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Punta Cana's spectacular courses could become the No. 1 draw for Dominican Republic golf vacations.

Can you identify this gorgeous winter golf vacation haven?

Do you wait until it gets really cold to start planning a warm-weather getaway?

I’m guilty of this, and it invariably becomes a mad scramble to coordinate everyone’s work schedules and to make travel arrangements. Ugh.

This year, I’m planning ahead, and I thought you might like to see one place that’s on my radar screen…and the reasons why it might be right for your upcoming travels.

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A layover is a great way to break up a long trip. You can spend a day or two between destinations exploring an unfamiliar city, maybe play a round of golf or two on the way to your main destination, and hop back on your next flight.

The world’s major airlines seem to have picked up on the greatness of the layover lately.

How do I know? Let’s just say I can give you 900 reasons…

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Castiglion Del Bosco's lovely Tom Weiskopf golf course is at the center of one of Europe's most underrated resorts, in the heart of Italian wine country. (Golf Odyssey)

Castiglion Del Bosco’s lovely Tom Weiskopf golf course is at the center of one of Europe’s most underrated resorts, in the heart of Italian wine country. (Golf Odyssey)

We received a number of responses to last week’s piece on lesser-known American destinations from folks who were dying to know where they could get their wine-and-golf fix outside the United states.

So, we pulled together a group of international destinations where the grapes are as pleasing as the greens.

Wine is made all over the world, as you probably know, so a truly exhaustive list would probably be so long, it’d put you to sleep faster than any tannins we know of.

So here are our choicest five selections from the “wine world” of golf:

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There are some things that just go together.

Peanut Butter and Jelly. Abbott and Costello. Lemonade and iced tea.

Golf and wine? Absolutely.

A number of golf courses in California's Wine Country, such as Eagle Vines Golf Club, play over and around active rows of grapes. (Golf Odyssey

A number of golf courses in California’s Wine Country, such as Eagle Vines Golf Club, play over and around active rows of grapes. (Golf Odyssey

Golf’s oldest trophy is called the “Claret Jug,” after all…

Am I suggesting that you stuff a decanter in your golf bag the next time you tee it up?

Not exactly (although that would look hilarious—please send us a picture if you try this), but if you like and/or want to learn more about wine, should you plan a golf trip that features some wine tastings?

Again, absolutely.

The only question is: where?

Here are our favorites in the U.S.:

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What secret could such an impressively European-looking edifice as this possibly be hiding? (Courtesy of Gleneagles)

What secret could such an impressively European-looking edifice possibly be hiding? (Courtesy of Gleneagles)

If you spent a bunch of hours watching the Ryder Cup like I did, you might be thinking:

“I need to go to the UK and experience some of that excitement for myself.”

Yes, it’s true: you can play the very course that just hosted this big-time international event.

In fact, in the UK and Ireland, you can play virtually all of the courses that have hosted it.

But there’s a dirty little secret nobody ever talks about on TV (or anywhere else for that matter).

And it’s something you must know if you have any plans on playing across the pond.

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45 Comments

In case you missed this (only 86 left)…

Most of you know I’m a big fan of shipping my golf clubs.

Now that you can get them picked up and hand-delivered for less than it costs to lug them around yourself, it’s a complete no-brainer.

You don’t even need a special box — you can just throw them into your travel bag and you’re done.

If you’ve discovered this bliss, too, or you’ve been meaning to try it, you’re going to love today’s tip.

That’s because…

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Here’s more from our managing editor, Tim Gavrich…

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33 Comments

Truly great golf packages can be hard to find these days.

Resorts will often jack up their prices by $200…then advertise a “$200 off Special.”

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it’s total B.S.

But not this offer…

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