One of the biggest and most prestigious golf tournaments in the world comes to the Garden State later this month.

The PGA Championship, the fourth and final major championship of the year, will take place at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield during the final week in July.

“It’s coming together beautifully and we can’t wait to welcome golf fans and the best players in the world to compete for the trophy,” said Ryan Cannon, the championship director for the 2016 PGA Championship.

He says the event will not only benefit golf fans, but all New Jersey residents, with an estimated economic impact of $100 million.

“That’s driven by all of the out-of-town visitors who come to spectate the championship, but also the support staff, which numbers in the thousands,” he said. “Some of them have been here for months, and that type of economic activity is a huge positive for the community and ultimately for the entire state of New Jersey.”

He added that “all of the positive public relations impressions that will go with showcasing New Jersey to the entire world by having Baltusrol Golf Club as the backdrop is really invaluable."

"That’s public relations value that you can’t put a number on.”

Cannon explained getting a golf course ready for a major is a major undertaking.

“All the other sporting events, they are contested in venues already planned out,” he said. “The Super Bowl in Met Life Stadium, for example, they know where everybody is going to sit, to park, they know where the rest rooms and food vendors are. All the logistics are built into the stadium. We literally have to invent and construct our venue to address all of those logistics in order to make this happen.”

Cannon pointed out this is not the first time the PGA championship will be played at Baltusrol.

“The last time we were here was in 2005 when Phil Mickelson won in dramatic fashion on a Monday finish, so to have the opportunity to come back to Baltusrol, one of the most iconic venues in the world, with our annual championship, we could not be more excited,” he said.

He stressed the event will be international in scope and reach a world-wide audience

“We have attendees from all 50 states and visitors from over 28 different countries that will come to New Jersey to attend the PGA Championship,” he said. “It’s going to be a championship sized crowd watching the best players in the world doing what they do.”

Cannon believes having fans from New Jersey and the greater New York in attendance will be a plus.

“They are some of the greatest fans in the world,” he said. “That aspect makes me very excited because it just adds so much to the experience. This is a big stage, this is the biggest stage. Having these great fans here will take the experience to a whole other level.”

There is still ticket availability for the first two days of the championship, on Thursday and Friday, as well as some limited volunteer opportunities. More information is at pgachampionship.com.

Contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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