That may be true. But if it is then what we have is an artificially maintained bubble. One that should have never been let get this big. " the game " is played by people who love it. I'd play with a stick and a rock or anything in between if that's all I had. Anyone who wouldn't do the same isn't a true fan of the game. And I'm not in favor of keeping the ones who wouldn't. And why would anyone ? To line folks pockets ? Nah. There's plenty of like minded folks who would keep enough clubs open to play.
But it doesn't matter. The cats out and gone. Can't be unseen.
Its too easy to say you'd play with sticks and stones, and call it dedication. I have no interest in your sticks and stones, and neither does the majority of golfers. That in no way suggests I am not or we're not dedicated fans of the game. Nobody defines that. At 40, I learned the game hitting 1200-1500 range balls a week. Don't tell me that's not dedication.
Most that talk golf today, just talk. They have done nothing to affect change in golf. You are right. We're not going back to the stone age of golf balls. have a good day