I've been back playing for five months after a six or seven year absence. Back in the day I was an occasional player, with a handicap of 18. This time round I have invested in lessons from the outset, and have found that I have got to 18 again reasonably fast. I'm confident that my new swing is much better than my old one, though inevitably I'm still inconsistent.
I'm principally working on tempo. Most of my bad shots seem to result from my quickening up and snatching at the transition, resulting in something that is more of a heave than a swing, hitting it fat. But if I focus on rhythm, slow back, give myself time to change direction, then commit, things go better.
Apart from that, my short game needs work, especially putting. I hit the ball as well as most of the 12-15 handicappers that I play with, but they are better players around the greens.
I carry a 52*,56*, and a 60*. I played today and use them on the front nine. The back nine I went back to using just my pitching wedge wedge around the green like I did went I first started playing. I managed to save par 3 times if I remember correctly. While on the the front 9 it cost me at least 6 strokes using the "fancy wedges". My putting has improved, and my ball striking is coming along. If I can start getting up and down 25% of the time, I should be able to reach my goal of shooting an 85 by the end of the year.