Callaway are making some big claims this year on how forgiving and consistent their new Paradym Ai Smoke drivers are.
As someone who often finds it difficult to control a draw bias driver, but likes to see a draw from the tee, I couldn’t wait to test out the Paradym Ai Smoke Max D.
Claiming to be "sweeter from every spot", Callaway are saying their new Ai Smart face will give golfers the same shot shape, speeds and distances from multiple strike locations on the face.
Sound too good to be true? Let’s put it to the test!
Who Is It Aimed At?
With a high MOI and stretched profile at address, the Ai Smoke Max D driver is for players wanting to hit a draw (or calm down their slice) from the tee.
All the drivers in this new range for 2024 are designed for ultimate forgiveness and consistency, so if you’re a player who struggles losing the ball out right, or just wants to see the same draw shape every time, the Max D could be one to add to your testing list.
New to the 2024 driver range is Callaway’s advanced Ai smart face technology, which uses micro-deflections across the inside of the club face, giving a series of sweet spots designed to retain ball speed and distance from every possible strike location.
Looking to save weight in the crown, the 360-degree Carbon Chassis is now 15% lighter, allowing weight to be redistributed into the head for more forgiveness and better launch conditions.
The big change compared to the 2023 Paradym drivers is that Callaway has completely done away with Jailbreak technology in this new range. The reasoning behind this is that the extra weight that Jailbreak adds can again be repositioned throughout the clubface, which Callaway are claiming outweighs the benefits seen by using Jailbreak in the past.
The Ai Smoke Max D is designed with high MOI from a stretched profile, with a rear weight helping to stabilise the head while promoting a high launching draw shape.
Watch On YouTube
You can watch my full review via the Golfalot YouTube channel here:
If you like what you see, please make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel to see all Golfalot video reviews.
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max D Driver Review
Looks and Feel
The first thing I noticed with the Max D driver is how stretched out the head sits at address. This suited my eye as I do prefer to hit a draw from the tee, and I also like that bigger clubhead in a driver, it's just something I'm used to.
For me, this helped to inspire confidence standing over the ball, but I can imagine that this bigger head won’t be to everyone’s taste - especially better players.
Something that’s unavoidable with this new range of drivers is how ‘in-your-face’ the Forged Carbon pattern is. Compared to last year's Paradym models, you can now see the carbon in every light, and its much more exaggerated at the base of the club too. With a black, grey and slight blue colour scheme, I do like the overall package the Ai Smoke drivers have this year – specifically with the coherence between the design and the name.
I always find with Callaway drivers, that they tend to be a bit bolder and louder than I would choose for my ideal driver, but I certainly prefer the look of the Ai Smoke to last year’s Paradym.
I found the Ai Smoke Max D very easy to control and was feeling a bit more speed and power compared to the Ai Smoke Max model.
Recently I tested out the Callaway Big Bertha 23 Anti-Slice Driver, which, no matter what, I could not hit down the right! The Ai Smoke Max D has a similar feel to it, however there was certainly more controllability and extra power at impact, without feeling as though I was losing any stability across the face.
Taking the Ai Smoke Max D inside and onto Foresight confirmed further what I was feeling out on the golf course – I could not hit this club right! Every shot recorded on Foresight had a right-to-left sidespin, resulting in a draw shot shape. Not only this, but the amount of side spin was very consistent throughout, which explains why I was finding the shot shape so similar on the golf course.
In terms of distance, I wasn’t hitting any ground-breaking numbers. Given the club speed I was averaging with the Ai Smoke Max D, the ball speeds and distances were right where I’d expect them to be and almost the same as the Ai Smoke Max model. With a ball speed of 129 mph, I was seeing a carry distance of 208 yards and total of 232 on average.
I was slightly surprised to see the numbers so close to the Ai Smoke Max model, as with draw bias clubs I’m always expecting to see slightly more distance especially in the total. However, I was really pleased to see the confirmation of how consistent my draw shape and distances were with this club.
Being the draw bias model, I wasn’t surprised to see the ball heading off slightly to the left each shot. This draw shape was very consistent with every swing, making it incredibly easy to play out on the course.
Initially, I found myself mostly in the left-side semi rough, or central with a left-to-right wind. Once factoring in the slight draw shape, I found it easy to position myself into the fairway, with only a handful of shots still ending up on the left-hand side – and none on the right!
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max D Driver Verdict
If you’re someone who struggles consistently losing the ball right off the tee (as a right-handed golfer, of course!), the Ai Smoke Max D could be a great option to add to your testing list. This driver is feels powerful yet stable through impact, with a larger head profile that added a lot to my confidence standing over the ball.
Coming in with an RRP of £569, the Ai Smoke Max D is now £30 cheaper than its predecessor, the 2023 Paradym X model. Based on its performance in each category, I’d say this reduction in price is surprising, but great news if you felt the Paradym was that bit too expensive to consider adding to the bag.
Would I Use It?
If you’re looking for a driver that will help prevent landing you in trouble down the right, this could be a great club to add to the bag. With high levels of control and consistency, I didn’t find myself losing the Max D driver out to the left and saw repeatable side spins and shot shapes.
I sometimes find with draw bias drivers that its easy to lose control and find yourself in trouble down the left, but there were no signs of this with the Max D - great club.
Paradym Ai Smoke Max D Driver Pros and Cons
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Driver Review
Callaway Launch New Paradym Ai Smoke Irons