Callaway Drivers: How to ChoosePublished on 09/13/2023 · 13 min readLearn the key factors for choosing the right Callaway driver to enhance your golf game. Make an informed decision with the tips in this guide!
Tl;dr Each year, golf driver manufacturers create new technological advancements to improve distance and accuracy, making for a crowded and confusing marketplace. If you are looking for a trusted brand that has been on the cutting edge of driver technology for decades, check out Callaway.
Many of the world’s best, including Masters champion Jon Rahm, trust Callaway to boost their distance off the tee, and Callaway offers a driver model designed for each skill level.
Finding the right Callaway driver for your swing is essential to lowering your scores. Choosing the right Callaway driver comes down to the following factors:
- Swing speed (slow or fast)
- Your natural ball flight (slice or hook)
- Your overall skill level (high handicap or low handicap)
All Callaway drivers come in various lofts and shaft stiffness to align with a golfer’s swing, and each model driver has technology specifically geared to match their game.
I have been playing golf for as long as I can remember and have held various industry positions for over 15 years, most recently as the Caddiemaster at the Kiawah Island Club. In that time, I have developed a great understanding of golf equipment and have had the opportunity to test various Callaway drivers. This article outlines the elements to consider when choosing the right Callaway driver.
What Is a Callaway Driver?
Callaway Golf is one of the leading golf club manufacturers on the market today. They manufacture golf wedges, hybrids, irons, fairway woods, balls, clothing, and drivers. Callaway is most famous for creating the Callaway Big Bertha, one of the most iconic drivers in the history of golf.
Today’s Callaway drivers boast elements that aim to correct various swing inadequacies. No matter your skill level, there is a Callaway driver designed for you.
What to Consider When Buying a Callaway Driver
1. What is your swing speed?
Some Callaway drivers are designed for a specific swing speed. I group swing speeds into three main categories: sub 90mph (slow), 90-99mph (medium), and 100mph+ (high). Most tour players sit between 110-115mph with their driver. Figure out where you reside. If you are a beginner or senior, you are most likely toward the lower end.
If you sit toward the lower end of the swing speed scale, you should ensure that your driver shaft is flexible: Regular or Senior Flex. Pair that with a higher lofted driver head of 10° or more to start off on the right foot.
If your swing speed is in the middle of the swing speed scale, pair a regular or stiff shaft with a driver head loft of 10° or less. As your swing speed increases over time, you will need a stiffer shaft.
A stiff or extra-stiff shaft is needed to maximize the potential for athletic and heavy hitters with great swing speed. Traditionally, a lower lofted driver head between 7-9° is optimal for high swing speeds. Still, I have found that as you increase swing speed and overall talent, driver loft becomes more about preference.
2. What is your natural ball flight?
Your natural ball flight refers to the direction in which your golf ball travels most often. If most of your drives start out left and end up right of the fairway, your natural shot shape is considered a slice. Conversely, if your tee ball typically starts right and ends up left, you are playing a hook.
For most of the world battling a slice, you need a driver designed to combat that spin on impact. You need a driver with a built-in draw, or “draw bias.”
Draw bias means that the driver was constructed to help move the ball right to left, the opposite of a slice. Drivers with draw bias built in are weighted appropriately to promote a draw. The center of gravity is positioned closer to the shaft, making it easier to square the clubface at impact. Draw bias drivers are also set up with the clubface closed at address so the ball starts further left at impact.
If you predominantly play a draw off the tee, you will want to avoid any driver model with draw bias. A driver with this technology will lead you down a path you do not want to go—an increased hook you cannot control.
3. What is your skill level?
Whether you are a beginner, mid-level handicap, or scratch player, Callaway has a driver model to meet your needs. While a beginner is most likely to be looking for a driver to help them get the ball in the air faster off the tee box, a touring pro might benefit most from a driver that has a low launch and allows them to flight the ball down with lower spin for more roll.
