There are three factors to distance–ball speed, launch angle and spin rate. As a players ball speed drops they better have the other two and the best way to get them is with more loft. I think a lot of middle to high handicappers, especially the ones with slower ball speeds, would be better off teeing of with a 3 wood for the reason above but also the 3 wood shaft is shorter and as a result they will hit the ball in the center of the face more often and have more control.
I bet if you have an average golfer hit 50 drives with a driver and 50 with a 3 wood, the 3 wood will average longer and be in the fairway more often. Granted the 10-15 times they hit the driver flush it’ll go a few yards farther but not a lot.
The biggest problem is EGO FEAR! Getting over the fact that you don’t need a driver, just like realizing you need to play with softer shafts. GET OVER IT and enjoy the game more.