Andy's comparison is not exactly apples to apples. There are a number of things that are differnt. In fact, money wasn't added to the pot, but there have been a number of tournaments that did have added beer, food, ctps, prizes, games, etc. I understand some of that was through sponsorship and free, but not all of it.
Now, I'm not going to take anything away from Andy, because he does run a hell of a tournament. But, that is not the type of tournament atmosphere that I am looking for as a player. I would prefer to bring my own lunch and have all the money that goes towards beer, food, ctps, prizes, games, etc. added to the payout.
St. Charles never had issues with tournament attendance because a majority (not all) of DGers from that area are more interested in the atmosphere at a tournament rather than the competition.
Some people are more interested in winning individually than spreading the wealth to the whole group with food, beer, etc. I know that sounds selfish, but you deserve to get paid for your effort and talent if you spend your Saturday (& $20) and beat 50 other golfers in my opinion.
As soon as the tournament is over, I'll grab a beer and join the drum circle with everyone else for a nice session of kum-bye-ya. But when we're in "tournament mode" I prefer to focus on my game because I'm not interested in spending $20 to hang out with my buddies and play sub-par golf (I can do that anytime - for free)
There is, and probably always will be, a difference between golfers that are in it for fun and golfers that are in it for competition. I prefer a competitive format to a drum circle format, but that is me and I don't expect everyone to share my opinion. The club needs to address both groups equally and fairly.
Time to get serious about having fun