You touched on another problem I think is big for bogey golfers - and specifically me. I also don't carry driver. When I picked the game back up a couple of years ago - I naturally pulled that driver on nearly every tee box like everyone else seemed to. But it led to too much frustration and high scores. I actually went irons only and my scores improved immediately. It was about then that I noticed it was not that hard to get on in 3 with irons. And at that time, I probably wasn't getting any GIR's anyway. I still only get a few. So I wasn't really sacrificing as much as I thought. Once my game became much more under control, I introduced a hybrid - which became my de facto driver - but still only used it when it was pretty open. As I got better with the hybrid, I bought a 3-wood - which I now use on holes that are pretty open. If not so open, hybrid. And I still tee off with irons at times.
I hope to work driver back in soon. But I'm not taking it back to the course until I can convince myself it actually saves more shots than it costs. A good drive will save you between 0 and 1 shots on the given hole. But a bad drive can cost you 1-3 strokes in a heartbeat.
That's a good strategy when starting out. Not enough golfers do it.