Ron Sirak offers good common sense ideas about the state of the game and what needs to be emphasized to "grow" (really sustain at this point) the game. The question I have though as I read it is: which of the five families will have the desire to guide the sport to a healthier future?
Sirak says the emphasis should be on the four f's, fast, fitness, fun and family.
We need to focus on the Fun in the game. My father was a 35-year-old steel mill worker when he took up golf. The factory had a nine-hole league -- inspired by our local working class hero, Palmer -- and that league got my Dad hooked on the game. He started playing nine holes on Tuesdays and eventually was playing 18 on Saturday and Sunday, and soon he had a club in my hands.
These sorts of fun, social/competitive events are also a way to get more women in the game. Only 18 percent of rounds played in the United States are by women. The growth potential there is enormous. How about courses encouraging that growth by having daycare centers or play areas so Moms can bring their kids to the course?