Pacific Dunes golf course - no. 14
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Pacific Dunes golf course - no. 14
One of my most memorable trips of 2015 was a trip to Bandon Dunes in Oregon with my son Austin, pictured here on the par-3 14th at Pacific Dunes. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Images
Streamsong Resort - Blue golf course - 9th
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Streamsong Resort - Blue golf course - 9th
Even the deer liked Tom Doak's Blue Course during a January visit to Streamsong Resort near Fort Meade, Florida. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Wickenburg Ranch golf course - no. 6
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Wickenburg Ranch golf course - no. 6
Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club northwest of Phoenix was one of the most picturesque and fun golf courses I played in 2015. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Lions in South Africa
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Lions in South Africa
There's was more than golf on my trip to South Africa in the spring. Here's a closeup of lions spotted during a game drive at the Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Pinnacle Point Golf Club
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Pinnacle Point Golf Club
And the golf in South Africa was pretty good, too. At Pinnacle Point Golf Club, for example, there are views of the Indian Ocean on all 18 holes. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Spring River Golf Course - ball markers
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Spring River Golf Course - ball markers
The ball markers at Spring River Golf Course in Roswell, N.M., were out of this world. (This is the course that Nancy Lopez grew up playing, by the way.) Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Ian Woosnam
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Ian Woosnam
Some say Ian Woosnam and me could be brothers. I don't see it. (Pictured together at the Champions Tour Mississippi Gulf Resorts Classic pro-am back in March.) Courtesy photo
Sand Hollow - Championship golf course - no. 15
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Sand Hollow - Championship golf course - no. 15
My first golf trip to Utah included one of what is now one of my all-time favorites, Sand Hollow's Championship Course near St. George. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Cordillera - Summit golf course
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Cordillera - Summit golf course
My summer road trip through the Rockies included the 10,000-foot Summit Course at Cordillera Ranch near Vail, Colo. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Purgatory Golf Club - No. 6
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Purgatory Golf Club - No. 6
Purgatory Golf Club near Indianapolis was a real hidden gem, and it photographs well, too, as evidenced by this shot taken by one of the course's co-owners. Courtesy of Tenna Merchent/Purgatory G.C.
Bandon Dunes - Bandon Preserve golf course - 5th
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Bandon Dunes - Bandon Preserve golf course - 5th
With ocean views from all 13 holes, Bandon Preserve vaulted to the top of my list of favorite par-3 courses. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Crosswater G.C. - Sunriver resort - no. 14
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Crosswater G.C. - Sunriver resort - no. 14
Sunriver Resort in central Oregon was just another great example of the diversity and beauty of golf in Oregon, especially in the fall. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Harbour Town Golf Links - 18th hole
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Harbour Town Golf Links - 18th hole
The view on the 18th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C. never gets old. The course got a facelift in the summer of 2015. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Sea Pines - Heron Point golf course - hole 1
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Sea Pines - Heron Point golf course - hole 1
Recently renovated Heron Point by Pete Dye is the perfect complement to Harbour Town at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Longboat Key - Links golf course
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Longboat Key - Links golf course
Redesigned by Ron Garl and re-grassed with paspalum, the Links at Longboat Key near Sarasota, Fla. is a vastly improved experience. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Wigwam - Gold golf course - no. 18
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Wigwam - Gold golf course - no. 18
The sun sets on the par-4 18th hole of the newly renovated Gold Course at The Wigwam resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor

From Oregon to South Africa, my best golf photos from 2015

There's no denying that the highlight of my 2015 was a golf trip to South Africa. It wasn't just about the golf; it was about all the other exotic things you get to do when you travel to South Africa, most notably, safaris.

But South Africa, though it represented my longest trip, was hardly the only highlight. Each summer, I do an epic road trip, covering the better part of a month, and this year's journey through the Rocky Mountain states of Utah, New Mexico and Colorado, was among the very best experiences I've had in recent years. It's hard to beat mountain golf.

Unless, of course, you're on the ocean, which is where a father-son trip took me this fall. The destination was Bandon Dunes on the coast of Oregon, and there might not be a better buddy or father-son trip in the world, with the possible exception of St. Andrews, Scotland. We played every course there, and with the exception of the first day, the weather was perfect.

There were also many golf courses I got to play for the first time, and many of those courses were beyond my expectations. They included Wickenburg Ranch and The Wigwam's Gold Course near Phoenix; Sand Hollow Golf Club in Utah; Cordillera Ranch in Colorado; the recently renovated Heron Point by Pete Dye at Sea Pines on Hilton Head Island, S.C.; the new paspalum version of the Links Course at The Resort at Longboat Key Club near Sarasota, Fla.; and what's becoming known as "Bandon Dunes East," the two courses at Streamsong Resort between Tampa and Orlando.

Here, then, are a few of my favorite pictures, from around the United States and slightly beyond its borders.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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