OK so I guess a little background first -
I started playing when I was around 12 years old and am now 31. I played semi-seriously between the ages of 15-17 then went to college etc and fell off. I took golf up again semi-seriously for one summer in 2005, and then have played maybe 1 round / year if that...
When i was 16ish my handicap was around 12. I was playing a pretty easy par 67 course and was scoring in the high 30's low 40's on 9. I played some IJGA tournaments and performed terribly (high 90's low 100s).
I just took the game up again seriously and I have played between 10-20 rounds this summer (some full some 9 holes, some 5-6 holes depending on time/weather). I have been hitting the range 2x/week as well.
I seem to have gotten my iron game back, and i somewhat remember how to putt and chip. I am still using my same ping eye2 + irons (4-sw red dot) that I was fitted for at the age of 14 and I see no real reason to change. I also game a titleist vokey 58 degree, a ping eye 2 2 iron blue dot that i bought off ebay for $20 and had reshafted and regripped. I also play a ping G25 17 degree hybrid.
So now onto the question. I have been playing this one par 70 municipal course every week (sometimes twice 18 or several 9 hole outings) some decent rounds with really only one stand-out round (9 holes) where I eagled the first hole par 5 (465 par 5). My score that day was 39 on the front 9 par 35. Since then, I have been having trouble breaking 90 on that course (i have had a few 44/45ish rounds on the front 9 but never a full 18 under 90). The problem appears to be my drive.
I hit the ball pretty long - using the bushkill scope, I have measured my good drives between 290 and 325. However, my accuracy is TERRIBLE with the driver. I can crank out a few good ones in a row, but then I'm in the trees - FAR in the trees because of the distance.
Today I said enough is enough, and left the driver in the bag. instead of going for monster drives on the 400 yard par 4s I hit my 17 degree hybrid and was out there about 235-240. I was able to hit a lot of good irons (I am pretty darn accurate from the fairway with my eye2+) and was putting for birdie on almost every hole. I ended up with a 40 on the front 9 5 over. 5 bogeys and 4 pars. That is the most consistent golf I have EVER played - and I wasn't getting any breaks. Two of the bogeys were from unfortunate missed fairways (by maybe 2-3 feet) that resulted in bad looks at the green where my shot knicked low-hanging branches of trees resulting in a missed green.
So to my question - should I just nix the driver? Should I get a 3 wood? My goal is to get to single-digits and play respectably in some amateur golf tournaments in the upcoming year. Ultimate goal is to be as good as I can possibly be. Is it possible to get to scratch if you can't hit a driver?
In terms of club selection and distance - i have:
17 deg hybrid - 220-240
2i - 220ish
4i - 195
5i - 185
6i - 175
7i - 160-165
8i - 140-150
9i - 125-135
W - 100+
SW - 80+
58deg - 50-60
Forgot to mention - my driver is an R1. The misses are anything and everything. Crazy hook - crazy slice - (60+ yard movement). Popped up drives where i hit the ground first... not so much pushes or pulls though. I dont see much benefit in changing the settings since it goes right/left in a not-very-predictable way.
On the range I can work it out and end up with a decent consistent drive, but it seems like i can never transfer it over to the course (except for the day i got that eagle - i sailed one out there 325 slight draw and had an 8 iron approach stuck 8 ft from the pin).