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In this review, I’ll take a comprehensive look at the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke irons.
Geared towards average or above-average swing speeds, the Paradym Ai Smoke irons are all about maximizing distance and forgiveness. They boast a modern hollow-body design and AI advancements including a new Ai Smart Face.
How do these irons actually perform when put to the test? How do they compare to last generation’s Paradym irons and the other models in the Paradym Ai Smoke family? Who are they best suited for? Are they worth putting in the bag?
Here’s what will be covered in the review:
Read on to learn what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The Paradym Ai Smoke irons won a gold medal on the 2024 Golf Digest Hot List in the game-improvement category.
The handful of reviewers who have gotten their hands on the Paradym Ai Smoke irons view it highly positively in general.
What People Like
- impressively slim looks
- among the longest irons out there
- premium looks
- fantastic forgiveness
- solid feel with no clickiness
- fairly affordable
What People Don’t Like
- limited stopping power and low spin are not for everyone
- launch could be higher
The Paradym Ai Smoke irons have a hollow-body construction, with streamlined, modern shaping that bears many similarities to a players’ iron.
Ai Smart Face
The idea of the Ai Smart Face is similar to what is found in the Paradym Ai Smoke drivers. Callaway really honed in on maximizing distance and forgiveness in mis-hit regions of the face.
This new face was developed using data (swing speed, face orientation, club delivery) from over 250,000 swings from real golfers. It’s designed to not only maximize ball speeds across the face, but also minimize performance loss in mis-hit regions for tight dispersions into greens.
In addition, the AI process employed with these irons has allowed Callaway to achieve short iron-like control in the mid and long irons while maintaining the ball speed and distance benefits that come with the irons being 1/4″ longer.
The Dynamic Sole concept has also been found in Callaway’s Apex 24 line of irons. This iteration consists of a pre-worn leading edge with variable bounce to cut through the turf more efficiently.
This sole is engineered to be highly forgiving through the impact zone, promoting clean, crisp contact for all different types of shots.
The Paradym Ai Smoke irons come in 4-SW (19°-54°). Sets and singles are available.
The stock shaft options are the True Temper Elevate MPH 95 in steel and Project X Cypher 2.0 IR/HYB (50, 60, 70) in graphite. The stock grip is the Lamkin Crossline. Custom options are available.
If you’re interested, more information on shafts, grips and other customizations can be found here.
Below are the specs of the Paradym Ai Smoke irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
In the sections that follow, I’ll talk about my experience with the Paradym Ai Smoke irons. Let’s jump right in.
The Paradym Ai Smoke is a game-improvement iron, but it’s also a distance iron.
This thing puts out some serious speed, and combined with launch and spin that are lower than its sister models, the result is some of the strongest yardages you’ll see in any modern iron.
My field test also indicates that these irons have a slight edge in distance over the original Paradym of a couple yards on average, even after correcting for the slightly stronger lofts through the set.
When it comes to the Paradym Ai Smoke irons, forgiveness is as much of a strong point as distance is, comparable to that of a super-GI iron even though it lacks the chunkiness of one.
I lauded the forgiveness of the original Paradym irons back when I reviewed them last year. In my experience, the forgiveness of these irons is just as good, if not better.
Ball speeds are remarkably consistent across the face, and Callaway is accurate when they say this iron has tight dispersions. In many cases, you’ll find that minor or moderate mis-hits don’t deviate from the intended result by more than a couple feet or a few RPMs of spin.
The Paradym Ai Smoke irons do not have a particularly high launch nor do they generate that much spin. The trajectory is mid, which is actually commendable given how strong the lofts are. Workability is below average.
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of irons that sacrifice spin and stopping power for extra distance, since you could argue that raw distance is not nearly as valuable as it is in woods.
In this case, the distance and forgiveness comes at the expense of some stopping power. Don’t get me wrong: you can still stop the ball reasonably quickly on the green, but the level of control that you would find in a players’ iron is clearly lacking.
As a hollow-body design, the Paradym Ai Smoke iron has a similar “flat back” style to Callaway’s other recent hollow-body irons including the original Paradym and Apex Pro 24.
I really love this kind of design, personally, and Callaway is one of the best OEMs to pull it off.
The aesthetic is simple yet sophisticated, with a smoke-textured strip running down the back of the iron and some tasteful and not-too-flashy logoing. The chrome finish of this iron gels nicely with the two matte regions on the back.
Glancing down at this iron from the address position, you might think you’re hitting a players’ iron. While the blade is longer than average and the sole wider than average, the top line is rather thin for a game-improvement stick, which certainly helps with the appeal factor.
The Sound & Feel
I found the feel and sound of these irons to be similar to the original Paradym, particularly in the sweet spot — solid, but with a touch of softness and explosiveness.
Callaway’s urethane microspheres make a return this generation, and like the original Paradym, they help produce an impact sound that is rather muted and quiet.
Where I noticed a real difference is in the sound and feel on off-center strikes in relation to center strikes. Compared to the original Paradym, both are more consistent across the face, although still different enough to be able to glean some feedback on the quality of the strike.
The Dynamic Sole of the Paradym Ai Smoke irons is very versatile, being able to perform well out of a variety of lies from firm to long to soft.
Where To Buy These Irons Online
If you want a brand new set of (or individual) Paradym Ai Smoke irons with custom shafts, grips, lengths, lofts, lies, etc., definitely head over to this page on the official Callaway website before it gets removed.
For possible savings on new and used irons, look on eBay.
There’s no doubt that Callaway’s Paradym Ai Smoke irons offer some of the best distance and forgiveness that you can find on the market right now. However, this comes at the expense of some launch and stopping power, particularly for slower swingers.
The Paradym Ai Smoke irons should not necessarily be thought of as a replacement to the previous generation Paradym. In reality, it’s a great compliment to it, with the Paradym being better suited for those who want to move more in the players’ direction while retaining length.
Also factor in how much these irons shine in the look and feel departments, and you have an attractive package for many mid and high handicappers looking to shoot lower scores.
Are you interested in the Paradym Ai Smoke irons? Have you played them? What’s your experience? Tell us about it in the comments below.