“A new Paradym (Paradigm) in performance” is how Callaway are billing their newest arrival to the driver market. Here we dive in and review the Callaway Paradym driver range.
Boasting greater distance and forgiveness through a significant head construction re-design, and with endorsements from tour players, including serial winner Jon Rahm, it’s not difficult to see why there’s such excitement around the Paradym driver.
The success of the Rogue ST drivers and the hefty price tag I’m sure also have a part to play in the hype, though it should be said that Callaway sees this more as a replacement to the Epic series than the Rogue.
Callaway have recent history of placing a little extra focus on the aesthetics of their drivers. Remember the Epic with its impressive green sparkle on a carbon crown? More recently the Rogue ST was popular for its smart matt black crown complimented by gold colour detailing on the sole.
It comes then as no surprise that Callaway have gone all out to produce a smart looking driver, this time with a subtle blue opal-like carbon chassis that really stands out in certain light conditions.
But ok, enough about superficial looks, how does it sit behind the ball? Well again, I’ve no complaints here. It sits nice and square, even with the Paradym X driver that uses an upright lie angle to create the draw biased flight, rather than using heel weights and excessive offset, meaning the top line and leading edge still look square to your target.
Finally, the matt grey top line with the Callaway Chevron logo is a simple but effective alignment aid, and somehow also makes it look more powerful – or maybe that’s just me?
On first impressions, it just feels, looks and sounds quick off the face, but does this translate into actual distance?
|Carry (yds)||Total (yds)||Club Speed (mph)||Ball Speed (mph)||Launch Angle (º)||Spin Rate (rpm)||Height (ft)|
|Callaway Paradym Driver||249.4||269.9||105.6||149.5||14.5||2627||104|
|Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond Driver||253.5||282.7||104.6||153.1||12.8||1999||84|
|Callaway Paradym X Driver||258||281||104.2||152.5||14.2||2304||101|
Put it this way, of all the drivers I’ve tested recently, the Paradym has given me marginally the quickest ball speeds, but we’re talking by a small amount – you wouldn’t expect there to be a huge gap though as all the companies are pushing the limits of what’s allowed.
Looking a little closer though, I’d say this is largely down to being able to generate faster clubhead speed – which is maybe a nod to aerodynamics, and also the standard length of 45.75” whereas some drivers like the Ping are offering most stock shafts at 45.25”. I have now hit the Paradym on two sessions, once for the purpose of this test, and separately comparing with my own Ping G425 where I really did find a bit of extra speed and overall length which took me by surprise.
Overall, I wouldn’t say that the redesigned jailbreak system or lighter carbon chassis are creating any ground-breaking performance level shift in terms of distance. It’s probably more incremental, but still highly competitive against current alternatives. Here’s the thing though, they’re not supposed to. That brings me onto the next section quite nicely.
When manufacturers continually talk about weight saving exercises, you would be forgiven for thinking that the overall head weights are getting lighter and lighter – allowing for faster clubhead speed.
What’s really happening here is that these weight savings allow them to redistribute more weight to areas of the club that boost forgiveness and adjustability – through increased MOI which helps with accuracy on off centre hits, movable back weights which help produce deeper COG for trajectory tuning. The redesigned jailbreak system is all about providing torsional stiffness for the purpose of greater speed and stability on off centre strikes.
Whilst right now Jon Rahm could probably use just about anything, for the rest of us these improvements are really helpful. I certainly didn’t middle every single shot but my ball speeds didn’t drop off too much when I did miss the centre, and this gave me the confidence to feel I could go after it.
If I just look purely at the Trackman ball dispersion, it looks quite wide, but there are caveats to consider here. One being the strong left to right wind, the other being the various head types I was hitting whilst trying to keep swing characteristics and aim direction as consistent as possible. I therefore wouldn’t expect them to finish close to each other.
Given the above, naturally the higher spinning standard Paradym head finished with more balls to the right of the target, meanwhile, the lower spinning TD held its line better and the more draw-biased Paradym X was able to get the ball finishing left of the target. All 3 heads did feel stable across the club face and as if I could give them a good hit.
