Your story sounds a lot like me. I am a bit older than you and up until 8 years ago hit all off brand stuff. Not that there is much wrong with that, but I would not spend any money on my golf because I really just played when I had to play.
Well 8 years ago I go fitted for a set of KZG irons (3-PW, AW, and 56*) and saw an immediate improvement in my game. Had the correct shafts (TT X100) for my swing that were 1" over and the irons were 1* up. I kept hitting my clone driver and fairway club and just plugged along.
I still hit the KZG irons, only thing I have ever had to do is a couple of times I had the grips changed.
Well, 2 months ago I decided to go to the local golf shop, questioned the guy about his skill/experience in fitting for a driver. I spent and hour and a half with him, and with his changing of various heads and various types of shafts (I don't know that much about it) at different weights, etc, The best fit for me was a Cleveland Launcher DST 9.5* with some sort of Fujikara (spelling) shaft in a stiff and some other info about the shaft that i did not understand.
I hit the driver very well, went to the range and was very satisfied. I picked up about 15+ yards of carry and about 20+ yards total with this driver.
I later bought a Cleveland Launcher DST FW 15*, a 3h and a 4h all with SFlex. I took my 3 and 4 iron out of the bag because I never really hit them, they just took up space. I broke 90 on my last round and now I can't wait to get the next opportunity to play.
Maybe it is not the clubs, but the fact that they look good, feel good, and make me feel good has made me a little better at a game I am learning to enjoy.