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Best Golf Vacations

There's a whole lot more to play than the same 18 holes at your local course. To inspire you to break away from your normal clubhouse, U.S. News has ranked the world's most coveted golf getaways. Emerald greens, expansive fairways and stunning scenery (not to mention quite a few distractions for the non-golfers in your group) are par for the course at these vacation spots. Are these locales the best in your eyes? Cast a vote for "yes" or "no" to help decide next year's roundup.

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Why go: Two words: Pebble Beach. This course north of Carmel has challenged heavyweights like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. The area also features a host of other beautiful courses, like The Links at Spanish Bay. Just note that greens fees here can cost a pretty penny. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Monterey

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20 6

Why go: With more than 200 golf courses to choose from, the Valley of the Sun boasts plenty of places to hit the links. Take a swing at the Arizona Biltmore's two PGA Championship courses or at TPC Scottsdale. For affordable greens, try the Gold Canyon Golf Resort. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Phoenix

#3
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Scottish Highlands

Why go: In the Scottish Highlands — particularly the small town of St. Andrews, north of Edinburgh — players have been aiming for par since the 1400s. St. Andrews' Old Course is considered sacred by golf enthusiasts and often hosts prestigious tournaments.

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Why go: It should come as no surprise that this ritzy Florida town is a hot spot in the golf world. West Palm is home to the dazzling PGA National Resort, which boasts a whopping 90 championship holes. If you're still not satisfied, hit the links at the Trump International Golf Club. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in West Palm Beach

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20 8

Why go: This coastal South Carolina hot spot exudes a less kitschy vibe than its nearby counterpart, Myrtle Beach, and the golf is just as good. If you have to choose just one set of greens, hit Palmetto Dunes. These three courses offer gorgeous views of the Atlantic coast. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Hilton Head

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Why go: This Caribbean getaway is known for its beaches, shorts, geometry and greens. You'll find seven courses within the island's mere 21 square miles; that's more courses per square mile than any other territory on the planet. For Bermuda's best, head to the Port Royal Golf Club. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Bermuda

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13 4

Why go: This serene Florida beach town draws legendary golfers with its gorgeous greens. It seems like everyone's trying to make a mark here, with fairways designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Play like the pros at the Tiburon Golf Club, devised by Greg Norman. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Naples

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10 6

Why go: Hawaii's oldest island beckons to hikers, surfers and, yes, golfers. To spend a day surrounded by dramatic scenery, tee off at Robert Trent Jones Jr.'s Poipu Bay Golf Course or Princeville Course, which Golf Digest rates as one of the 100 best public courses in the U.S. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Kauai

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Why go: The Barceló Bávaro Golf Resort originally helped this overlooked Caribbean spot gain notoriety. Punta Cana now attracts golfers with courses that offer one-of-a-kind designs and views of the turquoise surf, such as Punta Espada Golf Course and La Cana Golf Course. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Punta Cana

#10
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Why go: From the Trump International Golf Club and the Gran Melia Golf Resort in Rio Grande to the four courses along Dorado Beach, golfers will find plenty of greens to suit their needs. What's more, most of the courses are set along the coast, providing stellar ocean views. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Puerto Rico

#11
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11 6

Why go: Although Tucson may not have as many greens as its northern neighbor, Phoenix, the beautiful Catalina Foothills and Ventana Canyon areas won't disappoint. Previous golfers especially recommend the 27-hole course at Omni Tucson National Resort. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tucson

#12
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14 25

Why go: Myrtle Beach has attracted golf enthusiasts for decades. From the famous Legends Golf & Resort fairways to the more intimate Myrtlewood greens, this seaside retreat suits all types of golfers. Even younger golfers can putt at Mount Atlanticus and other mini golf courses. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Myrtle Beach

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