hmm - several thoughts...
(all time) Pebble Beach, Carmel, CA- tough not to pick it; beautiful layout/views, challenging but fair, felt like I could break 90 on it, if I had enough cash to play it twice a year. uncrowded when I played, good pace, and good condition. Also, had a caddy, so felt like my Dad and I were big timing it. http://www.pebblebeach.com/page.asp?id=704
(Hawaii) Mauna Kea, Big Island, HI- I usually do play this course twice a year and love it. Beautiful layout/views, challenging but fair, good pace, uncrowded. Currently being renovated at same time as Mauna Kea Hotel. http://www.princeresortshawaii.com/m...to-gallery.php
(go to golf photos)
(close to home) Pasatiempo, Santa Cruz, CA - Great Alistair McKenzie track in the hills above Santa Cruz. Nice flow, tough greens, good conditions. Pretty fair price, considering everything, especially compared to Pebble Beach/Spyglass (45 mins. south) or Half Moon Bay (30 mins. north). http://www.pasatiempo.com/web/photos_slideshows.php
(sentimental) Prince Course, Princeville, Kauai, HI - We spread my Mom's ashes on this course at her request (she was an avid golfer). Most beautiful course you'll find anywhere: ocean views, waterfalls, distant mountains, lush. I would say it's almost unfairly tough with a lot of forced carries, except my Mom broke 100 on it. My best was a 92 on a windy day, which was perhaps the best round I've ever played when one takes into account the conditions. http://www.princeville.com/prince_course.html
[FWIW, I'm about an 18 handicap, but only b/c my short game never gets any work. If I'm playing a bit, I play more like a 13. ]