Part of me is sympathetic to your perspective, but for the sake of discussion, I must ask:
As far as making the game in Scotland more "expensive and exclusive", is it really "places like Bandon" or is it the ease and relatively low cost of international travel?
Well, that "expensive and exclusive" comment referred to golf in general, not to Scotland.
I admit that there are a lot of factors that have conspired to make it so costly to play golf. In most of the US I am pretty convinced that "tournament conditions" on a daily basis along with the CCFAD problem are most likely more of a problem.
The yahoos I play with here are SO concerned about conditioning that it supersedes almost any other considerations.
That and the fact that there still seems to be a market for CCFAD golf, at least here in AZ where I am currently, is a big contributor.
I did work for GCSAA for nine years and I think in some regards superintendents have been their own worst enemy. They have killed themselves trying to produce perfect turf, now American golfers think it should be the norm.
In Scotland, cheap travel might be a factor, I'm more inclined to think that it's due to economic stratification. Folks like my wife and I, are not the folks running up the price of golf.
I've seen, and had a drink with, the "check list" golfers who make it possible for RDC, Cruden Bay, Nairn GC, et. al, to get the price they do. Cheap travel might be a factor, but I doubt it.
Let's be clear. I realize that my whining isn't going to change things one bit, any more than the griping by the Brora and Fraserburgh folks I've talked to will change their situation.
i was told that RDC's ferilizer budget would fund Golspie's entire greenkeeping operation for a year. Now, that's not the way it should be IMHO, but it gives you an idea of why they're a little jealous.
OTOH, we stayed in Golspie last year for about a week and we could walk out and play almost any time we liked. Much as I appreciate the big-name courses, I like the other ones even better.
Here's the deal... virtually everything about American golf either makes me sad or pisses me off.
I wish that weren't the case, but it is.
And exporting American golf to Scotland makes me sad... and it pisses me off.