For those of you complaining about cost, you need to get over it. The US Open is suppose to be hard. Do you realize that you are playing for a trip to the 2010 US Open? Should they just give you that for free? If you don't want to spend money for clubs then don't. They have weekly free tournaments and closest to the pin challenges that if you are any good you can win credits and then buy clubs. I don't really want to spend money either. I just have the starter clubs and I am currently inside the cut line for the US Open with a 71. I'm sure I could get below par but I just have to have a perfect round. Haven't quite been able to put that together.
At least now they have different tiers so you are playing against players of your caliber. Just play some closest to the pin challenges every week and you if you are good enough you can win credits to then upgrade your clubs. Still free, but you still have to have skill at the game. Yeah it would be nice if everyone had the best clubs for free but then it wouldn't be as much fun.
Practice is the only way you get better.