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In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the Callaway Paradym irons.
The Paradym is Callaway’s latest “players’ distance” offering, and is the first to utilize an A.I.-designed Forged Face and Speed Frame construction. Other technologies provide soft feel, premium sound, and forgiveness for better players.
How do the Paradym irons actually perform when put to the test? How do they compare to the previous irons in the Rogue ST line? Who are they best suited for? Is it worth putting a set in the bag?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
What are the reviews like?
As a gold-medal winner on the 2023 Golf Digest Hot List, the Paradym irons have generally been received positively by critics, but for some, they have turned out to be not quite what they were hoping for.
The irons currently have a 5/5 (100% recommended) rating on the Callaway store, although the sample size is small.
What People Like
- some serious speed across the face
- has the forgiveness of a game-improvement iron
- soft feel with quiet sound
- sleek look with tremendous shelf appeal
- good stopping power into greens
What People Don’t Like
- spin is on the low side
- fairly hefty price tag
A.I.-Designed Forged 455 Face
You should be familiar with Callaway’s A.I. face technology by now, which is designed to optimize ball speeds across the face.
With the Paradym, they apply it to a high-strength forged 455 stainless steel face to create their highest-performing forged face yet. This application is unique to each iron in the set, resulting in optimized speed, spin and launch.
Hollow Body W/ Speed Frame Construction
The Forged 455 Face Cup is supported and stabilized by a Speed Frame construction as part of a hollow-body design.
The Speed Frame has a similar concept to the Jailbreak technology found in Callaway’s drivers; it adds stiffness to the body and supports the thin face, leading to more face flexion at impact and hence higher ball speeds.
Dual Tungsten Weighting
The Paradym irons precisely place up to 67g of internal and external tungsten weights to enhance forgiveness considerably.
In particular, this tungsten weighting optimizes launch conditions through the set and improves ball speed retention on mis-hits.
A proprietary creation of Callaway that has been featured in many of their previous golf clubs, urethane microspheres provide the benefits of urethane (absorbs unwanted vibrations) while still retaining a very high face COR.
This combines with the forged face to deliver premium, high-quality sound and a soft feel.
Pre-Worn Leading Edge
The Paradym iron has a pre-worn leading edge, which means that the leading edge is rolled into the sole so that it sits closer to the ground at address.
This allows the iron to better slice through the turf in firm conditions.
There are many set configurations to choose from, from the 4-iron all the way to the gap wedge. The stock set is 4-PW, and of course, individual irons are available.
The stock shafts are the:
- Project X HZRDUS Silver Gen 4 (65 & 75) (graphite)
- ALDILA ASCENT PL Blue 50 HB/IR (graphite)
- 2023 True Temper Elevate MPH 95 (steel)
The stock grip is the Callaway Universal (51g). 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 irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
The Paradym irons achieve similar carry distances to the Rogue ST MAX, which was known for its strong lofts and trajectories.
You might consider this disappointing until you realize that the Paradym irons have weaker lofts, higher launch, and better stopping power into greens.
That’s really the ultimate goal for any iron: to provide great distance, but also great control. The Paradym irons accomplish that in spades. I only would have liked to see slightly higher RPMs for that little bit of extra control.
Ball speeds are remarkably consistent across the Paradym iron’s face, above and beyond what you would expect for a typical “players’ distance” iron.
The Paradym irons are also directionally stable in mis-hit areas. This is surely a consequence of the large amount of tungsten in the iron as well as the A.I. integration.
Forgiveness is nearly on the same level as the Rogue ST MAX which I think is an impressive feat considering the sacrifices Callaway had to make in order to make the iron more appealing to better players.
Trajectories with the Paradym irons are generally mid-high with a neutral flight bias. Launch angles and descent angles are high. In wetter conditions, it’s especially easy to stop the ball on a dime or even have it spin back.
In general, performance is satisfying through the entire set. The long irons are easy to get up in the air, and the short irons and wedges offer enough touch and control to satisfy skilled players.
Competent golfers won’t be able to shape shots as easily as they could with a forged muscleback, but thanks to the shorter blade length and minimal offset (among other factors), workability is quite good.
In my opinion, the Paradym irons have some of the best bag appeal out there.
From the navy blue colour theme with gold accents, the “back cap” style that covers the tech but contributes to a simple and clean look, the shiny chrome finish, and the compact blade length, everything is very pleasing to the eye.
At address behind the ball, however, it’s a mixed bag. They look chunkier than a traditional players iron, yet are not quite as confidence-inspiring as a full-blown GI iron.
Offset is minimal — in fact, there’s less offset than there was on the Rogue ST Pro irons which were the players offering in the Rogue ST line.
I’m not a fan of how thick the top line looks at address, and the shorter blade length just accentuates it. Then again, when you’re trying to achieve monstrous distance and forgiveness, it’s almost unavoidable.
The Sound & Feel
The Paradym irons are both soft and solid in terms of feel, which better players will certainly appreciate. There is also an element of hotness there, particularly on sweet spot strikes.
The sound off the face is rather muted and quiet. Callaway’s urethane microspheres undoubtedly play a significant role here, as they have in previous models.
What’s particularly impressive is the fact that mis-hits don’t feel that harsh or penalizing, yet the feedback is very clear. You should have little trouble diagnosing and correcting your misses.
The pre-worn leading edge of the Paradym irons is terrific in firm conditions, especially if you have a shallower swing arc. Even with a steeper swing or in soft conditions, turf interaction is respectable.
Where To Buy These Irons Online
At this time, the best place to order Paradym irons with custom specifications (loft, length, shaft, grip, etc.) is this page on the Callaway store.
If you want to save some money, you can find discounts on eBay.
Optionally look at what’s available on PGA TOUR Superstore, Global Golf or Amazon. The first two vendors may offer club trade-ins, performance guarantees, and/or financing plans to help you minimize the financial hit.
With “players’ distance” irons like the Callaway Paradym, the goal is to deliver game-improvement performance in a slimmer package that looks more like a players iron.
While the Paradym achieves this goal in many respects, I think the thick top line and wide sole really hold it back from having a genuine better-player look. It does have terrific shelf and bag appeal, though.
As the old saying goes, when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing few. That’s not to say there won’t be plenty of golfers on both ends of the skill spectrum who will love the Paradym, but it’s definitely more suited for mid-handicappers than any other type of golfer.
Interested in the Paradym irons? Have you played them? What have your results been? Let us know in the comments below.
Callaway Paradym Iron
- As long as the Rogue ST MAX with better stopping power
- Above average forgiveness for a "players' distance" iron
- Great playability throughout the set
- Amazing bag appeal
- Consistently soft feel with good mis-hit feedback
- Spin could be a little higher
- Doesn't know what it wants to look like at address