There’s a heck of a lot of bleak, downbeat news swilling around at the moment.

The grisly, ghoulish predictions about what will happen the day after the UK leaves the EU without a deal, for instance, paints an apocalyptic picture broadly equivalent to the scenes of devastating carnage, destruction and squalor you’d get in the aftermath of a nuclearwar. Or Sauchiehall Street when the pubs shut.

Come to think of it, the aforementioned nuclear Armageddon would probably be marginally more civilised than the kebab queues down that boulevard of boozy barbarism.

Here in the world of golf, meanwhile, we are used to the kind of dismal outlooks that can be as gloomy as a forecast of tightly packed isobars delivered by the foreboding and chilling voice of Vincent Price.

The news at the weekend that Mount Ellen Golf Club in Gartcosh was bringing the shutters down was another sombre, yet inevitable, development not just in Scotland, but across the UK.

I wonder what the late Peter Lloyd, the former secretary of the Scottish PGA and a man who was a great pillar of Mount Ellen, would have made of it all? Crestfallen, no doubt.

READ MORE: Sadness as another Scottish golf club closes

Sadly, developments like this are something we are going to have to get used to as a savage, natural cull of clubs and courses takes place in a country that gave the game to the world but continues to face up to the harsh realities of supply outweighing the demand.

The recent closure of the Eastwood club, perched in a desirable postcode near Newton Mearns, showed the indiscriminate nature of the slaughter.

Even those clubs that casual observers may have assumed were prosperous and vibrant are not immune to the varied challenges, pressures and societal shifts that have many golfing facilities operating the kind of brow-furrowing book balancing that’s as perilous as a high wire act performing in a stiff breeze.

On the municipal front, meanwhile, the consultation process that Glasgow City Council is in concerning the future of around half a dozen courses in the city – low footfall and cost are the main items on the agenda – has added to the general woes.

It’s 30 years now since the R&A high heid yins gathered up data here and statistics there and pieced together the “Demand for Golf” report in which it was suggested some 700 new courses had to be built in the UK by the year 2000 to keep up with, well, demand. There was a boom but then came the bust.

The clamorous nature of society, meanwhile, has, in many ways, left golf wheezing along as everybody demands instant gratification and click-and-swipe convenience in a fast-paced age.

READ MORE: European Tour cracks whip in war on slow play

Let’s face it, people are turning their back on the High Street. They’ll go to the multi-national express mini-market instead of the independent grocer. Local pubs are dying out, the church struggles to put bums on pews; all the things that used to be sturdy bedrocks of a community are being eroded.

Admittedly, all that sounds so sepia-tinted and nostalgic it should be accompanied by the Ashington Colliery brass band playing that tune from the Hovis bread advert.

But in these frenzied times, what chance does a golf club have of becoming a community hub against this tsunami of cut-throat competition and consumerism?

The irony is that, in this crash, bang, wallop age of ours, golf should fit in nicely as a welcome sanctuary from the fast lane of everyday life; a soothing retreat for body and mind at a time when bodies and minds are being ravaged by rises in obesity, dependency and depression.

The problems facing golf clubs are not new and the warnings that were made years ago are still being made today.

An increasingly elderly membership, time and cost, a lack of women and girls, a need to engage with the young and attract families, a requirement for more flexible memberships particularly in that “squeezed middle” age range, the rise of the nomadic golfer?

There have been plenty of clubs which saw these warning signs, acted with some vision and invention and have thrived.

Others have tried to adapt, expand and experiment but the horse has long since bolted. And others, mired in complacency and apathy, have simply muddled on as before as the Grim Reaper was out on the practice putting green honing his skills while sneering attitudes, entrenched prejudices and a bitter resistance to any form of change comes home to roost.

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As for those acting as custodians? Well, everybody will have their opinion on Scottish Golf, the governing body of the amateur game here.

A Mount Ellen spokesperson made a withering assessment and said it was “as much help as a chocolate candle. Scottish Golf is doing nothing for clubs like us”.

Officials at other clubs have praised the input, the advice and the resource made available by Scottish Golf through regional development officers to help them widen their club’s appeal and plot a path to a more sustainable future. You’ll never please everybody, though.

Scottish Golf’s role over the years has been heavily criticised and, there is no doubt, those in charge took their eye off the ball at certain stages.

There was an argument, for instance, to say that instead of fostering the game at the grassroots and building strong clubs, too much of the body’s focus was spent on up-and-coming amateurs with professional ambitions.

Thousands are still playing golf, but they are playing it differently. And change, as club closures prove, can be a painful experience.

AND ANOTHER THING

HeraldScotland:

THIS scribe first met Hannah Darling in Iowa during the Solheim Cup at Des Moines two years ago.

Along with her teenage golfing friends who were also in attendance that week, they informed us how they had made it their goal to earn a spot on Europe’s Junior Solheim Cup team at Gleneagles in 2019.

Well, Darling, a bubbly, erudite and talented player, has made it. She was even afforded a meeting with the First Minister yesterday to celebrate her wild card.

Darling once stated on her player bio that she wants to be “the best female golfer in the world.” Who said us Scots are pessimistic? When you’re young the sky’s the limit, so don’t look down.