Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver
Drivers

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver

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Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver

Callaway has just announced the Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver. It’s the company’s first entry in the reemerging mini driver category since the Big Bertha Mini 1.5. That one was released in time to compete with the TaylorMade AeroBurner mini which, if nothing else, helps to explain why the entire category went on hiatus for a few years after.

Regrettable, if not forgettable, times.

The Callaway offering is interesting because of the questions it raises.

  • How biggie before you isn’t mini no more?
  • Do I even need a 3W, bro?
  • Does every Callaway product name need to be excessively long?

Let’s table the third one indefinitely and focus on the other two.

Left to right: Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond Max, Triple Diamond, and Ti 340 Mini
Left to right: Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond Max, Triple Diamond, and Ti 340 Mini

The Not-So-Mini Driver

As the name hints, the Ti 340 is a 340cc design. By comparison, the TaylorMade BRNR Mini is 304. Callaway’s Bertha 1.5 was just 235 and, while it may never come to market (at least not in its current form), Titleist’s PGA Tour-only TSR mini is 280.

Mini in name or not, the Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 mini is not a particularly small club. Callaway made it bigger on purpose.

Why a Bigger Mini?

I’m not sure if it qualifies as a trend on Tour but the modern Tour player seldom hits a 3-wood into greens. They’re being used almost entirely off the tee in situations where a full send with the driver isn’t the optimal play.

That can mean situations where running through a fairway is a possibility or when the hole’s layout prioritizes accuracy.

Either way, a mini might be better than either driver or 3-wood.

The trade-off is that a mini is going to be shorter off the tee.

It’s also true that hitting a 340cc club off the deck is going to be a challenge for most of us. I’m not saying you can’t hit a Ai Smoke Ti 340 off the deck but it’s important to reinforce that its primary role is an alternative to the driver off the tee.

Quick aside: I know a guy who has carried two drivers for years. The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 mini might replace his high-heeled NIKE Sasquatch.

The Callaway Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini and an Ai Smoke Triple Diamond

Fundamentally Different

This illustrates that Callaway’s Ti 340 approach is different from how other mini drivers have tackled the category. Every previous mini I can recall tried (sometimes half-heartedly) to straddle the line between driver and fairway wood.

Yeah, they were all, by some measure, bigger than your 3-wood but still small enough that most of us could hit them off the deck. With allowances for the DOD (driver off the deck) crowd, as the size of the head increases, the harder it becomes to make that argument.  

The SLDR Mini (260cc) was easy enough to hit off the deck. With the BRNR, I can still do it. I wouldn’t describe results as towering draws but the 13.5-degree version is functional from a fairway lie.

At 340cc, using Callaway’s Ai Smoke Ti mini from the fairway will be a challenge for most golfers, which brings us full circle to the Ai Smoke Ti 340 being an alternative or complement to the driver—not a true fairway wood replacement.

For some, that could be a problem.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver

Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver Tech

As far as the technology powering Callaway’s Mini goes, a good bit of what you find in Callaway’s full-sized drivers is baked in.

You get a carbon crown, the flippable weight design of the Triple Diamond (12 and 4 grams) and an Ai Smart Face with micro-deflections. It features Callaway’s Optifit hosel adjustability and, because I know someone will ask, it uses the driver tip adapter.

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Mini is available in 11.5 and 13.5 degrees. The 11.5 is already more loft than most of us play but if you’re considering hitting it off the deck, I’d be inclined to steer you toward the 13.5.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Driver vs. Mini Driver
Left to right: Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond Max, Triple Diamond, and Ti 340 Mini

Who is the Mini For?

For most golfers, the Ti 340 Mini will likely replace the 3W – especially for those of you who hit yours almost exclusively off the tee.

While mini drivers typically are positioned for the better player, I have a couple of friends … let’s call them less than elite golfers … who have replaced their standard drivers with a mini.

They’re willing to give up the distance to keep the ball in play. Sometimes, compromise is good.

At 43.75 inches, the Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini is two inches shorter than Callaway’s drivers. On length alone, you’re going to lose distance while gaining some measure of control. The larger head isn’t going to be as forgiving but (reminder time) straightness and forgiveness are not the same thing in the driver world.

The larger (relative to a 3W) head should also work to make the Smoke Ti 340 easier to hit off the tee.

