As my reader Breki, wrote me that golf courses are also feeling the disadvantages of the recession, but it has another aspect as well.
In the current economic situation when we are reconsider how we would like to spend our holiday and domestic tourism is gaining momentum, golf clubs should focus more on how they can contribute to local communities like schools, kindergartens or charity organizations (e.g. Lion's, Rotary Club). All this with the unhidden objective to retain former club members, players and find potential new players.
My idea is that golf clubs should consider how they can cooperate with schools in sport education. A very good initiative in the US, is The First Tee (although they are not a golf club) by World Golf Foundation. They are helping kids from different social background to learn and get access to this sport. Hence I was not surprised that such companies as Walmart, Shell, Coca-Cola and many others jumped on this "wagon" to support the foundation since it is in conjunction with their corporate social responsibility program (CSR).
I think golf clubs should do something similar on local level. Other positive aspect of this initiative is gaining potential future golf players (and their parents who might have not played golf so far).
All this can contribute golf clubs' good reputation and positive image. Not to mention the judgement of the sport.