Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke hybrids: What you need to know
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke threesome of hybrids uses faces designed with the assistance of artificial intelligence algorithms that analyze how different golfers deliver the club to the ball. Based on thousands of swings, the variable thickness faces accentuate ball flight to optimize distance, dispersion and trajectory. The three heads offer distinct shapes, sizes, internal mass and overall weights to provide specific player benefits.
PRICE: $280. Paradym Ai Smoke (18, 21, 24, 27 degrees, with eight-way adjustable hosel); Paradym Ai Smoke HL (18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33 degrees, with eight-way adjustable hosel); Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast (21, 24, 27, 30, 33 degrees, with fixed hosel). Available for pre-order Jan. 12, at retail Jan. 26.
For all its complexity (titanium construction, carbon-composite crown, a mineshaft’s worth of tungsten, artificial intelligence-designed face), the Super Hybrid poses a simpler question: What if a hybrid was designed to replace not an iron but a fairway wood? The result is this super-charged hybrid with a driver-like titanium face. The large frame offers off-center-hit forgiveness, and the 91 grams of tungsten in the sole fuel easier launch. The shorter shafts also go a long way to making you question the need for fairway woods at all.
3 COOL THINGS
1. Face design. Like so many past generations of Callaway hybrids, the face inserts on the Paradym Ai Smoke hybrids wrap around the toplines and leading edges so the weld lines stay off the face itself. While this creates more potential flexing all over the face, it’s the variable thicknesses of those faces and how they are distinctly shaped in fuller and thinner regions across all three models that maximizes different kinds of golfers’ potential.
Specifically, the face on the standard Ai Smoke is designed differently for players who hit down on the ball with a more iron-like swing than it is for players who make more of a sweeping motion when hitting their hybrids (like on the Ai Smoke Max Fast models). That means using the face’s pattern of thicknesses, called “topology,” to optimize launch and maximize speed within the shallow face designs of the HL and Max Fast hybrids.
Ai Smoke HL
Meanwhile, the standard Ai Smoke model, which is a bit larger than last year’s Paradym hybrids but not oversize like the HL and Max Fast heads, uses the face design to maximize ball speed for shots around the center of its fuller overall area.
2. Sole power. Each of the models also uses a slightly tweaked sole design from last year’s Paradym models. Specifically, there’s more camber and more raised heel and toe regions to provide smoother turf interaction.
Ai Smoke Max Fast
The heads also find room for a tungsten weight that’s pushed forward in the sole to keep the center of gravity low and in line with the center of the face. That makes for both better launch and more efficient energy transfer.
3. Three's company. The three designs here target optimizing specific golfer groups with a combination of enhancing skills (Paradym Ai Smoke) and creating more opportunities for improved launch (Paradym Ai Smoke HL) and increased speed for moderate swingers (Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast).
The standard model is a little larger in profile with a slightly taller and larger face area. It's designed for players with average to high swing speeds. Both the HL and Max Fast versions feature shallow face designs to promote more confidence in higher launch.
The HL is about 15 grams lighter than the standard model, while the Max Fast uses a 40-gram shaft for a much lighter swing weight. Both the standard and HL models utilize Callaway’s eight-way adjustable hosel that allows for two degrees of loft increase and one degree of loft decrease while independently adjusting lie angle from flat to standard to more upright.
Ai Smoke Max Fast