It is not stubbornly clinging to Flash. It's stubbornly clinging to the most realistic golf game on the internet and not wanting to play one of the most UNrealistic golf games on the internet.
Look, I respect your long experience with WGT and your love for it, but that's just hyperbole. Yes the flash version is realistic, mostly because of the photographed backgrounds (in my opinion). The ball physics are also great. Well guess what? The same photographed backgrounds are there in the PCEA version too. I find the ball physics to be similar as well, with the exception of the putting. So to call it "one of the most UNrealistic golf games on the internet" just sounds like an angry snap judgement to me.
I have no desire to figure out or even use all this apparel crap. Have no desire to see the ugly *** cyborg pimp avatars so wonderfully rendered Don't need to putt through the clowns mouth so to speak.
I never played the mobile version before trying the PCEA but the whole "clowns mouth" thing that constantly gets trotted out is getting a bit tired now. I get it though, the apparel is a silly 'magic-clothing-that-gives-you-enhanced-abilities' gimmick that I don't care for either. So I don't use it, and neither will you or anyone else need to if you don't want. Equip your avatar with basic, plain clothing and off you go. You need never worry about apparel again.
All that said, I do agree that the avatars, balls and flags don't look good. That's my biggest area of complaint, but I also think it is so visually foregrounded that it distracts many players from realising that the flash and PCEA versions are not nearly as different as it initially appears.
And in this day and age of technology, was forcing the mobile game on us the only way out of Flash? Or was it just the cheapest and easiest?.
Of course it was the cheapest and easiest, and to imagine that they would have gone any other way was optimistic at best. They already had an alternative version of the game built and running, so they were never going to invest the time, money and resources in building another version. That would have been great of course, but quite frankly I'm just glad they decided to provide something for PC/Mac players at all rather than just leaving everyone to play on a phone or tablet.
After 5 years of playing, at close to 2000 consecutive days played, I just don't have the stomach for what they have turned the most awesome game I've ever played into. Plain and simple.
Well, that's a lot of time spent and no wonder you're mourning. But once you find out that you can easily bypass the apparel, the coins, the menu clutter and all the other stuff from the mobile version that may be unappealing and gimmicky, then the PCEA plays in a broadly similar way to the flash version, and that's my primary point.
I'm not trying to sell it to anyone, I just think having some patience and as open a mind as possible might just extend your enjoyment of the game longer than you currently expect.