All of this is by design.

In Callaway’s testing, their mini produced tighter dispersion than its lone competitor in the market.

Summarized: If you need a more controllable alternative to the driver off the tee and your 3W isn’t getting it done, a Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver might be right for you.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver

Rebuilding Your Bag for the Mini Driver

Thinking this through …

If I were to drop a mini in my bag with any regularity, it would mean ditching the 3W and replacing my 5-wood with a 4-wood. That likely takes hitting the sixth hole in two on my home course out of play.

I’m not sure I’m cool with that.

And, yeah, while the specifics of that particular scenario are unique to me, there are likely similar decision points for you.

And that’s before we talk about the costs that come with rejiggering your bag.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver - profile view

Mini Drivers on a Spectrum

I’m not fully sold on the idea of a bigger mini driver but I love how this Callaway release extends the category. I’d love to see the mini driver category grow to be as diverse as the player’s distance category.

Wouldn’t it be great to have options that span everything from a slightly oversized fairway wood (something just a bit bigger than a Titleist TSR2+, for example) to a full-sized driver head with a 43.75-inch shaft? COBRA wasn’t all that far off with its 44.5-inch “Tour Length” option but I’m not sure how many golfers knew it existed or that they should consider the shorter model as a complement to their driver instead of a replacement.

The bottom line is that options are good, especially in a category that has very few.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver (sole view)

Specs, Pricing and Availability

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver is available in 11.5 and 13.5 degrees.

The stock shaft is the Project X Denali Blue (50R, 60S, 60X). A women’s offering (Project X Cypher, 40g) is available.

Stock grip offerings include the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 and Lamkin ST Soft undersized.

Retail price for Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver is $449.99.

Pre-sale begins immediately. Full retail availability starts June 27.

For more information, visit Callawaygolf.com.

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Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

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      NH Golfer

      1 day ago

      Leave my 3 wood alone! This mini driver thing has been done numerous times over the last 10 years. At least 3 each by Callaway and Taylor Made. It’s a good thing for guys that struggle with their driver but those of us that love both a driver and 3 wood in the bag it’s not close to being needed!

      Reply

      Hopp Man

      1 day ago

      Need a TD LS model, just to make the name lol her. 😁

      Reply

      Hank

      2 days ago

      I have been playing my Callaway ERC Fusion for over a week. It is 1″ shorter than my other Callaway Drivers. I find it easier to hit. I wondered if there might be a way to retrofit it to OptiFit, and here comes the likely replacement. The Ti 340 is only slightly smaller (vs 360cc) and has OptiFit! The appearance is similar. I also occasionally play the Mini 1.5.

      At age 79.98 and 5’6″ the shorter shaft is much easier to hit.

      I might have to get one for my soon birthday.

      Reply

      RG

      2 days ago

      Cobra driver LTDX LS 9* 45.25”- – TM 300 Mini 13.5* 43.5”- – TM Stealth 3HL (playing cranked up to 17*) 42.5*…. I’m getting up there now, 50+. This has been the set up that has allowed me to hit more fairways than I ever have. Depending on the course, I’ll usually hit the Mini 4x and the Stealth usually twice. It’s been a great move for me.

      Reply

      Mike Taxter

      2 days ago

      Ive been gaming Callaway Super Hybrids for over three seasons. Moved this year to Paradym Super Hybrids. The #2 can be adjusted to 15 degrees. The #3 to 19. Perfect for replacing a 3 or 5 fairway metal and for driving on the type of holes described in this article. Cheaper price, more versitile. .

      Reply

      Leon

      2 days ago

      People only need to cut their driver length to 44 inches and add some lead tapes to bring back the swing weight, then the driver should outperformance these mini drivers in every perspective. (Same length, but with a much bigger head and more forgiveness)

      Most people struggle with the drive due to the excess length, which is more like 45.75 inches nowadays. Put a shorter length driver in the hands, it will give a better performance and save $449.99

      Reply

      JB

      2 days ago

      I dropped my M6 Driver for the BRNR and finding fairways tends to be a lot more consistent. However, my favourite club in the bag is my G430 SFT 5W. If Ping ever enters this mini driver territory, I’ll buy day one.

