I understand that one of the biggest debates revolves around the golf industry trying to attract new golfers vs. taking care of their established, existing golfers.
How do people learn to play in the first place? My father taught me. He taugh himself. I think the notion that's it's still a rich white man's game is so over. If someone want's to take up the game, there are plenty of avenues and opportunities. Used equipment. Inexpensive munis. Give beginners a taste of a fun experience and they will continue.
As an avid golfer, I do fall on the side of wishing the courses I frequent were more service oriented and treated me better. I get no sense of service above or beyond....I am now accustomed to grouchy starters who make you wait to tee off even when the group in front of you is on the 3rd hole, only becuase it's 7:55 and your tee time is 7:58. (It's amazing the power rush one gets with a clipboard and starter sheet). I am used to marhsalls who are rarely seen, unless sitting in their cart in the shade, texting away or dozing off. Snack shacks at the turn that don't open until 11am, and are closed on weekends at 9:30am when I'm making the trun after my early tee time.
Hotels need great concierges. Restaurants need greast maitre d's. Golf courses nees to provide similar service. I am willing to travel the extra time and distance for a better experience. I'm your bread & butter. I'm not buying skis in the winter or scuba gear in the summer...my splurge money is on a new driver or a trip to a resort. Take care of me.