As a 29 year old, who has played this game for nearly 20 years now, I've been steadily getting better at this game over the years.
I actually had a stretch where I was a lower single digit handicap (around a 4 or 5), but I got into a bad car accident, while riding with a friend in 2010. I'm lucky to be alive, but I lost a ton of speed and was out of golf for 8 months.
When I came back, I struggled to get any kind of distance, and really struggled to score. After 2 years, I finally started to feel well enough, after a bunch of physical therapy to have some speed back. I still was only able to swing 3/4 of the way back...
Toward the middle of 2014, I started to not feel pain with a swing to almost parallel, I couldn't quite get it there, without a jolt of pain, but slowly with more PT I did.
Finally, after 5+ years I am pain-free on the golf course. I can actually make a full swing without getting a jolt of pain. Even with all the pain and physical therapy, Somehow I carry a 10.1 Handicap Index.
Recently, I realized something. If I want to be a scratch player, I have a long way to go. I need to put in some 5 Simple Keys work. My first two keys are pretty solid, Key #3 I'm working on, with small successes, making good progress on. Keys 4 and 5, I'll have to get down if I want to be scratch.
My putting isn't the worst, when I remember to not look at the result from shorter distance, I'd like to break even on the greens, meaning average the expected number of putts from all distances. My inside 60 yard game is better in the sense, when I'm short sided, I just make sure I get it on the green and have a putt from my next shot. There is very little 2nd greenside shots anymore, I make sure I have a putt for par. I have very very few penalty strokes now, but I seem to have a blow-up hole that kills my momentum... then I'll play a four or five hole stretch in 6 or 7 over, instead of getting over the triple, and refocusing.
I want to thank you all for reading this... and for the friendly atmosphere of the site.