Callaway have a brand new metal range for 2023, named Paradym... sounds fancy! Doesn't it?
I have to admit that I didn't know what this exotic word meant at first and so I quickly Googled it in search of explanation.
Paradym sounds glamorous and aspirational and marks a big shift in direction from the masculine names of Epic, Mavrik and Rogue that have been used over the last few years.
Whatever the name, it doesn't seem to bother Jon Rahm who has put the new stick straight into the bag.
There are three heads available in the new Paradym range: Standard, X (draw-biased) and Triple Diamond (compact, penetrating ball flight).
In this review I will be focusing on the standard head (I cranked it from 10.5 to 9.5 degrees) which most golfers will prefer due to its high launch and neutral ball flight.
Callaway are promising that their latest drivers will bring a 'paradym shift' in performance, thanks to a never-before-seen 360 Carbon Chassis and forged carbon sole, which joins to the crown with just one seal.
This piece of technology is something we haven't seen before, the closest to it probably being the SIM 2 Driver with it's forged aluminium ring.
What is does is form an extremely lightweight wrap around the structure of the head which is 44% lighter than traditional titanium. This weight saving also allows Callaway to shift mass to where it is needed most. In this case, it comes in the form of a 15 gram tungsten weight at the back of the head to help increase MOI.
There is also a new Jailbreak design with the wishbone-shaped bar sitting behind the face in very centre, to increase ball speed and add stability on off centre strikes.
AI technology features across the whole design of this driver but especially in the face, which is a multi-layer titanium. The aerodynamics of the head are forever being tweaked by the super computer, leading to this head being Callaway's highest performing driver ever, or so they say...
Callaway Paradym Driver Review
I have to start with the headcover, as the moment I saw the shiny blue and white with a dash of gold I was reminded of XXIO clubs. A style for the ever-growing Asian market perhaps, and a shift away from anything I have really seen Callaway do before.
Personally it is not my thing but like always you don't have to use it, and I can easily switch it out for my fluffy toy headcover!
Now for the head itself. At address you look down on a dark blue satin crown with a graphite grey matte face that wraps around the front of the head.
The sole has a dark blue marble-effect said to be caused by the forging of the carbon - this looks impressive, it's like looking down into the ocean but needs strong sunshine to really show it off. On the rear of the club is a 15 gram weight track that you can adjust to draw, fade or neutral settings.
I am glad that the marble effect is just on the sole and not carried on to the crown as I think that would make the head too distracting. Shape-wise it looks brilliant, with a shallow face and low profile head.
I am a fan of the white lines on the face too for centring the ball, and the graphite line helps with squaring the face both at address and at impact.
I think the key thing is that Callaway got the most important part of the club right, which for a golfer is the look at address, but you'll have to look past the slightly tacky headcover and the fancy look on the sole to see how it really performs. I can it dividing opinion but golfers do love a bit of bling don't they?
The driver sounds carbon-like in the sense that the noise is pretty dull and thick when you strike it. It doesn't necessarily feel speedy off the face but it does feel exceptionally secure. The ball doesn't flash off the face and I think this makes it seem a little more controllable.
The performance was fast however, so the sound contradicts my usual feels when it comes to the speed element of a driver. It sounds comfortable and feels like you can't miss a fairway.
Last year's Rogue ST Driver was as good as the Ping G425, which for me is the benchmark driver in consistency, and the Paradym keeps up that trait and then some.
With my carry distances only varying 10 yards from best to worst, this club is certainly forgiving and consistent.
My ball speeds were high at an average of 132.6mph and the spin rate was right where I'd want it to be at 2600rpm, which is a little higher than other standard drivers I have tried recently (for comparison, the Stealth 2 was only 2100rpm).
My distances were 215 yards carry, 238 yards total which is as good as it gets for my swing speed of around 90mph.
Filled with confidence after my indoor testing, I headed to a quiet tee box at Stockport Golf Club and proceeded not to miss the fairway. I am not sure I could have missed a fairway even if I had tried! What a feeling to have on the golf course.
The flight was high, slightly-left biased and super consistent just like it was indoors.
This Paradym is Epic!
Callaway Paradym Driver Verdict
My first impressions of this driver, both in terms of name and looks, were a little underwhelming but the Paradym won me over with its performance.
It felt more stable than quick off the face, but distance and ball speed contradicted my feelings. I had the best of both worlds.
With the extra trust I had in dispersion, I was able to swing harder and therefore hit it a little further. That feeling is one that golfers are constantly searching for, as you don't ever want to be scared of your driver - nightmare scenario!
132.6mph ball speed and 215 yards carry is ideal for me, especially as my shots didn't drop much below that even when I didn't hit it perfectly.
Callaway had me back on side until I was told the £599 price tag, which is eye watering in all honesty. It does align with my theory of them moving in a different direction and wanting to take over from PXG/XXIO at the higher end of the market.
The name is luxurious, the price is high and I can see older golfers with plenty of cash buying these instead of the more youthful, flamboyant Stealth 2.
Who Is It Aimed At?
The majority of golfers can use this driver, but only a minority will be able to afford it.
Would I Use It?
Throw away the headcover and get this straight into my bag! Ball speed and distance matched or beat most drivers I have tested this year. This is frozen rope stuff, and in this case, the rope is long.
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