Callaway Paradym and Paradym X irons – Key Takeaways
- New player’s distance and game-improvement irons
- Forged 455 Cup Face and Speed Frame for ball speed
- Callaway-patented Urethane Microspheres for feel
- $200/club in steel; $215/club in graphite
- Presale starts Jan. 13; at retail Feb 24
I will not stoop to making any cringe-worthy puns, painful references or other excruciating allusions to the name of this new line of clubs for the duration of this article. That, dear reader, is my 20-cent pledge to you. (Editor’s Note: Paradym. Pair a’ dimes. 20 cents. Get it? He’s so clever.)
Anyway, it is Callaway’s Paradym day and the company is launching two iron sets to join its 2023 drivers, fairways and hybrids. The new Paradym iron is a surprisingly sleek-looking player’s distance iron while the Paradym X is an astonishingly sleek-looking game-improvement iron.
Where they fit into Callaway’s iron continuum is fuzzy but it would appear the Paradym X might lean slightly to the “better player” side of the Apex DCB while the standard Paradym might be to the “better player” side of the standard Apex 21.
Let’s see what’s under the hood.
Callaway Paradym and Paradym X Irons
Callaway is playing all your favorites with the new Paradym irons. In both sets, we’re getting an AI-designed Face Cup, urethane microspheres and a butt-load of tungsten. Just for fun, Callaway is throwing something new at us: a forged 455 stainless steel face.
Raise your hand if you knew you could forge 455 stainless steel.
It turns out you can fairly easily at temperatures ranging from 1,600 to 2,300 degrees F. While it may just be a semantics game to be able to put “Forged” on the hosel, Callaway gets to say Tour “forged feel.” Granted, there’s more to feel than forging but if the mind thinks it, then the ear and the hands are more likely to hear and feel it.
As mentioned, both irons continue the industry-wide trend of sleeker, less busy-looking distance irons. If one were to suspend cynicism for just a moment, one might even say the new Paradyms are actually fairly nice-looking. The brushed chrome-and-black styling and yellow accent offers just enough flair without hitting you over the head to get your attention.
The Paradym Tech Story
As mentioned, the Callaway Paradym and Paradym X irons feature an AI-designed forged 455 Cup Face and a sorta-kinda hollow-body design. We say “sorta-kinda” because of what Callaway is calling Speed Frame.
“The topography changes (in the AI-designed face) generate the performance differences we’re after,” says Scott Manwaring, Callaway’s Senior R&D Director for irons and hybrids. “The downside is you have to have a body that marries up with it.”
Enter Speed Frame. It’s an internal structure that supports the face just enough to maintain integrity without getting in the way of face flexing.
“The key is to figure out the Achilles heel of hollow-body construction, where you trap a lot of mass up high,” says Manwaring. “On each individual club, we asked where can we take the maximum amount of material away without the 455 face destroying the body?”
The result is a frame with internal holes where mass has been removed. And each individual iron in a set has its own uniquely designed Speed Frame. The frame adds stiffness to the body while stabilizing and supporting the Cup Face to retain ball speed on off-center strikes.
Microspheres and Tungsten
Of all the technological jargon Callaway has developed over the past decade, my personal favorite is the haunting and lyrical Urethane Microspheres. Just hum it to yourself a couple of times.
See what I mean?
The good thing about hollow-body design is that the face is allowed to flex unencumbered. The downside, however, is it tends to sound and feel like crap. Urethane Microspheres are Callaway’s attempt at mitigating the harsh sound and feel while still allowing the face to flex. Not all injected goo does that.
“Urethane in its raw form won’t collapse on itself,” says Manwaring. “It’s almost like metal if you have it in an enclosed case. What we’re trying to do is turn it into more of a cork substance where it will naturally collapse on itself, changing the sound performance without changing the sound.”
And it wouldn’t be a Callaway iron without tungsten. Callaway leads the league in tungsten and the Paradym and Paradym X irons are no different. The smaller, sleeker Paradym features up to 67 grams of tungsten while the larger Paradym X packs up to 79 grams worth.
“We brought a lighter amount of tungsten to the exterior of so you can see it,” says Manwaring. “It’s decorative. But underneath that, there’s a massive amount of tungsten doing the heavy lifting, pulling the CG low.”
And let’s say it together, boys and girls: The lower the CG, the higher the ball launches and the easier it is to get the ball up in the air.
And that brings us to the loft structure.
Lofts, Torches and Pitchforks
Karsten Solheim told us many, many years ago that perimeter weighting, particularly low weighting, makes the ball launch higher. And if the ball launches higher, he further explained, you could strengthen the lofts and make the ball go farther while keeping a desirable flight and descent angle.
In other words, it’s more than just putting a “7” on the bottom of a 6-iron.
Light the torches and grab the pitchforks if you want but the lofts on the Callaway Paradym and Paradym X are definitely strong. Or, if you must, jacked.
The player’s distance Paradym works off a 29-degree 7-iron. That’s a skosh stronger than most in the category but it’s certainly not the strongest. The Paradym X features a 27.5 degree 7-iron. That’s pretty darned strong. But if it launches like you’d like a 7-iron to and descends like you’d want a 7-iron to, is it really a crime that it goes like hell?
Playable distance is the important thing and our own Most Wanted Testing will help determine just how playable the new Paradyms are. Spin is a legit concern with stronger-lofted irons, especially with low-spinning balls. Descent angle becomes even more important and a higher-spinning ball may, in fact, be of benefit.
Callaway Paradym and Paradym X Specs, Price and Availability
As mentioned, the new Paradym and Paradym X fit into the player’s distance and game-improvement categories, respectively. The Paradym is the smaller profile with a slimmer topline, less offset and a narrower sole. The Paradym X, being the GI version, is larger with a thicker topline, more offset and a wider sole.
The popular and lightweight True Temper Elevate MPH is the stock steel shaft. The Project X HZRDUS Silver is the primary stock graphite shaft. The lighter Aldila Ascent PL Blue is the stock shaft in the women’s model. Callaway’s standard universal grip is stock.
The Paradym irons will be available in 4-iron through gap wedge plus a 51-degree wedge. The Paradym X irons has a similar lineup but with an additional 56-degree wedge available. Callaway didn’t specify otherwise so we presume both sets will be available for lefties and righties.
Both irons will retail for $200 per stick in steel and $215 per stick in graphite. A seven-piece set will retail for $1,400.
Presale starts Jan. 13. Both sets will be available at retail on Feb. 24.
For more information, visit Callaway.com.
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