Most course closures are met with very little in the way of media coverage, so its when you read something like Joel Beall's salute to his quirky-but-lovable Hillview and the soon-to-die Weatherwax that you realize...
A) how much a golf course can mean in shaping lives and attitudes toward the game
B) how we've already lost too many well-situated, affordable and comfortably simple places to learn the game
C) how vapid the "grow the game" phrase can be when so many of these places are allowed to die while millions are funneled to grow the game programs.
More personally, Hillview was where I met one of my best friends through freshman year tryouts. During winter breaks, I would chop firewood at the club for beer money; when I was making peanuts at my first post-college job, the owner let me cut the greens in the morning for pocket cash. I was far from the only beneficiary: Hillview was magnanimous towards local elementary and high-school programs for matches and practice time, and every year management would donate its course and resources for a charity outing for a family who had lost a firefighter in the line of duty.
Hillview was everything the USGA's "Grow the Game" mission aspires to be.
I'm not sure what the answer is, since the various groups spending on their PSA's are not equipped to step in every struggling course situation. But it sure seems odd that we can't go a day without hearing the GTG phrase and then watch as the most vital places to that mission are allowed to pass away.