Seems to me that for those that are opposed to various experiments like this, there will courses that do not participate in these kinds of ideas, for various reasons, so there's no reason to worry that golf will now be a different beast. There's nothing wrong with a whole bunch of courses being experimental while times are tough in the sport- especially the lower-end municipal courses or executive courses. I'd love to see them gin up as much excitement and experimentation as possible, if that means tweaking the holes, fine. Keep things new and fresh with various promotions. Anything to make the game fun, faster, and with less barrier to entry. Hopefully lower costs would be a part of that, if they can bring in enough new people to make it work financially.
The game of golf will ultimately be the same at the highest levels, and for those of us interested in measuring our progress against the true rules of golf, playing rounds on courses where we can track official handicaps will likely be easily achieved. I'd probably shift my practice rounds to any non-standard courses, rather than use a driving range, if the price were right. It's more fun to practice on a course than at a range. If that course were catering to beginners, I think it'd also be fun to go there and join folks just starting out and play with them to teach them about what the differences are when they get to the higher-end courses. If you're at a course like that, I'd bet that the atmosphere will probably be more relaxed and about learning. If that lowers the barriers for entry into the sport, and if it can be made financially workable, it's a good thing.