Thank you both for replying. Yes, I have tried to come in a bit steeper, but it does not seem to help, or perhaps I feel that I am a bit steeper but I am really not. I am now thinking that it may be related to distance to the ball at setup (i.e. arms more or less extended) vs. a slight loss of balance towards my heels.
I played once more since my original post, and I only managed to hit a fairway wood properly twice, out of 6 or 7 tries (including two bad ones from a tee!). Perhaps there is progress, I don't know. I am paying a lot of attention to the setup, making sure I don't sway back, turn fully, give plenty of time for the backswing to finish, making sure I am not falling backwards in the downswing... Probably too many thoughts in my head at this point, so there I am, still totally confused...
So much for distance trumping accuracy...
Played my first round of golf with the shortened driver and was very happy with control and distance. I hit my first drive of the day to the right on purpose to avoid water on the left. Unfortunately, it went beyond the out of bounds markers that I hadn't realized were there (first time playing this course). After that everything stayed in play until I topped one into a hazard (because I thought it would be a good idea to fix something that wasn't broken, ha ha).
I averaged 227yds on 7 drives with a very easy swing... about 8 yards longer than what I'd been averaging. I'd be ok with less distance and this kind of control.
All five of my 5w shots staying in play.
As far as the round, I don't think I've ever hit so many solid iron shots and scored so poorly. The course, which was a bit longer than I'm used to, was very tight with a lot of water - but that's not why I scored so poorly. I was hitting irons just far enough offline to lose them in the dense woods - tons of penalties from what has been my strength. It's been a long time since I've scored over 60 in 9 holes of golf. I shot a 49 the first time through.
Altogether, I averaged more distance but with less control and shot one of my highest scores in a while.