For any golfer without an unlimited budget (pretty much all of us, sadly) purchasing a new set of irons is a huge decision.
Get it right and that investment could bring you good times for many years ahead.
Whether you’re a beginner looking to invest in your first set or an experienced golfer seeking an upgrade, finding the perfect irons can make a world of difference in your performance on the course.
But which are better?
In summary, the Callaway Paradym irons are great for players who struggle to get the ball airborne, either through lack of swing speed or poor swing mechanics. The TaylorMade Stealth irons still offer heaps of forgiveness, but will give you a little more distance and workability – making them better for mid-to-low handicappers.
Having tested both sets on the driving range and on course, I’ll share my insights into their appearances and performance.
Hopefully this will help you make an informed decision about which irons are best suited for your game if you’re in the market for an upgrade, or even your very first ‘real’ iron set.
Let’s dive straight in.
Table of contents
The Callaway Paradym Irons
At first glance, the Callaway Paradym irons promote an air of confidence with their generous, thick topline.
This feature instils a sense of reassurance, making them particularly appealing to golfers who seek visual comfort and ease at address and would shudder at the thought of a thin looking golf club.
While they maintain a compact design, they still offer a sense of forgiveness, making them approachable for higher handicap players who need some help.
The hollow clubhead construction of the Paradym irons further emphasizes forgiveness and playability. Mishits are less punishing, meaning holes weren’t written off due to one case of poor contact.
Additionally, the minimal offset contributes to a clean and sleek look, which may resonate with golfers who appreciate a more traditional appearance.
I personally don’t love big, chunky irons, and the Paradym irons still looked close enough to a ‘players iron’ that I certainly would feel proud to show them off in my bag.
Callaway has given the Paradym irons a mirror chrome finish that offers a real elegance to them. Not only do they perform well, but they look stunning in the bag and at address.
The blue finish on the back of the clubhead adds a nice visual touch, making them stand out from the crowd without being overly garish.
In terms of loft, the Callaway Paradym irons are closer to traditional values for golfers who appreciate a more ‘normal’ loft configuration (whatever that is these days with the rise of ultra-strong lofted clubs).
For instance, the 7-iron boasts a loft of 29 degrees, which is definitely on the stronger side, but not as significantly so as many of their game improvement iron counterparts.
While the distance provided by the Paradym irons is somewhat average compared to other sets, the consistent ball flight was a definite plus.
However, distance is always something to be wary of with these style irons as often ‘longer’ game improvement irons are only really achieving this through bending down the loft, rather than any actually technological advances.
When trying these irons out I felt confident that my approach shots would travel fairly consistent distance and the grouping observed was pretty sound.
Upon impact, the Callaway Paradym irons produce a distinctive sound – louder and higher pitched.
This feedback could be appealing to some golfers, as it provided a satisfying auditory cue for each strike.
Furthermore, the Callaway Paradym irons tend to have a lower spin rate compared to other similar irons.
This characteristic may help minimize unwanted sidespin, but might make it more difficult to hold greens, even with the higher trajectory they seemed to provide.
Overall, the Callaway Paradym irons are an excellent choice for golfers seeking a blend of forgiveness, consistent performance, and higher launch.
The TaylorMade Stealth Irons
The TaylorMade Stealth irons boast some unique characteristics that set them apart visually.
The irons feature a fair amount of offset, which can be appealing to golfers looking to square the clubface more easily at impact.
This offset helps reduce the chances of slicing shots, promoting straighter ball flights or possibly even a draw.
The rounded topline of the TaylorMade Stealth irons will appeal to golfers who appreciate clubs with a more classic appearance while still being supportive enough to offer the confidence that a poor strike won’t go ringing through your hands.
Coupled with the offset, this feature provides a sense of confidence at address, making them an approachable iron set for various skill levels, particularly higher handicappers.
When it comes to sound, the feedback upon impact could be described as firm and slightly clicky, delivering a pleasing yet explosive sound.
To enhance the overall feel and sound, TaylorMade has incorporated an echo dampening system, although I couldn’t really differentiate anything of not between this and the Paradym irons.
TaylorMade are renowned for producing irons that deliver a great combination of distance and performance, and the Stealth irons are no exception.
The combination of technology and design in these irons results in excellent ball speed off the clubface, translating into longer shots that will get up into the air at slower swing speeds.
These irons also excel in delivering consistent ball flight, and much like the Paradym irons, I was pretty pleased with my grouping of shots with the Stealths.
Whether you find yourself in the rough or a bare patch, these irons were great at getting through the ground on impact to still produce solid shots in less than ideal lie situations.
The TaylorMade Stealth irons are particularly suitable for golfers who enjoy shaping shots and working the ball, something that may not appeal to the higher handicap golfer, but more so those moving up into single figures that still don’t have full confidence in playing a blade or players iron.
