By neatly balancing power with forgiveness, Callaway’s Paradym driver has a truly broad appeal. Throw in some new, aspirational aesthetics and a lively feel and you have a serious contender at the premium end of the market.
Premium, high tech aesthetics
Lively feel through impact
Impressive mix of speed and consistency
Not a huge leap forward over the previous generation
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Over the last few years, golfers have become accustomed to Callaway’s use of recurring product names. Franchises such as Epic and Rogue have become familiar to golfers, being seen both on Tour and in pro shops around the world - the Artificial Intelligence designs behind them cementing their position as some of the most technologically advanced products you can buy. Well, for 2023, the brand has unveiled a completely new name for its product range.
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By opting for Paradym, Callaway is clearly evoking the idea of a significant shift in its offering. The tagline for the driver family is ‘The New Paradym in Performance’ and the key technology behind it comes in the shape of a 360˚ carbon chassis. For the first time, the engineers have done away with any trace of titanium in the body, saving weight to use elsewhere for more forgiveness. Add to that improved stability from a new Jailbreak design, an A.I. Optimized face for downrange dispersion and a Face Cup for faster ball speeds and there’s clearly a lot packed into a driver, the price of which you probably aren’t too surprised to hear has been stretched to £599.
We wanted to see whether the performance of the Paradym makes it one of the best golf drivers of 2023 so we tested it on a GC Quad launch monitor at Foresight Sports HQ, using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls. For a comparison, we also hit the previous generation Callaway Rogue ST Max driver as well.
Before we get to the data, the first thing to mention is the aesthetics, which in some ways represent a significant departure from what we’ve seen from Callaway in recent years. Last year’s matt black Rogue has been superseded by a gloss crown with a dark blue carbon effect. There is a contrast between this and the black leading edge. The color scheme is quite different to anything we’ve seen in 2023 but, as the shapes are all still very classic, the overall look is both modern and premium.
The technology within the club is also brought to life via the view of the sole. The carbon effect and gold flashes combined with the moveable weight make the Paradym driver stand out on the shelf.
One of the most important ingredients to consider from a new driver is the feel. This one strikes a good balance between feeling powerful without sounding too dull and low-pitched through impact. If anything, I thought it was slightly louder and livelier than the previous generation Rogue ST but the difference was small.
So the big question is, what does the Paradym driver offer in terms of performance? The below data grid shows what happened during my testing at Foresight Sports. I had the same Mitsubishi Kai’Li 60s shaft in both heads - the Rogue ST Max was set to 9˚ and the Paradym was at 9.5˚ (this was as close as we could get them).
As you can see, the Paradym delivered a jump in ball speed despite a slightly slower clubhead speed. The additional static loft of the Paradym likely accounts for the extra spin (and flight) - the overall carry distance was 5 yards longer with the newer model. It is worth saying here that the Rogue ST Max is still clearly an excellent driver (both models offered good consistency during testing) and yet I was able to get slightly more from the 2023 Paradym.
Interestingly, during the same testing session I hit the Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond driver further but lacked the same level of consistency I had with the standard version.
One of the things I loved most about the previous generation Rogue ST Max was how playable it was. Yes, it was long but it was easy to hit and that was the key point. It seems that with the Paradym, Callaway has retained that user-friendly performance that can make all the difference. Without having to swing the club too hard, I was consistently able to hit straight drives with good distance.
Callaway’s new Paradym driver might not represent a giant leap forward versus the previous generation but the combination of aspirational aesthetics and solid overall performance makes it a very impressive offering. The extra investment required will be something that each golfer needs to weigh up but there’s no doubt the performance of Paradym driver sits comfortably in the premium space.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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