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The Planet Putter presents: Your 2010 ultimate global golf travel calendar

By Brandon Tucker, Managing Editor

Your New Year's resolution was to golf more, right? It might explain the numerous golf tour operators whose bookings, toward the end of 2009, began to look much rosier for this year than last.

Makai golf course - 7th hole
Come the doldrums of January, the Hawaiian cliffs at Princeville's Makai course in Kauai start to look pretty enticing.
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Makai golf course - 7th holeOsprey Point at Kiawah Island: 11th greenSt. Andrews Old Course - 18th TeeDunmaglas Golf Course in Charlevoix - No. 14Golf and travel on Spain's Costa Del SolThailand golf vacation - caddies and carts
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So if you haven't started planning your 2010 golf vacations, it's time to quit slackin'. To help, I've compiled my own dream golf travel calendar: One world-class golf destination each month, from coast to coast and beyond the U.S. borders.

Even if you've got a desk job that hinders a golf trip each month, just try and keep up as best you can.

January golf destination: Hawaii

Right about now, you're sick of the snow, the clouds and the early darkness. That's exactly why the United States acquired Hawaii - or so we can assume. Each Island of Aloha presents a unique, though usually perfect, environment, from the volcanic, black sands of the Big Island to Kauai's lush mountains. So it's best to island hop between at least two during your trip.

Favorite Hawaii golf courses: Poipu Bay, Prince Course at Princeville and Puakea.

February golf destination: Scottsdale, Ariz.

Scottsdale's spring golf season offers something as close to perfection as you'll find in the game of golf: Dry, temperate weather, lush, green conditions, top-notch service at outstanding resorts with spa and dining amenities. Visit for a long weekend, and chances are, you'll retire here.

Favorite Scottsdale golf courses: We-Ko-Pa (Saguaro), Troon North (Pinnacle), Grayhawk (Raptor) and Boulders (North).

March golf destination: Las Vegas

The weather is nice, usually with temperatures in the high 60s or low 70s, but the real draw to Las Vegas in March comes away from the golf course. The NCAA's March Madness, which starts this year on March 18, provides a load of sportsbook hoops action to go with the golf, not to mention all the other mainstay attractions of a Las Vegas golf trip.

Favorite Las Vegas golf courses: Rio Secco, Revere at Anthem (Lexington), and Bali Hai Golf Club.

April golf destination: South Carolina (Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head)

A lot of northerners head to the South Carolina coast as early as February or March, but the course conditions blend perfectly with the weather in April. The days are longer. Frost delays are an afterthought, and you beat the summer beach crowds, which helps lower accommodation costs.

Favorite South Carolina golf courses: Kiawah Island (Osprey Point), Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, and Palmetto Dunes (Jones).

May golf destination: Scotland

The biggest crowds to Scotland's links arrive from June through August, so if you want a better chance to score top tee times and accommodations, go in May. The weather is as spotty as ever, but the days are long, and the golf courses are in good shape.

Favorite Scotland golf courses: St. Andrews (Old), North Berwick, Royal Dornoch and Turnberry (Ailsa).

June golf destination: Canadian Rockies

Summertime golf in Canada is special. And Alberta's Canadian Rockies, home to remote, mountain scenery and more roaming wildlife than you can wave an 8-iron at, provides some of the best golf. Don't spend a minute indoors here, unless a grizzly appears at your cabin's window.

Favorite Canadian Rockies golf courses: Jasper Park Lodge, Banff Springs, Silvertip, and Stewart Creek.

July golf destination: Michigan

Days in scenic northern Michigan are long. The golf is everywhere, and it's never expensive in comparison to other top spots. In July, 36-hole days are the norm - even 54 are possible - so get your golf muscles primed.

Favorite Michigan golf courses: Dunmaglas, Cedar River at Shanty Creek, Tullymore, and Bay Harbor.

August golf destination: Oregon (Bandon, Bend, Portland)

Bandon Dunes Resort is the real draw. But if you visit this corner of the country, stay and see all of Oregon during this beautiful time of year. Take in the mountains of the Cascades, the high desert of Bend and the outstanding microbrews in exciting Portland.

Favorite Oregon golf courses: Pacific Dunes, Pronghorn (Nicklaus), and Great Blue at Heron Lakes.

September golf destination: Ireland

It's a tough call, deciding between the Scotland and Ireland links. Come back to the isles in September, the last month of peak summer season, for a taste of Eire. Here, the Guinness is fresh, the dunes are towering, and the hospitality is first class.

Favorite Ireland golf links: Royal County Down, Lahinch, and Royal Portrush.

October golf destination: Costa Del Sol, Spain

The yachts and jet-setters have pulled out of Puerto Banus by October, and the coast transforms again into the Costa De Golf. With a golf course for every taste and budget, plus wonderful sights and delicious wine and tapas, you'll go to bed every night stuffed, drunk, and eager to tee it up in the morning. Or more accurately, in the afternoon.

Favorite Spain golf courses: Valderrama, San Roque (Old), Finca Cortesin Golf Club, and Arcos Gardens Golf Club & Country Estate.

November golf destination: Texas Hill Country (San Antonio and Austin)

San Antonio and Austin, separated by just a one-hour drive, can both make a case as the best golf destination in Texas. It makes perfect sense, though, to combine the cities into one trip. Head to family-friendly San Antonio for the Riverwalk, the Alamo and the new TPC San Antonio and JW Marriott Resort. Check out the capital city for its "Keep Austin Weird" downtown sights and sounds. Besides, you're here during football season, so consider skipping a Saturday tee time for a tailgate.

Favorite Texas golf courses: Horseshoe Bay (Apple Rock), La Cantera Resort (Palmer), and Barton Creek (Cliffside).

December golf destination: Thailand

A trip to Thailand, the jewel of Asia's golf scene, consists of daily massages, caddies, dynamite cuisine and plenty of off-course activity that assures a relaxing, yet never dull, vacation. Sure, the plane ticket might get into four figures, but you'll be treated like royalty for a mere pittance. Additionally, December offers some of Thailand's best weather, though you can almost always wear shorts, even at night.

Favorite Thailand golf courses: Banyan Golf Club, Siam Country Club, and Thai Country Club.

Where's Planet Putter headed in 2010? So far, my itinerary includes some places I've yet to hit, like Palm Springs, Pinehurst and Tucson. So stay tuned.

Brandon TuckerBrandon Tucker, Managing Editor

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker.


 
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