I find this a fascinating topic, actually a small subset of the larger question would sports be better without professional leagues?
It actually harkens back to a time before professional sports leagues dominated the landscape, and were overtake with sponsorships, billion dollar arenas, and multi-billion dollar broadcast rights.
Are we better off with the sports brands - Nike, Adidas, Acushnet, etc. Sure it has made a few billionaires (owners) and the players have an opportunity to become millionaires or mega-millioinairs (Tiger, Lebron, etc). But is this like the Romans going to the Colosseum, and is it sustainable?
Sports was around for quite a while before it became a money making franchise; I certainly don't have the answers.
But I feel certain that if it were not for the PGA Tour, and the broadcast TV showing of events that there would be far fewer courses, that technology would lag where it is today, both in equipment and course maintenance. It would be a more exclusive sport, with elitism at the country club core.
But to address the question posed in the poll - I think it depends on how you define "good for golf"
The takeaway here is to always buy a house on a golf course that requires a hook to infringe on your property. A low fence should suffice for screamin' duck hooks. 😄 I have a friend who has a home on Sahalee. You'd think he's in the safest place... 60 yards behind a green on a par 4. But nope, he still gets thinned line drive iron shots in his yard.
Played my first round of the year at my home course last week. It was a terrible round filled with mediocre ball-striking and bad putting. Final tally - 87, net 81.
I did manage to check off a birdie on the 7th hole, however. As a 496 yard par 5, it's one of the easier birdie holes on the course, but at least I am on the scoreboard.
So many people will spend +$400 dollars on getting fit for a driver that they use at most 14 times a round, but for the one piece of equipment that is used on every shot they will use any ball they find that looks like it's in decent shape. Just saying.
I'll go against the grain here and say that the ball does matter to me, as a ~17 handicap. In the last 2 years I've tried about 20 different balls, from Top Flite XL to Titleist ProV1 (I won a sleeve, I would never pay so much for a ball I am destined to lose 😆).
Off the tee or on approach shots I don't notice any difference.
For short game shots urethane cover balls perform better for me, and with 10-14 nGIR a round, successful short game shots can make a big difference in my scores.
To me, some balls just feel better off the putter face than others, and while this may not result in a physical performance with regards to how it actually rolls, the feel contributes to my confidence, which does in turn impact physical performance.
Now I won't go so far as to say a specific brand and model of ball is best, but right now I am using Snell MTB and Cut Blue and I like both of them for short game and putting, and they're relatively inexpensive so I don't get sad when one flies into the trees.