Chances are, if you are a beginner player, you do not find the center of the clubface with every swing. In fact, you probably catch more balls on the toe or heel than you do in the center. For this reason, beginners need a driver with maximum forgiveness so that when contact is imperfect, the ball still performs.
As your game improves and contact becomes more consistent, you will be able to transition to a driver model that gives you more of an ability to gain maximum distance, which you will have to sacrifice some forgiveness for. The longest-driver models on the market today are typically not the most forgiving.
What Are the Different Types of Callaway Drivers?
With many different swing tendencies to account for, Callaway created various driver models to assist. In this section, I review the best new Callaway drivers and the benefits that each provides.
The Paradym is the original driver in the latest series offered by Callaway. It is equipped with the most up-to-date technology, including Jailbreak for stability and an artificial intelligence-optimized face for greater ball speeds. Designed for players of varying skill levels, the original Paradym produces a neutral ball flight.
- The large sweet spot is designed for extreme forgiveness.
- It has a 15g sliding weight to adjust for your optimum ball flight.
Keep in Mind
- For a scratch or low handicap player, Callaway offers a different version of the Paradym that is tour-ready.
Callaway’s latest anti-slice driver has been deemed the Paradym X. Different than the original Paradym, the X is geared towards the higher handicapper, beginner, or any player looking to correct a slice with max forgiveness.
- Draw-biased design helps any player looking to correct a slice.
- Maximum forgiveness across the clubface to produce quality mishits and higher launch.
Keep in Mind
- If you play a draw or hook as your natural ball flight, the Paradym X is not for you as it will increase this tendency.
- There is no sliding weight for adjustability. A 5g weight is stationary and located towards the back of the club to promote high launch.
The Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond is designed for scratch to low-handicap players and is becoming a popular driver on the PGA Tour. The Triple Diamond produces the lowest spin and launch for players who can work the ball both ways.
- The longest and most accurate Paradym when struck on center.
- It has the highest workability for players who can move the ball both ways.
Keep in Mind
- At 450cc, the Triple Diamond has a smaller clubhead than the other Paradyms.
- This tour-ready driver is designed for those who rarely strike the ball off-center. When struck off center, the Triple Diamond is less forgiving than the other Paradyms.
Callaway had the beginner and high handicappers in mind when they created the Rogue ST Max D Driver. With draw bias built in, the Max D is equipped to fight a slice and keep the golf ball on line and in play off the tee.
- Draw bias design helps anyone fighting a slice.
- Extremely forgiving clubface to guard against mishits.
Keep in Mind
- The Rogue model is older than the Paradym and does not have all of the same technology.
The original Callaway Mavrik’s combination of forgiveness, distance, and a slight draw bias makes it a great option for a beginner or anyone looking to correct a slice.
- At a more affordable price compared to other driver options, the Mavrik is the best value for a player just starting out.
- Suitable for all skill levels.
Keep in Mind
- The Mavrik has a new age sound different from traditional drivers at impact.
The Big Bertha suite of drivers has stood the test of time. The latest Great Big Bertha was designed to be ultra-light for anyone attempting to increase swing speed and increase distance.
- Weighing in at a minimum of 30 grams less than a tour-ready driver, the Great Big Bertha really allows you to grip it and rip it.
- Designed with maximum playability for all skill levels, it caters mostly to those struggling with distance and getting through the golf ball.
Keep in Mind
- If you do not struggle with swing speed, this driver may feel too light, resulting in a hook.
Features to Look for in Callaway Drivers
Every new Callaway driver combines the latest Jailbreak technology with artificial intelligence to design the clubface for faster ball speeds. Here are a few features you should look for when choosing the right Callaway driver.
- Draw Bias: If a driver has draw bias built in, it was designed to promote a draw and conflict a fade. If you are a slicer of the golf ball and want to bring your ball flight closer to the center, you need a driver model with draw bias. Conversely, if your natural ball flight is already a draw, you will want to avoid a draw bias driver, as it will increase your hook potentially to the point that you lose control.
