Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver | First Look

Must read

Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver is a 340cc offering that falls between the driver and 3-wood.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

For most amateur golfers, finding the fairway off the tee greatly reduces the chances of a big number. That’s assuming they can consistently find the short grass in the first place. Boasting the longest length of any club in the bag, the driver has the most distance potential — provided you can square up the face at impact.

Golfers who consistently struggle with wild, inconsistent misses tend to opt for something shorter when the driver misbehaves. In most cases, the secondary option is a 3-wood. The shorter shaft makes it easier to control, but the tradeoff is a smaller head in the 170cc range that isn’t nearly as forgiving as the 460cc driver head. Sacrifices must be made.

Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver
Callaway’s Ai Smart Face optimizes performance using swing dynamics from actual golfers.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Then along came the “Mini Driver” to shake things up. Initially introduced by Callaway in the form of the X Hot 3Deep, the design has evolved over the years into a club that deserves serious consideration.

“What we’ve seen from a Tour aspect is that Tour players are rarely hitting their 3-woods into greens as approach shots,” said Nick Yontz, Callaway’s advanced R&D manager. “The 3-wood has become nearly a tee-only club, so situationally I think we’re going to see Tour players lean into this at certain golf courses and certain setups as a club that they can use to hit more fairways.


Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver

$449.99

Customize your Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver at Fairway Jockey.


“… At the amateur level, you’re going to find that the club is easier to swing and easier to hit straighter, because of that shorter shaft being able to square it up and control it a little bit more. And then at the same time you might be a player who struggles to hit their 3-wood with such a small head size, whereas the larger 340cc volume on this head does create more forgiveness compared to your current 3-wood off the tee.”

Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver
The 340cc head fall right between a driver and fairway wood, in terms of size and forgiveness.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Callaway’s Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver — yes, it’s a mouthful — is the newest “Mini” to enter the marketplace. At 340cc, the 340 Mini Driver features a shorter 43.75-inch shaft for additional control off the tee compared to a traditional driver. The head isn’t as generous as a driver, but it’s still double the size of a 171cc Paradym Ai Smoke 3-wood.

Taking a page from the Paradym Ai Smoke driver, the 340 Mini Driver has tiny micro deflections situated all over the titanium Ai Smart Face. Callaway defines the “micro deflections” as a way to control localized flexure at impact. In the past, the equipment manufacturer simply asked its supercomputer to improve ball speed on mishits; however, the inclusion of small dimples on the face — which cannot be seen — serves to counter how the face usually flexes at impact on certain mishits and influence launch/spin conditions.

Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver
The 4-gram front weight and 12-gram back weight can be flipped to lower launch and spin.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

While the face delivers “driver-like action,” the weight setup is decidedly fairway wood-esque. The heavier 12-gram weight is located in the back of the head to induce a higher launch and spin, but if golfers want to close the gap between the Mini Driver and their driver, they only need to reposition the 12-gram weight closer to the face and throw the 4-gram in the rear location to produce lower launch and spin characteristics.

Callaway’s Paradym Ai Smoke Ti 340 Mini Driver ($449.99) comes in two lofts (11.5 and 13.5 degrees) and can be custom-ordered through Fairway Jockey with a variety of different shafts.

Check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast for more on the latest gear news and information.

JWall

Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at jonathan.wall@golf.com.

Latest article