After a re-vamp of the popular Rogue series in 2022, 2023 sees Callaway introduce a new range of clubs, boldly named Paradym.
'Paradym' seems like a fancy word which like me, you may need to Google to understand what it means, however if you do so the dictionary definition may confuse you even further...
Callaway is suggesting that thanks to further machine learning and R&D from their A.I. super-computer technology, with Paradym, they have created a 'Paradym shift in performance.'
Along with new drivers, fairway woods and hybrids Callaway have introduced two new Paradym iron models, Paradym and Paradym X. In this review I will be concentrating on the former to see what all the fuss is about.
The Paradym iron is designed for golfers who are looking for a players’ distance iron with a refined shape and premium forging - basically it is supposed to look good and go far through a compact head design with a forgiving package. Callaway suggests the Paradym irons are aimed at golfers between 4 to 12 handicap.
Callaway's A.I. designed technology is applied to a high-strength forged 455 face, creating what Callaway call their most powerful forged iron face ever, with each individual face being uniquely optimised for more speed, higher launch,
and increased spin consistency.
A new hollow body design features Speed Frame construction for added stiffness to the body and support for the high-strength Forged 455 Face Cup. This construction placed inside the head is be referred to as 'jailbreak for irons' and stabilises a thinner face for fast ball speeds.
A forged face and urethane microspheres (of which we have seen in the past Callaway since Mavrik) are said to deliver the ultra-soft feel and premium sound that discerning players demand.
Improved launch is said to be achieved thanks to 67g of external and internal tungsten weights as well as adding improved speed on mis-hits.
My favourite players distance iron of 2022 was the most recent TaylorMade P790 therefore it felt apt for me to try the new Paradym 6 iron directly against the P790 6 iron.
I hit a bunch of six irons with each head and compared the data using Trackman 4 and Titleist Pro V1x balls.
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Callaway Paradym Irons Review
Looks and FEel
The Paradym irons feature a compact head with a shiny satin finish. The topline, blade length and sole are all in proportion, nothing was too big or too thin which was pleasing to the eye.
Callaway are not trying to make the topline look thinner by increasing the size of the blade length and I thought these irons looked great at address, but I can’t say the same for shelf appeal...
Through testing the Paradym irons I have realised I am not a fan of the 'back-cap' we now see on a lot of modern iron models. I know it hides the technology on this type of irons, but I’m yet to see a company that does it really well.
On top of this, the navy and gold colour combination isn't my thing, I couldn't help but think these clubs looked like XXIO’s. These are very high end price-wise and very popular in Asian markets, this could be the route Callaway are trying to go down - who knows?
The Paradym irons felt quick, solid and slightly left biased in-flight.
The biggest compliment I can give them feel-wise is that the head shape and compact size looks like it shouldn’t produce the distance or the ball speed which they did, which is always a great combination.
During testing I found the 6 iron effortlessly cleared the 150 yard carry mark with my longest shot reaching 160 yards in carry. My average ball speed was 108mph with a peak height of 81 feet.
The average shots from this session were 153.6 yards carry/165 yards total, however what worryingly stood out was the low spin rate of 4830 rpm. I would like this in the 5000s, in order for the ball to stop on the green.
I had a buzz about the distance and felt confident over the ball when testing the Paradym irons, but how would they fare against the 2021 TaylorMade P790s?
The P790 had a spin rate of over 5000rpm and a carry distance of at least 3 yards longer. Ball speeds were 2mph faster, and it launched higher. This was eclipsing the Callaway in every performance department and in my opinion it looked a little better. Not good signs for the Paradym other than I would say it sounded and felt a bit better - its wasn't as loud as P790.
Callaway Paradym Irons Verdict
This a good looking compact iron which performs great considering how 'player-like' it looks at address. Personally I am not a fan of the name as I don't really understand the meaning in context of golf equipment. It gives the impression of a lifestyle brand, whereas before the names Callaway used were short, masculine and punchy, for example: Epic, Mavrik, Apex and Rogue - this really feels like a different direction.
Performance-wise, although it performs well, it didn’t do enough on average, there was a glimmer of hope when looking at my best shot with the Callaway against my best shot with the TaylorMade - there was really little difference with both achieving 160 yards carry.
However, my average distance was just better with the TaylorMade and the shots flew higher and straighter which is a massive bonus.
In terms of price, these clubs are expensive too at £171 each for steel shaft, which is £6 more than the P790 (another negative in the comparison test), once again angling towards that luxury lifestyle brand which the name and design suggests.
Who Are They Aimed At?
A low to mid handicap golfer that wants the looks as well as the purchase in strike. These irons create that extra club in length without you having to change swing speeds.
A Callaway head is always fuller, more rounded and usually satin in its finish. If you are already a Callaway player, you’ll be familiar with this good looking head. It reminds me a lot of the Mavrik Pro Irons in the fact it is fiery and low spin.
Would I Use Them?
After testing the Paradyms alone it I liked them, and if I hadn’t put them head to head against the the P790, my verdict would have been very different - unfortunately for Paradym I did and the results speak for themselves.
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