The combination of the high launching trajectory and what I’d describe as mid-range offset still meant it was doable to draw or fade shots, giving you greater control over your ball flight.
Around the greens, the TaylorMade Stealth irons actually shine as well.
I found them excellent for executing bump and run chip shots, a technique often favored by the type of golfers these irons will appeal to.
The sole design gave me real confidence to make clean contact, so if you don’t feel great about using excessive loft from tight lies around the greens, the Stealth irons actually bring this into consideration for purchase.
If you’re a golfer who prioritizes distance, control, and versatility, the TaylorMade Stealth irons are well worth further exploration.
They cater to players seeking maximum performance in both long and short shots, with the added advantage of their sole technology for handling various lies on the course.
Who do the Callaway Paradym and TaylorMade Stealth irons suit most?
Callaway Paradym (high handicappers)
The Callaway Paradym irons are particularly well-suited for higher handicap golfers or players looking for more forgiveness and playability in their game. The combination of a generous topline and hollow clubhead construction instills confidence and makes them forgiving on mishits.
However, many golfers will be put off by the minimal offset, particularly those struggling with a slice.
Additionally, the closer-to-traditional loft values (while still strong) ensure a more familiar feel for golfers who prefer a classic setup.
These irons can benefit golfers looking to improve their launch and reduce spin for more consistent shots while ultimately still wanting to game an iron with a classic look.
TaylorMade Stealth (mid-to-low handicappers)
On the other hand, the TaylorMade Stealth irons are an excellent fit for golfers seeking maximum distance and ball speed in a club that offers forgiveness. The combination of offset and a rounded topline instills confidence, while the high launching trajectory ensures adequate carry distances.
With their versatility in shot shaping and exceptional performance in both good and bad lies, these irons are particularly well-suited for players wanting a forgiving iron that still offers them shot-shaping flexibility.
So, mid-to-low handicap players will certainly benefit just fine from these irons.
The ability to execute bump and run chip shots with ease is an added advantage for those seeking a well-rounded short game.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which irons have better forgiveness: Callaway Paradym or TaylorMade Stealth?
Both Callaway Paradym and TaylorMade Stealth irons offer a good level of forgiveness suited for different types of golfers.
The Callaway Paradym irons feature an AI Designed Forged Face made from urethane microspheres that enhances feel and ball speed across the clubface, while TaylorMade Stealth irons use new Cap Back technology for added forgiveness on shots hit low on the face.
The choice between them ultimately depends on your personal preference and playing style.
How do the performance features of Callaway Paradym and TaylorMade Stealth irons compare?
Callaway Paradym irons utilize AI Designed Forged Face built from urethane microspheres that maximize ball speed across the face for increased distance.
The Speed Frame construction also gives the clubhead extra support for added forgiveness.
TaylorMade Stealth irons employ Cap Back Design and Echo Dampening technology to absorb vibrations, improve forgiveness and maximise distance.
How do the shaft options of the Callaway Paradym and TaylorMade Stealth irons differ?
The TaylorMade Stealth irons are available in the following shafts: KBS Max 85 MT Steel or Fujikura Ventus Red Graphite. They range from senior, regular and stiff in terms of stiffness.
The Callaway Paradym irons are available in the following shafts: Aldilda Ascent PL Blue HB/IR Graphite, True Temper Elevate 95 MPH Steel, Project X Hzrdus Gen 4 Silver 65 or Project X Hzrdus Gen 4 Silver 65. They range from senior, regular and stiff in terms of stiffness.
Overall, each iron set has its strengths, and choosing the right one ultimately depends on your individual preferences and playing style.
The Callaway Paradym irons shine with their generous, thick topline and hollow clubhead, providing forgiveness and confidence at address.
These irons are well-suited for higher handicap golfers or players looking to enhance their launch and for more consistent, softer landing shots.
With its mirror chrome finish and traditional loft values, the Paradym irons appeal to golfers who appreciate a classic and elegant appearance.
On the other hand, the TaylorMade Stealth irons impress with their distance, ball speed, and high launching trajectory.
The offset and rounded topline instill visual confidence, while the versatile sole technology makes them forgiving in various lies on the course.
While both irons are perfect for higher handicappers seeking improvement in their game, I felt like the Callaway Paradym irons just nailed the balance between looks, feel and forgiveness.
They were long enough, forgiving enough and offered a nice trajectory while looking sleek and traditional enough that they wouldn’t look out of place in anyone’s bag, high or low handicap.
So, whether you’re a beginner looking to invest in your first set of irons or an experienced golfer seeking an upgrade, both the Callaway Paradym and TaylorMade Stealth irons are worth a trial and may be a great fit for your bag.
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