Alessio Dello Russo

Alongside the launch of the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke metal woods, Callaway releases not one or two, but three different Ai Smoke iron lines, featuring Ai Smart Face technology said to allow these irons to have multiple sweet spots all over the face, resulting in distance and improved dispersion.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Iron Review

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke iron line up offers the Ai Smoke, their ‘standard’ model, the Ai Smoke HL for the golfers seeking higher launch and distance. The third is the Ai Smoke Max Fast, which is aimed to help the slower-speed golfers gain clubhead speed without changing their swing.

In this review, and as a 16 HCP golfer with a moderate swing speed, I’ll be focusing on the HL model in this technology packed iron.

Who Are They Aimed At?

These irons are aimed at the golfers who need that little bit of extra help when it comes to launching the ball higher, but also contributing to maximising their distance and ultimately hitting more greens.

The Tech

The Ai Smoke HL irons feature a deep cavity back construction with tungsten weighting, allowing Callaway’s engineers to create a low, deep CG to produce a higher ball flight. Through their Ai Smart Face optimisation, the mid to long irons have been increased by ½” but said to not affect the control… I’ll touch more on that later.

The Ai Smart Face technology uses thousands of golfers swings and with advanced AI algorithms to optimise launch angles and spin rates, effectively generating sweet spots across the face for increased speed, accuracy and forgiveness.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Iron Review

Unlike the Apex Pro 24 irons, the Callaway features a cast head rather than a forged one, making it more accessible to the mass market in terms of pricing. Embedded within are urethane microspheres that enhance feel while reducing sound, while tungsten weighting ensures optimal forgiveness and precise centre of gravity placement.

For the first time in Callaway irons, they have introduced a dynamic sole for enhanced turf interaction. This means that the irons have a pre-worn leading edge with variable bounce, which is aimed to promote better turf interaction, a crisper contact, and of course, forgiveness.

Watch On YouTube

You can watch the full review on the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke irons via the Golfalot YouTube channel here:

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Irons Review

Looks and Feel

For me, I like the look of these irons, both in the bag and at address. They are up there with the better-looking game improvement irons in the market like the TaylorMade Qi irons and Mizuno JPX923 HL irons, which most likely contributes to its attraction to a number of different players.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Iron Review

Game improvement irons often suffer from appearing bulky due to their added weight and thickness. Initially, I noticed the back of the Ai Smoke HL irons seemed a bit chunky, but once the club is at address, this isn't as noticeable as you’d think. The topline thickness provides just the right amount of confidence over the ball, striking a balance between reassurance and avoiding being overly large, which could be off-putting.

The back of the irons features a marble effect and the Ai Smoke branding, with a nice chrome coating to finish off the design, which, in my opinion, is polished and tidy. Particularly for a game improvement iron, the design and colour pattern help the clubs appear extremely premium and professional.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Iron Review

As you move into the long irons, they don’t seem to get any thinner and can still feel quite chunky for a long iron, which places them more towards the higher handicappers in the mid-teens upwards. However, with the longer irons being ½” longer than standard, I still felt in control and was able to hit the ball relatively easy and ‘launch’ the ball in the air.

Upon striking the ball, the irons felt very hot and delivered both distance and speed effortlessly. The irons felt like they would launch well and travel a fair distance without requiring me to try and hit them too hard, which is something I don't usually like to do because I feel like I lose control of the ball.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Iron Review

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I was a fan of the sound. It was clicky, loud and if you hit it well, you and the golfers around would know. Even when I hit off-centre strikes, the sound wasn’t muted and still felt like you hit a somewhat decent shot, which filled me with a lot of confidence.


Throughout the testing I found there was a high level of consistency between the worst and best shots. It indicated that there is a high level of forgiveness even when you miss the middle, which as a relatively new golfer with a mid-handicap, I tend to do that more than I’d like.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Iron Review

I noticed that the spin rates were as anticipated, with the HL models recording at roughly 5800rpm with the 7 iron. The launch angle and peak height were higher than normal (105ft), and the lofts are rather strong in these models (30 degrees for the 7 iron), but even with those strong lofts, the stopping distances remained decent.

The carry distances were good, as you would expect from a pretty strong lofted iron - the 7 iron carried 160 yards. In terms of distance carried, this iron was only a few yards short to my usual irons but with a much higher launch. I believe that because of its larger presence behind the ball, I felt more confident to strike down through it with a little more commitment, knowing that I could rely on the forgiveness and tech to get the ball launching high and far.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Iron Review

One of the most important things I learned about these irons was how simple it was to hit the ball. Whether I was hitting in the fairway or the rough, the ball seemed to just jump up in the air and give me very easy distance.

You might be asking yourself if the long irons were hard to it. I can assure you; they were not. The long irons had excellent turf engagement, a pleasant look at address, and felt incredibly effortless to hit.

I usually back out of using my long irons and resort to using a hybrid, but these long irons gave me nothing short of confidence with the 5 iron almost carrying as far as my usual hybrid.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Irons Verdict

If you’re looking for an iron that packs a punch, launches easily, and goes the distance, the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Irons have to be in the conversation.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Iron Review

Considering that each club costs £149, purchasing a full set might set you back. However, I would definitely recommend giving these a try if you're in the market for some new game-improving irons and want to add height, stopping power, and more distance.

Would I Use Them?

In my opinion, using these irons was very simple. I had faith that I could attack the flag and that the irons could cover the expected distances. Despite being made for high handicappers, I don't normally have trouble getting the ball airborne, and I felt that these irons were launching a little too high for my taste.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Iron Review

If you enjoyed this, you may also like:

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Hybrid Review

TaylorMade Qi Irons Review

Golfalot Rating: 4 stars
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Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL  Iron

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Irons - Product Details

UK Launch26 February 2024
UK Launch RRP£999
Handicap Range
GolferMens, Women, Senior
Hand AvailabilityRight
Left Handed Lofts21°, 24°, 27°, 30°, 34°, 38°, 43°, 47°, 51°, 55°
Right Handed Lofts21°, 24°, 27°, 30°, 34°, 38°, 43°, 47°, 51°, 55°
Shaft TypesSteel, Graphite
Shaft FlexLight, Regular, Stiff
DesignCavity Back
Set Makeup5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW
Manufacturer's WebsiteCallaway Website

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