Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Fairway Woods and Hybrids
Fairway Woods

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Fairway Woods and Hybrids

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Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Fairway Woods and Hybrids

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke fairway woods and hybrids likely won’t be the first reason many golfers take a gander at the brand’s new line of metalwoods.

That said, perhaps they should be.

Last year, I opined that the Rogue ST Callaway Rogue ST fairway woods offered a more compelling tech story than the 2022 Rogue ST drivers. I won’t make the same assertion this time around but it’s not because the fairway woods (and hybrids) are tech-lite. 

In fact, the same AI and machine learning that is foundational in development of the Paradym Ai Smoke drivers provides the basis for the accompanying fairway woods and hybrids. (AI is “artificial intelligence” unless you’re Callaway, in which case it’s Ai.)

The dialogue regarding this year’s slate of drivers is trending to more often include terms like “downrange accuracy” and “dispersion”. So, if 2024 is the “Year of Straight” for the longest club in the bag, the tea leaves suggest a “Year of Choice” is the fairway wood and hybrid category.

Yes, companies will tout moderate (read: minimal) ball speed gains and slight increases (or decreases) in spin rates and launch angle. But what is potentially obfuscated by too much focus on performance metrics is a simple premise: More selection *should yield a better opportunity for an optimal fit.

* Implicit in choice is that the golfer understands what he or she needs. Taking this a step further, it’s imperative to ask “What do I want this club to do?” Once we’re settled on that information, we can begin to understand why differences such as mass properties, center-of-gravity (CG) location and performance specs matter. 

Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai – More Basics

Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai

Fairway woods and hybrids are smaller but heavier than drivers. As such, the primary engineering challenge isn’t finding discretionary weight to move around. It’s finding creative ways to reposition that weight while exploring opportunities to minimize existing trade-offs. For example, moving the CG forward (closer to the face) reduces MOI (forgiveness). However, a more forward CG location tends to produce better ball speeds. Well, what if you could get a bit more speed without sacrificing the same amount of forgiveness? 

Additionally, companies utilize moveable weights as one way to give golfers options to alter launch characteristics in a single design. Again, people, it’s all about choices. 

The Star of the Show

Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai carbon crown

With Paradym Ai Smoke, Callaway’s defining metalwood technology is something it calls Swing Code.

Essentially, Swing Code allows engineers to create unique AI face optimizations based on swing profiles of real golfers. The reality is that while no two swings are the same, there’s plenty of overlap when you start to control for basic parameters such as swing speed and handicap.

As our Tony Covey states in the Paradym Ai Smoke Driver article, “Callaway’s Swing Code is the result of more than 250,000 human swings collected in Callaway fitting environments, including everyone from recreational golfers to PGA Tour pros.

“Swing Code, which includes things like speed, impact location, attack angle, path and face-to path relationship, are the inputs that feed Callaway’s AI machines.

“It’s the foundation that allows Callaway to sort and classify swings into groups and then design fairway wood and hybrid faces optimized for the tendencies of those specific groups.”

Risking redundancy, this is a process driven by real swings from actual golfers, not a computer model extrapolating theoretical swing profiles.

AI Face Optimizations

Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai fairway face

The result of Swing Code analysis is what Callaway terms Ai Face Optimizations. Modeling systems run tens of thousands of face iterations, eventually arriving at an optimal design for the given inputs. This information is then used to produce physical parts which Callaway can further examine and test.

Ultimately, the chief benefit of AI (and more specifically Swing Code) is that the resulting designs are built to more accurately address the typical swing dynamics of the target golfer or, in this case, group of golfers.

Micro Deflections

Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai

We can’t tell you about the individual models without a brief mention of Micro Deflections which is what Callaway uses to moderate how the face flexes at various impact locations.

Once you start moving away from center-face strikes, launch and spin properties change, sometimes drastically. For example, a high-toe strike (assuming a relatively neutral swing path) often generates a draw (or hook) shot shape with less than ideal spin. 

Micro Deflections work to minimize the impact of the gear effect by decoupling launch and spin which is a primary difference between this technology and a traditional face curvature (i.e., bulge and roll). Again, the specific arrangement of Micro Deflections is based on the Smart Face design and varies by the target group of golfers.

