Originally Posted by pipergsm
does anyone have any idea how much distance is lost (in %) by topping the ball, compared to hitting the sweet spot?
I realize this will depend on various factors, so let's say the ball still goes up, but clearly lower than when hitting the sweet spot.
Sorry, but it really IS an "it depends" thing. With high lofted clubs, if you catch it a little thin you will actually hit the ball further because the shot will be lower and tend to run a lot, rather than taking a normal high trajectory with a soft landing, maybe with some backspin.
Bottom line, any shot that varies from the sweet spot, whether fat, thin, heel, or toe, is going to affect the result. How badly is going to depend on how bad the miss was, and the type of clubs being played. GI or SGI irons are much more forgiving of a wide variety of misses and will tend to minimize mistakes and make the game a lot more fun for most golfers......