I agree with you, but not entirely.
Modern courses generally don't have the natural "wrinkle" of ancient links, but it's not always the fault of modern equipment. True links benefit from being grazed down by animals so that machinery was not necessary to remove a lot of vegetation. Most inland courses have to be cleared of vegetation, so even if we want to leave the rumple alone, it's hard to do, because you've got to fix so many disturbed areas.
Usually when you do see "rumple" on a modern course, it's stuff that has been added by shapers and finish guys who are really trying to imitate Nature. It's really hard to do well, but occasionally we manage to pull it off.
You and Jeff are right though, a lot of the problem is that most people in modern times [owners, contractors, golfers] have different expectations. And they want to drive a buggy across it all!
Ahhh, yes, the buggy. Well, that doesn't work so well at Kington
I rode with a pal who couldn't walk once and I wish I was issued with mouth guard (gum shield for Brits). Jeez Looeeeze is the ground bumpy and the golfer probably won't fully appreciate how much until they get in a buggy. Its like driving over constant speed bumps that don't line up.
To be honest, I don't know how a shaper could replicate Kington's bumps unless it was by hand. Anyway, I am pretty sure there isn't an archie on the planet that would want to create Kington bumps, I think golfers would howl. The bumps introduce too much chance into the game for most to cope with. You can get some very weird bounces, deflections or shots plain killed....mainly little bump n' runs. It all adds up to a few things
1. The guy who can hit greens and control the spin of the ball well has a huge advantage; the advantage of the aerial game has always been thus and it is no different today
2. Playing along the ground requires a lot patience, experience and a sense of humour...it is incredibly easy to leak shots when you don't think you hit a bad shot
3. Either way greens are approached, it is often difficult to get near the holes, but for good players it is easy for the club to set up 18 difficult pins to limit birdie opps
Incidentally, Kington is working on the 18th green to replace a broken pipe and raise the green to help with drainage. There is a temporary well right and short of the green. One gets a great idea of what the land is like on the temp...it hasn't been softened and man oh man is the green knobly...very interesting.