The premise is that all of this leads to straighter shots with no loss of distance (and possibly a bit more).

Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai Fairway – 4 Models

As with the Paradym Smoke Ai drivers, Callaway is launching four Paradym Ai Smoke fairway wood models and three hybrid models.

Again, if you’ve already perused the Paradym Ai Smoke driver article, it’s pretty much rinse and repeat

Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai Max Fairway

As with the previous generation Paradym, the 2024 Paradym Smoke Ai Max fairway is the model best suited to the needs of the largest swath of golfers. It offers a balanced blend of speed and forgiveness by allocating 24 grams of repositioned weight (12 low and forward and 12 rearward) thanks to a new, lighter Carbon Chassis. 

From the perspective of Callaway’s Swing Code, the Paradym Smoke Ai Max is for the golfer who:

  • Uses most of the face
  • Swings 90-100 mph (driver)
  • Has a slightly negative attack angle and a path that’s slightly out-to-in with a face slightly open to that path.
  • Makes contact often slightly below the center of the face.

The Callaway Paradym Ai MAX fairway is available in 3-, 3HL-, 5-, HVN-, 7-, 9- and 11-wood models. 

*The 3/3HL offerings feature Callaway’s OptiFit adjustable hosel.

Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai Max D Fairway

As you might have deduced, the Paradym Smoke Ai Max D is Callaway’s dedicated draw-biased model. The Swing Code is a golfer who:

  • Hits the ball from the low heel to the high toe (uses the whole damn face)
  • Swings 75-90 mph (driver)
  • Has a downward attack angle
  • Swings out-to-in with a face that’s open to the path and makes contact significantly below the center of the face. 

If you want to think of this golfer as a more extreme version of the Paradym Ai Smoke Max archetype, that’s likely fair. 

Often, a draw-biased model features additional weight in the heel section to help produce a more square (or less open) face at impact. However, more weight in the heel can reduce MOI (forgiveness). As a result, Callaway is maintaining the split weight configuration (12 grams low and forward and 12 rearward) but with a more upright stock lie angle.

The Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai Max D is 3-, 3HL-, 5- and 7-wood models.

*The 3/3HL offerings feature Callaway’s OptiFit adjustable hosel.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast Fairway

The Max Fast serves as the uber-lightweight, Japan-spec product Callaway has previously sold under its “Star” moniker. It features lighter components, a bonded (non-adjustable) hosel and draw-bias for slower swing speed golfers that need help generating sufficient speed and launch to maximize distance. 

The Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast is available in 3-, 5-, 7- and 9-wood models.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond Fairway

We’re growing accustomed to the Triple Diamond label to denote Callaway’s lowest-spinning, better-player model. Good news, folks. No changes to report there. 

The Swing Code for the Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond is the golfer who:

  • Makes mostly centered impact
  • Has a high driver swing speed (105-120 mph)
  • Has a neutral to in-to-out path
  • Delivers the face square to the path
  • Can benefit from a fairway/hybrid with less spin

As opposed to the Carbon Chassis on the Ai Smoke Max, Max Fast and Max D models, the Triple Diamond features a steel sole and forward weight screw. Because the Swing Code for the typical Triple Diamond golfers necessitates a penetrating (read: lower) ball flight with less spin, the benefits of a lighter carbon crown aren’t in play. Also, with repeated ball-turf impact at high speeds, there’s less of a durability concern with steel. 

Beyond that, it’s a moderately fade-biased design with a deeper face and more compact overall footprint.

Of particular interest here is the addition of a Triple Diamond 7-wood. With more tour staff and competitive amateurs bagging high-lofted fairway woods, it made sense to extend this model into the part of the bag where better (or at least faster) golfers are seeking additional options. 

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond is 3-, 5- and 7-wood models.

*The 3/3HL offerings feature Callaway’s OptiFit adjustable hosel.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Hybrid

Overall, the 2024 Paradym Ai Smoke hybrid features a slightly larger overall profile with more pronounced sole camber. The primary separation between the three hybrid models is swing speed. As such, the standard Paradym Ai Smoke is designed for golfers with average to high swing speeds. 

