Callaway’s iron lineup can be a little confusing as the clubs (or variants of the clubs) are not particularly intuitively named.
But don’t worry.
In this guide, we’re going to make it simple to choose the right Callaway irons for your game. We’ll be skipping older models and focusing on the 2023 lineup. But we will give you a bonus tip at the end on how to save on Callaway irons (both current and previous models).
Let’s start with a summary.
At a Glance: Which Callaway Irons Are Right For You?
Really, it’s going to come down to your current skill/handicap, and what you want out of your Callaway irons.
While the naming is a tad tougher to digest than we’d like, it’s really broken down into 3 categories:
- Player’s irons (for low handicappers)
- Game improvement irons (for mid handicappers)
- Super game improvement irons (for high handicappers)
And to generalize, as you move through the range (from player’s to super game improvement), the clubs are going to become easier to hit, and higher launching. But the drawback is you’re going to (in theory) be giving up some distance, and definitely will be sacrificing shot shaping ability.
That’s not to say you can’t shape your shots with the mid-high handicap clubs. You can. But there’s certainly going to be a lot more tech working to keep the ball straight.
In each handicap category we’ve got two choices.
In the player’s irons category we have Paradym, and Rogue ST Pro.
For mid handicappers we have the Rogue ST Max, and the Paradym X.
And for high handicappers we can choose between the Rogue ST Max OS, and Rogue ST Max OS Lite.
Let’s break down the categories. We’ll work back to front, since high handicapper clubs are most in demand. But you can skip to the section that’s right for you.
Note: we’re not going to go big into the tech itself. Suffice to say, all these irons, and indeed most golf clubs these days, are packed with it. And do you really need to know whether or not a club face was designed by AI? (spoiler: most of them are). Instead, the job of this guide is to help you choose which Callaway irons are right for your game.
Callaway Irons For High Handicappers
The aim of super game improvement irons is to get the ball up in the air, and flying as straight as possible.
So it’s no surprise that Callaway’s super game improvement irons — the Rogue ST Max OS and Rogue ST Max OS Lite — have the highest launch and most forgiveness in Callaway’s iron lineup.
What’s the difference between the two?
It pretty much comes down to loft and swing weight. The Max OS Lite have slightly higher lofts across the bag than the Max OS, which means they’re going to launch higher. And they’re also a tough lighter than the regular OS, hence the “Lite” tag we guess.
For comparison a 7 iron OS Max has a loft of 28.5 degrees, while a Max OS Lite 7 iron has a loft of 31.5 degrees. And generally there’s an extra 1 to 3 degrees of loft throughout the set — although the gap wedges and sand wedges are the same.
So which should you choose?
Well, for most high handicappers we’d nudge you towards the regular Max OS. There’s no two ways about it, the added loft on the Max OS Lite is going to take some distance off your shots.
But at the end of the day, if you feel you need all the help you need getting the ball into the air then the OS Lite might be the right clubs for you. And we should also concede that more loft will (generally) mean a straighter ball flight.
It’s your call. Either club is going to give you a ton of help, and is going to make the game much easier when starting out or working to lower your handicap.
Where to buy
Callaway Rogue ST Max OS are available from PGA Tour Superstore and directly from Callaway.
And you can also order OS Lite from PGA Tour Superstore.
Callaway Irons For Mid Handicappers
Mid handicappers get two choices, the ST Max, and the Paradym X.
Let’s first look at the differences between the standard Rogue ST Max and the super game improvement options we covered above.
The ST Max is classed as a game improvement iron. It’s still going to be high launching and forgiving — just not quite as high launching and forgiving as the ST Max OS and ST Max OS Lite.
And the same applies to other “game improvement” features like sole width and the shape (or size) of the clubhead. Basically, everything is a little paired back when compared with the super game improvement options.
But that means, while you’re still getting help, you’re also going to benefit from more distance, plus a greater ability to shape your shots.
And as a mid handicapper this is what you want really. Sure, you’re still capable of the odd chunk, but generally you can get the ball in the air, and somewhat towards the target. At least on a good day…
How do the lofts compare to the super game improvement options?
An ST Max 7 iron is one degree stronger lofted (27.5 degrees) than an ST Max OS 7 iron (28.5 degrees). And it’s a whopping 4 degrees stronger than an ST Max OS Lite 7 iron (31.5 degrees), which is pretty much a full club of a difference. Indeed, the ST Max 7 iron has a lower loft than the OS Lite 6 iron (28 degrees).
So it’s easy to see how you’re going to be able to hit an ST Max further, assuming a similar strike. Callaway say that these are their longest irons ever, and we’ve no reason to doubt them.
Now let’s look at the other choice for mid handicappers, the Paradym X.
The main difference between the Paradym X and the ST Max is that the Paradym X is a forged, “player’s style” looking club. It still offers plenty of forgiveness, but it’s definitely going to have a little more of the wow factor when you take it out your bag.
Both clubs are distance irons, with the lofts being exactly the same across the bag with one exception; a 36 degree 9 iron on the ST Max, and a 36.5 degree 9 iron on the Paradym X.
And of course, the other difference is price. The Paradym X are coming in around $400 more expensive than the ST Max. In reality, you’re paying for that forged look, and a little more bundled tech.
So which is right for you?
Most mid handicappers will probably prefer the confidence inspiring look of the ST Max. But if you prefer a forged design, then the Paradym X is going to give you a similar level of forgiveness — you’re just going to have to trust it.
Where to buy
Callaway Rogue ST Max irons are available from PGA Tour Superstore and directly from Callaway.
And you can also order Paradym X from PGA Tour Superstore and Callaway.
Callaway Irons For Low Handicappers
Once again, we’ve got two options for low handicappers; Callaway Rogue ST Pro and Paradym.
In this case, the Paradym have stronger lofts across the board. Generally there’s 1-2 degrees of difference as you move through the bag. For example, a Paradym 7 iron is set at 29 degrees, while a Rogue ST Pro 7 iron is set at 30.5 degrees.
So with a consistent strike and swing speed you’ll probably get a touch more distance out of Paradym.
And there’s also going to be a little difference in feel. Paradym are engineered for a truly ‘soft’ feeling strike. Of course that’s not going to affect the quality of your shot, but since golf is as much mental as it is mechanical, if that’s a feel that gives you confidence then Paradym might be the clubs for you.
In terms of shot shaping, both irons are going to give you true versatility and control of the golf ball.
So Callaway Paradym probably shades on distance and feel. But if you prefer a higher launch, then you might opt for ST Pro. And if you do, you’ll also be saving a bit of cash as you’ll generally be able to pick up a set for around $200 less than a set of Paradym.
Where to buy
Callaway Rogue ST Pro irons are available from PGA Tour Superstore and directly from Callaway.
And you can also order Paradym from PGA Tour Superstore and Callaway.
Bonus: How To Save On Callaway Irons
If you’re not concerned about buying new, you can actually find most of the latest Callaway irons on the official Callaway pre-owned site. We’d guess that many of these will be ex-display.
And if you don’t need the absolute latest tech, there are some fantastic deals to be had on previous year’s irons, such as the still excellent Mavrik range.
The site is operated by Callaway themselves, so you can be confident you’re buying genuine Callaway irons that are condition checked and certified by Callaway.