Not like I have any numbers to back this up, but I would say over the last 3-4 years there are less rounds being played. That's not so say golf has gotten less popular, it might be as popular as ever, just not as many rounds being played due to the lack of disposable income. However, if the price is right I think golf courses are busy.
I just joined a "country club" in my area, $50 initial fee, $50 a month for unlimited golf, carts are extra. It's a course I can walk and do most of the time, just not when I play in the evenings and the temperature is 106, like it has been all during the month of July. When I called for a tee time last Sunday, the course was full, they had tee times from 8am to 11am booked solid and only a few times available between 6am and 8am.
How can a course stay in business only charging $50 for a MONTH ?
Jesus, that's cheaper than a gym membership.
That comes out to $2-$3 a round. Unreal.