1. It is not my place to tell people which courses they should play. However it is very much the course managements place to tell them where to play from, and my biggest frustration is high handicappers playing from the wrong tees. There is a 'play it forward' campaign which is designed to increase your enjoyment, but sadly there is too much damage to the machismo in playing from tees at a mere 6,300 yards.
2. I like to play different courses, many of my friends do not, so playing in the group is good but I also understand I will have to play as a single. Sometimes I even get a course to myself as I did at Presidio GC a few months ago - not a soul I front or behind me for 18 holes.
3. My experience of sites that bring players together is that they are less than effective. The NCGA eClub San Francisco I belong to has a web page which allows you to 'meet' players, but the 2000 members simply don't use it. I am a member at www.greenskeeper.org
and we have regular tournaments which brings people together, but I think playing as a single will probably be more of a useful means to meet players to join up with for future rounds.
4. The following words sell: FREE / SEX / $10 DISCOUNT - but if your course isn't well maintained even $20 off isn't going to appeal.
5. Last year I replaced my clubs and was horrified at the 'trade in value' offered by both online and retail outlets. They now sit in my garage so I have a spare set if friends, colleagues or relatives are in town and want to golf.