Where have I been these last few months? I became very involved with my golf club and fighting against the board's selection of a golf course architect and the scope of renovations to the club. I can go on, but let's just say it's amazing how people think (or don't think), and what people are willing to fight for (or not fight for). I'll be glad to see my club in existence in several years. Several members and I are not too optimistic.
On another note about private clubs, there is a company, called Boxgroove (http://www.boxgroove.com). It's an interesting service where private clubs join its network. So, even though you're not a member of the private club, you can play it as a member of Boxgroove. In this economy, it makes sense for private clubs to open some play to the public. Who knows someone playing the course may like it so much, they'll join as a result.