Hi everyone. Brand new to the Sand Trap, but have been golfing steadily since 2013 (at least once per week). I have a serious problem with consistency and keeping the ball on the fairway in general. Beginning to get worried I may just not ever be a good player. I average in the mid-90s, and very rarely hit the upper 80's, but still struggle with keeping my scores under 100 from time to time. Lack of consistency has lead to me feeling insecure who I golf with. I know that my partners won't say anything, but I think they are judging me on the inside. While some of my friends who have been playing for the same amount of time are seeing their handicaps lowered to the mid teens, mine has remain unchanged for the better part of 3 years. It stands at a whopping 21! Generally its the drive that causes the most problems. A tee shot that slices 10, 20, or even more yards right lands in the deep stuff (or OB) and sets the tempo for the remainder of the hole. Next thing i know i am hitting an iron fat or shanking over to the other side of the fairway in attempt to correct myself. As a result, I often find my self struggling to a bogey or worse. Its not uncommon for me to have 5 or 6 double and triple bogeys a game. What's sad is that I have about 6-8 holes where things are going good (hitting deep drives down the middle, landing a GIR , 2-putts or less, scrambling for Par, etc.), the constant theme though is sloppy golf and not playing up to my potential. People have told me its practice: Not taking as many opportunities as I should to hit a few buckets or practice my short game. I can't say that's not entirely true, but I don't think that's the whole piece to the puzzle. Something just feels terribly off. For example I played several weeks ago with a relatively new player (maybe a year tops worth of experience). We both had a horrible front nine on a local course, but he finished the back nine 5 strokes lower than me. Plus, I lost about 8 golf balls and he hadn't even gone through a sleeve. If I can't blow away someone new to golf (no offense newbies), its a pretty big kick in the stomach to my confidence. My question is, is there a bigger force at play? Do some people just take longer to progress at the sport? Is it uncommon to have a handicap this high after 4 years and what should I do to correct it? Someone once told me it takes the average golfer about 5 years of steady play to develop consistency. I surely hope that's true. I am finding it harder to want to go out and play the sport I love the most. If anyone out there can share similar experiences it would be most helpful.
Driver and woods: TMD Rocketballz Stage 2, Hybrid: Adams Idea A12OS, Irons: TMD Rocketbladez, Wedges: TMD ATV. Putter: Cleveland HB-1
Ball: Prefer Bridgestone E-6 Soft, but overall doesn't seem to matter much, if it flies, its lost.