Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fairway Wood Review

GolfMagic tests out the brand new Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max fairway wood.

Johnny Percival's picture
Thu, 4 Jan 2024
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fairway Wood

Need To Know

One of the longest fairway woods of 2024, very easy to hit off the tee and fairway, Ai Smart Face provides excellent forgiveness
Sole design might not suit the eye of a traditional golfer
Our score:
PRICE: £379.00 YEAR: from 2024

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fairway Wood: Key Features

  • Ai Smart Face: designed to optimise launch and spin, creating sweet spots across the face
  • Stronger Carbon Chassis: 24g of total weight has been repositioned throughout the head. 12g is placed low-forward to enhance launch and spin, and 12g rearward for increased forgiveness
  • Tungsten Speed Cartridge: allows weight to be pushed low and forward to lower the CG for increased distance 
  • Adjustable Hosel: gives players additional control to dial in loft and shot shape.

Callaway has gone all in on artificial intelligence this year and has opted to utilise much of the same innovative technology we have seen from its drivers; it is in Fairway Woods, too. 

The engineers at Callaway have used machine learning to analyse swing data from thousands of players to create a new smart face with a variety of sweet spots across the face, enabling the club to provide improved forgiveness from wayward strikes.

To help provide a more stable launch and neutral flight, Callaway has also incorporated a tungsten speed cartridge that we have seen previously in the 2023 Paradym range to push the centre of gravity lower and further forward for increased distance.

By reducing the weight of the carbon chassis, weight has also been redistributed throughout the head to produce ideal spin rates and increased forgiveness. 

The range features four models: the Max, Max D, Max Speed and Triple Diamond. In this review, we will be putting the Max through its paces.

Aimed to appeal to a broad range of golfers, the Max is designed to provide a neutral ball flight and consistent launch.

To see how it performed, we tested it at the beautiful La Hacienda golf course in Spain before digging into the data at Custom Golf Works in Woking with the use of a GC Quad launch monitor. 

Player Level

Much like the Paradym Ai Smoke Max driver, this model of fairway wood is designed to appeal to a very broad range of golfers who want to achieve a neutral ball flight and consistent launch.
Due to the level of forgiveness on offer, the Ai Smoke Max fairway woods could be used by players with a handicap ranging from 0-20

 

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fairway Wood: Looks and Feel

Across the Paradym Ai Smoke range, Callaway has chosen a marbled carbon design to take centre stage on its woods and drivers. The slightly unusual-looking finish has clearly taken inspiration from the smoke name, and while we can see it potentially receiving a mixed reaction amongst golfers, we have to commend Callaway for thinking outside the box with its choice. 

The sole also features two components with a dark metallic finish that surrounds the perimeter of the head, which, when combined with the electric blue detailing featured on the weights and branding, makes the overall look of these clubs very modern. 

The crown of the club has a mixed material design that is dominated by a carbon fibre body with a solid panel hugging the area near the face. This design is very similar to that of the 2023 Paradym, and it's one that looks fantastic sat behind the ball. 

If we could change one thing, we would have done away with the Ai Smoke branding near the hosel, but other than that, the crown is one of the best on the market. 

In terms of profile, the head is quite shallow and sits flush to the ground, which we absolutely love. The loft of the head is also clearly visible, thanks to the white grooves on the face, a feature that we particularly enjoyed as it fills you with confidence that you will be able to launch the ball easily, a feeling we don't typically experience when using fairway woods, especially from the fairway.

Much like the Max driver, this fairway wood also looks quite closed when sat behind the ball. While this is by no means a negative, if you like a more open face at address, it may take some getting used to. 

Overall, the shape and design of the Max fairway wood is very solid, and while it may divide opinion, it gets a big thumbs up from us. 

When it comes to feel, few brands excel quite like Callaway, and the American golfing powerhouse has delivered once more with the Paradym Ai Smoke range. 

From across the face, these fairway woods produce a crisp feel at impact that is hard to rival. Callaway is one of the most dominant brands in golf for a reason: it makes clubs that feel and perform beautifully. 

We hit countless shots with the Max 3-wood, and it delivered a solid and stable sensation time and time again. Thanks to the lower CG produced by the Tungsten speed cartridge, the face also felt incredibly hot, and that sensation was appropriately reflected in the distance numbers we received during testing. 

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fairway Wood: Performance and Forgiveness

While distance isn't everything, it's certainly near the top of the priority list when it comes to fairway woods, and the Paradym Ai Smoke Max is, without a doubt, one of the longest on the market in 2024. 

With only one other fairway wood producing greater distance numbers so far, the Max is one of the undisputed heavy hitters, but it delivers much more than just distance. 

Thanks to the Ai Smart Face, we found that even on off-centre hits, ball speed and dispersion remained very consistent, which pays testament to the promises the brand has made. 

Put up against its competitors, the Max was also the lowest-spinning model, making it an excellent choice for golfers with swing speeds of 100 mph and over. 

While the triple diamond is the lowest spinning model in the range, the Max also produced optimal spin rates for us that allowed us to launch the ball high while still maintaining distance—a winning combination. 

We also found the Max very workable, and despite it launching high, we were able to manipulate our flight with ease, which came in very handy when trying to keep the ball low and out of the wind. 

Be it off the tee or the fairway, the Max was also very easy to hit. While that may sound a little silly, many golfers struggle to strike their fairway woods cleanly from the fairway (us included); however, we found the sole design of the Max provided excellent turf interaction, which prevented the club from digging into the ground.  

All in all, the Paradym Ai Smoke Max is a tremendous fairway wood that delivers best-in-class distance and forgiveness. 

Should you buy the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fairway Wood?

If you want to upgrade your fairway woods in 2024 and add distance to your game, then the Paradym Ai Smoke Max would be an excellent choice. 

Incredibly easy to launch and offering bags of forgiveness, this new range of fairway woods delivers outstanding performance across the board. 

While the smokey camo design might not be to everyone's taste, the numbers don't lie; this is definitely one of the fairway woods to beat in 2024. 

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