I get that it isn't a million dollars, but just going on your figures, an average person is looking to TRY golf at about $350 just to get started. That's a lot of money for a lot of people. That's a car payment. That's the monthly grocey bill (with coupons). It's well more than a month of utilities. I'm not suggesting that golf should be "free." Nothing is free, and everyone has to prioritize their recreation and entertainment.
The beauty of golf, to me, is that anyone can do it. You don't play against anyone but yourself and the course. And no matter how new or bad you are at it, you can always aim to be one stroke better than the last time. You can enjoy the triumph of hitting your drives just a little bit longer than you did last time. You can be proud you finished a round 20 minutes quicker than before. There are a thousand ways to recognize your improvement, and be encouraged by it. That means there are a thousand reasons to keep coming back. But before that, you have to GET STARTED. And if getting started is prohibitively expensive, less people will do it. Adding a test just to let you in will discourage even more.
I'm not denying there are start up costs, but as @iacas stated, almost every recreation has some start up cost. I played racquetball for many years, which require racquets, balls, eye protection, gym membership plus court fees.
Before you even worry about some of these costs, you have to determine if you even like golf before you make the investment. In many cases you can buy a demo 6i for less than $20 which is more than enough to get started working on a swing at the range. For my first few lessons, I didn't swing anything but a 7i so it's not like you'll be disadvantaged only having one club. You can rent clubs, but you can also find them very cheap if you search on eBay, globalgolf, 3balls or other used equipment sites. Some of the best deals I've heard of, came from yard sales and playitagain sports, if you have one in your area and especially if you're right handed.
You don't have to play Pro V1 balls at $45 / dozen, you can purchase pre-owned balls from lostgolfballs.com or other sites where you can get decent beginner golf balls at less than $0.25 a ball.
I think you are placing a lot of false barriers up to make your point, but I'd really hate to see people reading this thread to be discouraged to take up golf because of this prevailing myth that golf is too expensive for anyone but the wealthy.