Regarding Swing Code, the Paradym Ai Smoke hybrid is likely a blend of Paradym Ai Smoke Max and Triple Diamond Fairway models.

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke hybrid features Callaway’s OptiFit adjustable hosel and is available in 3H-6H models (RH and LH).

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL Hybrid

Compared to the standard Ai Smoke hybrid, the HL version is incrementally larger but with a lower profile face. It’s designed to pair with the Paradym Ai Smoke HL iron set which targets golfers with moderate swing speeds who can benefit from higher launch and more spin. 

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke HL hybrid features Callaway’s OptiFit adjustable hosel and is available in 3H-8H models (RH and LH).

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast

With a bonded hosel to save weight, and a lower/flatter profile, the Max Fast hybrid is built for golfers with slower swing speeds. The entire objective is to help golfers increase trajectory to maximize distance.

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast hybrid is available in 4H-8H models (RH only).

Stock Shafts and Grips

The stock shafts for the Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai Fairway Woods and Hybrids are:

  • Mitsubishi Eldio (Max Fast Women’s)
  • Mitsubishi Tensei Silver (Max Fast Men’s)
  • Project X Cypher 2.0 (high launch)
  • Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue (mid launch)
  • Project X Denali Black (low launch)

Stock grips are the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 and the Winn DriTech Lite in Max Fast models

Final Thoughts

I haven’t been able to thoroughly test the Paradym Smoke Ai fairway woods or hybrids, though I am encouraged by the performance of the Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond driver. (Yeah, it’s a mouthful). While it’s unfair to make any direct comparisons without even minimal data, I’m largely encouraged and cautiously optimistic.

I get that Callaway will tout this line as a “Quantum Leap” forward regarding its application of AI. That feels a bit hyperbolic, given the limitations under which all equipment manufacturers operate.

However … and this is a major caveat … the door that Swing Code opens is one which could be worthy of such a description. The first iteration of Swing Code developed essentially three “buckets” of golfers. Who’s to say that a faster, more robust AI platform couldn’t generate seven, eight or nine discrete player profiles? Hell, let’s get crazy and consider the possibility of a 1:1 design, mapped and manufactured entirely based on your unique swing DNA. 

Now, that would be quantum

As always, it’s impossible to know whether any piece of equipment is going to be better than what’s already in your bag unless you have a clear understanding of what you need that club to do. Answer that question first and then let the club performance analysis journey commence!

Pricing and Availability

Retail price for all Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai fairway woods is $349.

Retail price for all Callaway Paradym Smoke Ai hybrids woods is $279.

Pre-sale begins Jan. 12 with full retail availability on Jan. 26.

PS. If you don’t want to wait, or don’t want to spend the money on the latest offering, 2023 Callaway Paradym Fairways have been reduced to $300.

For You

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Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris is a self-diagnosed equipment and golf junkie with a penchant for top-shelf ice cream. When he's not coaching the local high school team, he's probably on the range or trying to keep up with his wife and seven beautiful daughters. Chris is based out of Fort Collins, CO and his neighbors believe long brown boxes are simply part of his porch decor. "Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different."

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel





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      "Mr. 72"

      6 months ago

      It seems the better player with a slower swing speed is forgotten. I play with a lot of older single digit guys who fall into the 90-100 swing speed category, but have in to out swings. Callaway seems to have boxed them out if the Smoke line.

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      6 months ago

      I don’t know if it’s “forgotten” as much as it isn’t a large enough demographic to warrant it’s own swing code/face toplogy….yet.

      Emphasis on yet! My hope is that the next iteration of Ai includes several more categories of golfers, including the one you mentioned.

      Reply

      Ken Bender

      6 months ago

      Do you happen to know any Drivers and fairway woods that fit into Mr 72 ‘s comment

      Castle Rock MMM

      6 months ago

      Happy to be one of your tens of readers. Thanks for another good write up Chris. Looking forward to more once you’ve tested them more.

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      6 months ago

      Much appreciated and stay tuned!

      Reply

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    2021 Tommy Armour Impact No. 2 Putter 2021 Tommy Armour Impact No. 2 Putter
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