Looking at trackman club data, I was able to remain reasonably consistent with my face-to-path numbers which is generally a good measure of control. As expected, these numbers became more closed as I tested more draw-biased setups.
For me, feel reflects the sensory experiences you have when hitting a shot, incorporating both the sensation through your hands and the acoustics produced upon impact.
By this measure, the Paradym drivers have an amazing feel. The impact on the face feels responsive and there’s something to be said for the sound too. To compare it with a gunshot would of course be going too far, but it just feels so powerful. You’ll certainly have fun hitting bombs with the Paradym!
Difference between heads
There are three different head options in the Paradym range. The standard Paradym is complemented by the Paradym X and Paradym Triple Diamond (TD).
The standard head option is designed for maximum adjustability. A 15g sliding back weight allows the golfer to create a neutral, draw biased or fade biased set up. Starting head lofts of 9º, 10.5º and 12º with further hosel adjustability should cover most trajectory needs.
The Paradym X is the more extreme draw biased option. No heel weights in sight though! That’s because the X model uses a 3 degree more upright lie angle to create a closed face bias. This is quite an interesting concept and I wonder whether it may prove more consistent than relying on heel weights to help the face rotate through impact.
I was quite impressed with the difference between the standard Paradym in a neutral setting (red), then in a draw setting (orange), and finally the Paradym X (purple) each producing shot dispersions that finished further left respectively than the previous one. That will give fitters, and you the golfer, a lot of options to find the ideal set up.
The Triple Diamond (TD) is fractionally more compact at 450cc, and is geared towards stronger hitters looking for lower spin rates to optimise their ball flight, and more workability in terms of moving the ball both ways.
My spin rate with the triple diamond was around 600 rpm lower than with the standard head. Peak height also dropped by around 20ft – great if you play on a windy course! The TD has interchangeable 2g and 14g weights. Put the heavier one nearest the face to create the lowest spinning setting.
In addition to the above, Callaway continue to utilise their Optifit hosel adjustment system, allowing you to select a neutral or draw biased face angle in combination with loft adjustments from –1 to +2 degrees. Bear in mind that lofting up usually adds extra draw bias, and lofting down has the opposite effect.
Adjustable settings are not something players should tinker with each week. Instead, you should find your optimised setup and learn to play with it. However, the Callaway Paradym drivers’ adjustability do allow you to re-visit and re-test these settings every few months to make sure it still gets the most out of your golf swing.
Callaway offers a wide range of premium stock options as standard with the new Paradym series, including those introduced with the Rogue ST series (such as Tensei AV Blue / White and Project X Cypher).
The mid-launch, mid-spin option is the Project X Hzrdus Silver, whilst Mitsubishi Kai’Li White offers a lower launching/spinning option for faster swing speeds. Those looking for a lighter-weight, softer option could consider the Aldila Ascent Blue but a qualified fitter will look after you and help establish the best combination of head and shaft.
Make sure not only to get the correct flex, but also the correct weight that matches your swing rhythm, helping you to create a centred strike more consistently. Shaft flex will affect launch and spin, but the quality of the strike is always the first priority before tuning ball flight characteristics.
Golf Insider Verdict
Whilst it might be a stretch to say Callaway have truly achieved a whole new Paradigm in performance levels with this new range, I’d have no trouble saying they’ve created a superb, well-rounded product that will be hard to beat.
With the 3 head types each performing their individual roles impressively, and an excellent range of quality shaft options, it should be easy to find a good fit for your game.
The price point is more than 20% higher than the Rogue ST but not necessarily stepping out of line with other competitors, and value will obviously depend on how it performs for the individual. One thing is for sure – I’d definitely give it a try.
With a price tag of circa £529, a purchase is certainly a significant investment and I’d recommend any golfer to do their research before adding a new big stick to their bag.
Coming in at a similar price, the Titleist TSR range is definitely worth a look, but I’d also consider the Ping G430 driver, Taylormade Stealth 2, Mizuno ST230 and even the Callaway Rogue ST amongst others, to find the best option for your game.
Apologies if this sounds like a very general list of the top drivers out there, but there are very few bad drivers. The key is to find one you love and have it fitted to get the most out of your golf swing.
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