I told Chris that while I've come to a place in life where I accept that I can use as much help as possible from my irons, I also have a hard time looking at something too untraditional. So we settled on trying a few Super Game Improvement irons with skinnier toplines and very little offset (because if anything, I tend to pull missed shots, not slice them), and moved to the hitting bay where I could start hitting balls in front of a Trackman launch monitor. The launch monitor is a crucial part of any clubfitting; it tells your fitter your attack angle, face angle,ball speed, launch angle and spin of every shot you hit. Armed with this, Chris identified the club head style that helps me perform my best. Nearly every Golf Galaxy store uses Trackman and Foresight launch monitors, widely accepted as the most reliable in the business.
To determine my ideal shaft length, Chris placed face impact tape on my clubs and had me hit a few different lengths. I'm 5-feet-7 with fairly long legs and shorter arms, so I've always played with standard men's-length clubs. I started playing golf as a six-year-old with clubs that were too long and heavy for me, so it's what I feel most comfortable with, and I told Chris as much. But when he showed me the dispersion of my face-impact patterns, it was plain to see that I made more reliable contact with a shorter shaft length. Chris pointed out that any distance lost by going with a shorter shaft would easily be gained back by making contact with the center of the clubface more consistently, and I could still get the swing weight that feels comfortable because today's irons are easily customizable.
Next, Chris had me hit shots on the launch monitor without impact labels on the face (launch-monitor numbers are only reliable with a clean clubface, since tape alters spin) to get an idea of what shaft and flex I need. This is normally a time consuming part of any fitting because there are so many shafts on the market today, but Golf Galaxy narrows over 600 choices down to just a handful in no time by utilizing the GolfWorks Maltby Shaft Playability Factor. I've played a men's A-flex (also known as Light, Medium or Senior flex) shaft for most of my life, but the Maltby chart had me borderline L-flex. (It might be time to face the fact that I'm getting old.) This makes life easier if I decide to go to a shorter shaft, since shortening an A-flex shaft would make it slightly stiffer, which is the last thing I need.
Lie angle is a club spec that many golfers overlook, but it's vital to fit properly or you'll never hit the ball straight. By putting customized labels on the sole of an iron and having me hit balls off a lie board, Chris verified that I need a two-degree flat lie angle in my irons, which is exactly what I have. (Buying a set "off the rack" would lead me to miss my shots to the left because they would be too upright.)
Next, we moved on to grip style and size, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Golf Galaxy Fitting model places more importance on what feels comfortable to me than what any measuring tool says I should use. When put on a chart, I have a fairly standard women's sized hand, but I much prefer to use a thicker grip. With a skinny grip, I feel like the club is going to slip out of my hands so I grab on for dear life, re-gripping at the top. Obviously, this does nothing good for my game. As Chris pointed out, a softer but thicker grip allows me to feel like I have a secure hold on the club while still touching the pad of my left hand with my fingertips, which is the benchmark for a good grip fit.