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You're like me! I miss those sounds as well. The sound of metal spikes crunching in a gravel parking lot or clicking and clacking on concrete. You could be totally blind and know exactly where you were by the sounds and smells!
True! I wear FootJoy pretty much exclusively. A couple of years ago they changed their spikes. I don't think my old wrench even fits any more! Not really sure since the new spikes do seem to last a bit longer. Plus, I have to get my wrench back from my buddy since I lent it to him.
Have you heard of "mapping?" Making really slow motions? Try some of those too. And don't "throw your upper body around" - you're right that it shouldn't feel like that. Mostly just rotation with the upper body. Mostly.
But again, those were better. Nice.