- Weighting: All Callaway drivers have a weighting system. Some of the weights on certain models are stationary; on others, the weight is adjustable. If you are looking to dial in your ball flight one way or another and have the game to do so, you will want a driver with a sliding weight so that you can adjust. If you are a beginner looking to make consistent contact, you don’t necessarily need an adjustable weight. You will want a model where the weight is stationary, positioned at the back of the club to promote a high launch.
- Adjustability: Various Callaway drivers can adjust the clubhead's loft or lie angle, affecting how the ball performs at impact and through the air. These adjustments are made at the club's hosel, where the shaft meets the clubhead. Having a driver able to adjust loft and lie angle will give you the best chance to match your driver with your swing, leading to more consistent ball striking and lower scores.
- Shaft Flex: Each Callaway driver offers different shaft flexes. It is paramount that the shaft flex in your driver matches your swing speed. Senior Flex, Regular Flex, Stiff Flex, and Extra Stiff Flex are all available options for most Callaway drivers. As your swing speed increases, you need a stiffer shaft.
How to Choose the Right Callaway Driver for You
Deciding to pull the trigger on a new driver isn’t typically easy. Many factors are in play, but now that you understand Callaway drivers, it is time to figure out which one is right for you. Below, I describe three types of players and the Callaway driver that is best for them.
Jimmy: Beginner Golfer Fighting a Slice
Jimmy took up the game this year for the first time. He has been to the driving range more than a handful of times but has only played a few full rounds. He aims to build swing speed to increase distance off the tee and straighten out the wicked slice he can’t control.
Features Jimmy should look for:
- A draw bias driver that is designed specifically to cure a slice
- Stationary back weight for maximum forgiveness across the clubface
- A driver model that offers a regular flex shaft and 10-12° of loft
Callaway drivers to consider:
- Callaway Rogue ST Max D: The “D” stands for “draw,” as it was designed to correct a slice with high launch and max forgiveness.
- Callaway Great Big Bertha: The newest version of the classic Great Big Bertha is extremely lightweight to increase swing speed.
- Callaway Paradym X: The latest draw-biased Callaway offering with the most up-to-date technology throughout.
Buster: 11 Handicap Trying to Break 80
Buster has been playing golf for years and has developed his game to where he typically shoots in the mid-80s on difficult golf courses. Consistency off the tee is his weak point, and while he has the swing speed necessary for a tour-ready driver, his ball striking is not there yet. He aims to increase distance and accuracy off the tee while eliminating that foul ball or two per round that keeps his score from breaking into the 70s.
Features Buster should look for:
- Slide weighting
- Driver model offering a stiff shaft and 8-10° of loft
- Adjustable lie angle
Callaway drivers to consider:
- Callaway Paradym: The latest Callaway technology with slide weight for adjustability and mid-high launch.
- Callaway Mavrik: The best value option with slight draw bias and a forgiving clubface for maximum distance on mishits.
Mark: Scratch Player
Mark is a consistent player that draws the ball and shoots around even par. He has high swing speed and consistent ball striking, and his game travels well from course to course. His goal is to start hitting every fairway without sacrificing distance.
Features Mark should look for:
- Neutral ball flight bias (avoid draw bias)
- Adjustable weighting
- Driver model with 7-9° of loft and stiff or extra stiff shaft
Callaway drivers to consider:
- Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond: The latest tour-ready Callaway driver with maximum workability, low spin, adjustable weighting, and the longest distance off the tee when struck on center.
- Callaway Paradym: The latest technology combined with a slightly larger clubhead than the Triple Diamond and added forgiveness when struck off center.
Find the Best Callaway Driver for You
In conclusion, various Callaway drivers on the market today are designed to meet the specific needs of players from different skill levels. Each driver model has pros and cons depending on your game, and I hope this guide makes it easier to decide where you stand. You need a driver designed to combat your swing flaws to maximize your abilities and lower your scores.
If you need help finding the right Callaway driver for your game, reach out to a Curated Golf Expert for free, personalized advice.