I find my range time not at all intimidating. My son typically goes with me and can easily drive the ball a good 30 yards farther. Does not pain me, but rather we talk about life, how a particular shot went, where to maybe make a slight change. I have gone by myself and spoken with other local golfers who are doing as i, just working on a part of their swing. Often they will shank one and make a comment along the lines of how they screwed that one up and then just swing again. The other day I was at the end of my bucket of balls when a guy walks up to take a few swings. He had bought a large bucket and politely offered me half the bucket as he said he would not need them. I accepted the "free" balls and we struck up a polite conversation about our games, where we live and our lives in general. He was about 15 years my junior and could smoke the ball. I would pause to watch his swing, admiring the rhythm of his drives and realized that he was just like me...an average Joe hitting a few balls. In the end I made a friend, had some good conversation about golf and got to hit about 30 extra balls! Oh and I love where I hit because it is real turf where you have to sand in the divots....
If you have 22 degrees of bounce then yes, the grind can play a major role. However, as most wedges max out at 16 degrees, and that's on the mid lofts, it's more fine tuning. And you have to remember that any time you grind down a wedge, you are removing material from the sole and making it less forgiving. This can be fine and even beneficial for some golfers, but it can be a total disaster for others. If you have issues with consistency in your chipping and sand game, I say more bounce and wide sole for most amateurs.
97 again at Grandview today. That's three 97s in a row. 5 pars. 5 bogeys. 6 doubles and 2 triple or worse bogeys. I need to concentrate on them blowup holes. I hit 9 fairways and 3 GIR. Lots of room for improvement but another fun day even with the light sprinkles we had for a few holes.
Nothing wrong with trying to hit a 2-iron even at a 17 handicap. As stated before it takes serious clubhead speed to hit a 2-iron.
The general rule of thumb is if you can't hit your driver 270 yards in the air, dump the 2-iron, less than 250 yards dump the 3-iron, and so on. I am able to hit a 2 and 3-iron with decent results, I just choose not to.