off in golf,” said state tourism director Duane Parrish

Most of the field will be comprised of the tour’s FedEx Cup points leaders. Rory McIlroy is the tournament’s defending champion.

“The PGA commissioner and I texted a couple weeks ago,” said Bruce Davidson, the executive program director at the Congaree Foundation. “He said, and I quote, ‘you will have a very strong field.'”

This will be the CJ Cup’s first time in the southeastern United States, but it’s far from South Carolina’s first experience hosting major golf tournaments. The Palmetto State hosted four marquee events in 2021: the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head, the BMW Charity Pro-Am in Spartanburg and the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.

“South Carolina has always been known for great beaches and golf but never more so than the last two years,” Parrish said.

State and local officials are expecting the CJ Cup to bring an economic windfall to the Ridgeland area, much like the Palmetto Championship did in 2021. Parrish estimated that the Palmetto brought in close to $50 million and that the CJ Cup will likely make an economic impact of roughly $80 million.

Some of that economic impact comes from the opportunity for Visit South Carolina to be a presenting sponsor, which will showcase South Carolina via frequent TV spots throughout the tournament.

“My goals are heads in beds, people in the parks and feet in the fairways,” Parrish said.

The Congaree Foundation has used its club to promote philanthropic efforts throughout the Lowcountry, particularly through the Congaree Global Golf Initiative (CGGI). Over the last few years, 138 kids have gone through the intensive summer program that prepares them to play on collegiate teams.

On top of the CGGI, the Foundation has helped found a golf program at Ridgeland High School and purchased the Sergeant Jasper Municipal Golf Course, which is slated for restoration in the coming years.

Davidson joked that the short notice prior to the Palmetto Championship made the course ready to handle the CJ Cup.

“This time around, they gave us a lot of time. We had 72 days last time and now we got 100. This will be pretty easy compared to the last time.”

“This kind of excellence in our state is a wonderful thing,” Gov. McMaster said. “It’s healthy and it encourages people to get outside. And there is not a more beautiful spot on Earth than Congaree.”