Perhaps planned, upscale, estate communities with parking for Yachts were part of what was known as "public golf" in the bubble housing years of 1996-2008, but you can't be much of a student of history to believe that to be the case in 1895-1930.
And I do know what "estates" are, as well. There are a bunch of them built right across Golf House Rd. from Merion East, built as part of that "planned community". The difference is that Merion was already starting with a full membership,while these courses were built to attract them.
You really have to get over my statements about the economic and social realities of the time as being "against" anyone, Tom. Stating something was a fact does not imply some moral determination either in favor or against that fact. The times were what they were, but as a basis for any discussion in reality we at least have to have some realistic and historically-understood parameters. Frankly, I just think you're trying to divert attention from my questions on how you're actually making your list distinctions by trying to classify my statements as coming from some class warfare mentality. That's just deflection, really.
There were plenty of actual public golf courses before 1930 for you to choose from if you want to debunk my statement, but the courses you named that were resort/real-estate communities for the ultra-rich where only the top 1-5% of golfers could actually play there is a laughable and erroneous comparison. You must not feel very comfortable with your pickings if you have to choose places that were just as exclusive (only this time through pricing, location, and marketing) as any country club of the times, perhaps more so.
Even if we say you're compiling a list that includes courses built after the Depression, as well as courses built for high-end resort communities, how could you possibly name Gulf Hills and Beaver Point to your list yet exclude Montauk Downs and Atlantic City? For your list to have any merit, on any level, you at least need to be more consistent in your application.