State officials and industry leaders celebrate golf’s $3.3B impact on South Carolina

October 12, 2022

Columbia, S.C. Gathering at the Governor’s Mansion, leaders from the Palmetto State’s robust golf industry were recognized by Governor Henry McMaster and other state officials for the positive impact golf has on South Carolina’s economy and quality of life. 

The celebration comes just days before another PGA tournament tees off in the state, with THE CJ CUP in South Carolina heading to the Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland October 17-23. 

“South Carolinians love golf, and golfers love South Carolina,” said Gov. McMaster. “The industry had an incredible $3.3 billion impact on the state’s economy in 2021 – contributing to 38,000 jobs and $18.3 million in Admissions Tax collections. In South Carolina, golf is more than a game played on some of the most beautiful courses you’ll find anywhere in the world – it’s an economic engine fueled by passionate, hardworking people who love and honor the golf tradition, and who make an incredible impact on our economy and quality of life.” 

Home to the annual RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island and the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation in Greenville, South Carolina has a long and rich golf tradition. In 2021, the Palmetto State earned even greater renown on the national golf stage, playing host to the PGA Championship in Kiawah and the Palmetto Championship at Congaree, which replaced the canceled RBC Canadian Open on the PGA TOUR. 

In addition to the increased coverage of South Carolina courses on television, the state also saw more feet on fairways in 2021. Golf rounds in South Carolina increased 13.6% during the calendar year. 

“South Carolina has always been known for our beaches and golf – and that’s true now more than ever with both national and international audiences,” said Duane Parrish, director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “2021 turned into the year to beat for the golf industry. Thanks to the leadership of state and industry leaders, we were able to capitalize on significant opportunities that had a direct impact on the state’s economy – and we’ve continued to ride that wave in 2022, securing the upcoming CJ CUP in South Carolina. Not only do the spectators have a direct impact on the region where these tournaments take place – from spending in hotels and restaurants, to shopping and entertainment – we also have the opportunity to inspire future travel. When a golf fan in Ohio – or even the U.K. – sees our incredible courses as the backdrop of these televised tournaments, and finds out you can essentially play here year-round, that puts South Carolina on their radar for future golf vacations.” 

Overall, golf generates more income than any other single entertainment or recreation activity in South Carolina. According to research, visitors who play golf during their trip to South Carolina spend an additional $1.1 billion off-course. 

The upcoming CJ CUP in South Carolina will be the tournament’s first Southeast appearance after launching in Korea in 2017 and spending the last two years in Las Vegas. The tournament will feature a 78-man field, which includes defending champion Rory McIlroy who took home the title last year, and the leading players from the 2021-22 FedExCup points list and sponsor exemptions. The field also includes five players designated by the Korea Professional Golfers’ Association, as well as the top-three available players of Korean nationality from the Official World Golf Ranking as part of CJ Group’s vision to support the development of professional golf in Korea.  

While the CJ Group is the title sponsor of the tournament, South Carolina is serving as the tournament’s presenting sponsor thanks to the $5 million lawmakers added to SCPRT’s FY23 budget for this purpose. The investment is expected to yield a nearly $54 million media value, with 32 Discover South Carolina ad spots playing throughout the broadcast, and have an estimated $80 million economic impact on the region. 

To purchase tickets and for the latest tournament news, visit  



View the Economic Impact of Golf in South Carolina data sheet

Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
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