Originally Posted by MS256
It's not a coincidence that the top 2 golfers on our local high school's golf team every single year belong to the same country club and live in the upscale community around the course. They have access to unlimited golf and their parents have them working with the pro at the course from elementary school age on. They can enter any junior tournament they desire and have only the best equipment. Golf is the only sport at the school where it can be predicted with near 100% certainty which neighborhood the best players will come from and how much money their parents have
Before I retired I was a junior varsity coach, and to a great extent, your premise has great validity. The golfers on the varsity team usually were also members at local clubs. However, as the JV coach I would have about half country clubs and half municipal players.
I particularly loved this arrangement, because I had an opportunity to do more teaching than the varsity coach, who players usually took lessons from their local pro. To be truthful, not many of the muni players became starters, but occasionally one of the non-country club players that I worked with on the JV would become a starter.
One other note: programs like First Tee can make a difference in bringing golf to youth who normally do not have access to the courses or equipment.
Post script: Our varsity team has been first or second in their section of play for the last 20+ years, basically because the teams they play against have a lot more municipal player then we do.