      Reply

      Hank H

      2 days ago

      The illusion of a difference

      Reply

      Don DeRova

      2 days ago

      Had a lot of success hitting my BRNR off the fairway yesterday. I’m not sure I could bag the Callaway 340 if it’s got problems off the fairway. Off the tee where fairway tightness isn’t an issue, I use my TSR3, otherwise, out comes the BRNR. Great combo with no need for the three wood.

      Reply

      ViceProGuy

      2 days ago

      I’m going to ask a dumb question: For those seeing this as a more accurate driver because of the shorter shaft, can’t you just choke down on a regular driver?

      I started choking down an extra inch and have immediately had better results.

      Reply

      Adam

      2 days ago

      43.75 would be a better driver length than 45+ for most people. I think that the mini driver craze is happening because people can’t hit the long drivers well enough.

      Reply

      Yummy

      2 days ago

      Faster your swing speed is, the bigger the gaps between clubs.
      One of the primary reasons for amateurs who swing at or less than the high average, there’s not speed for them to create a difference between their driver and 3wood, but their skill to hit the longer, bigger headed club is not consistent enough to warrant having that big driver in the bag at the higher prices.
      This way, they will save a chunk of change and have a club they can hit comfortably to find fairways
      That’s the sales pitch, right?

      Reply

      Neil

      2 days ago

      I have two drivers in my bag – a regular “full send” driver, and then a higher lofted one at 12 degrees fitted with a 3-wood shaft for when I need to take some distance off. I was never comfortable with a 3-wood off the tee and was terrible hitting it off the deck, so this works well for me!

      Reply

      Stephen Ledbetter

      2 days ago

      I am a 72 y/o avid golfer with an extremely bad back. Started hitting the mini driver as soon as TM came out with it. Find that when my back is acting up I can still hit the mini and it doesn’t create problems with my back. Much easier to hit. Straighter and I don’t give up much in distance.

      Reply

      Mike R.

      2 days ago

      I’ll definitely check this one out. I also like the TM Burner 305cc. I’ve been playing a Cobra 400SZ for many years, and am happy with it. It’s been re-shafted from XS to S to R over the years. At 73, I don’t crush it 280 anymore, more like 225… and keep it in the short stuff 9 out of 10 times. I just can’t wrap myself around the big 460cc drivers everybody produces today. I feel I’m swinging my grandson’s Fisher-Price plastic toy driver!!!

      Reply

      MITCH

      5 hours ago

      Wasn’t the Cobra 400SZ driver Illegal?

      Reply

      Patrick

      2 days ago

      I kind of like the idea of dropping driver for a mini, or even shorter shafted driver, then moving on to the 4 wood. I have a Sub70 949X 4 wood, and it’s the only club I have full control over. Throttle it to 240? Check. Keep it to 220? Check. My driver is anywhere from 230-280, so going shorter and a little smaller on driver, while reducing my theoretical potential, makes more sense- I’d rather lose the possibility of going longer on an accidental good hit, to get the promise of better contact. I see that every time with my 4 wood- fairway finders that out-drive most of the people I’m playing with.

      Reply

      Marty

      2 days ago

      Concur. I see this as a money saving move. No need for a driver and a 3-wood. Skip those and put this in the bag. Then go with a 4/5-wood and driving iron/hybrid combo. Leaves room for a utility wedge/chipper or special wedge to get out of bunkers. Maybe even two putters!!!

      Reply

      Patrick

      2 days ago

      Hahaha. 2 putters!!! That way you can throw one in the drink and still wrap-up that solid 100.

      Couldn’t agree more on cutting out a club. I love the 4 wood, because I get the distance of a 3 or driver, but the ease of hitting a 5 wood. Frees up one extra spot, and is one less club to replace in the future.

      Peter

      2 days ago

      Wish they’d make a big head like this at a 16.5 loft. Make 3, 4, and 5 woods that are truly confidence inspiring for FINDING fairways, not hitting off of them and I’ll be customer #1. High swing speed golfers can hit a 4 iron over 200 and the tiny heads on a 3-4 wood are not as easy to hit as their high MOI drivers. It’s a big gap in the market that exists because the manufacturers have not figured out that 300 yards is too far for many holes, and the clubs in the 200-270 yard range leave too little room for error.

      Reply

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    Drivers
    Jun 11, 2024
    Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver
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