Initiation fees are the ‘temperature’ of your club. Have one, and potential members will likely view you as viable and healthy. The absence of an initiation fee is a beacon to the transient bargain shopper.
In short, you should always have an initiation fee (!) – even if you have to concede in another area.
You could creatively defray some of the costs with:
Cart passes or cart usage included for so many months.
Locker usage for 12 months.
…just be cautious when nixing it completely.
The appearance of struggling to survive doesn’t say, “great club, amazing service, exceptional experience, or wow”, it says, “please come, we are dying”.