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The Story Of Callaway Golf: The Journey From Big Bertha To Paradym Ai-Smoke

Callaway Golf is set for another highly successful year following the launch of its new Paradym Ai Smoke range. Whether producing golf equipment and golf balls to help newcomers and...

Callaway Golf is set for another highly successful year following the launch of its new Paradym Ai Smoke range.

Whether producing golf equipment and golf balls to help newcomers and high-handicap golfers or creating precision products that have helped some of the best male and female players scale the highest peaks in the professional game, Callaway is one of the most recognised brands in golf.

Today, Callaway Golf has an umbrella of other golf-associated companies that have also significantly added to an organisation with a market value of $2.63 billion at the end of 2023.

Join us as we celebrate this powerhouse of a golf company, and we’ll share with you:

  • The Early Years of Callaway Golf
  • Innovations That Built Callaway’s Reputation
  • Callaway Joins the Golf Ball Market
  • What Other Companies Are Part of The Callaway Family?
  • Callaway Stars
  • Callaway in 2024

The Early Years of Callaway Golf

Callaway is a relative newcomer to the golf market, having been formed in 1982 when a successful wine producer called Ely Callaway invested in a golf company called Hickory Sticks USA. Callaway took total control of Hickory Sticks USA in 1983 and changed the name to something we are familiar with today - Callaway Golf.

Success was steady through the mid to late eighties, but things changed rapidly when Callaway launched the Big Bertha driver in 1991. Tour success led to massive growth in the amateur game, with the Big Bertha appealing to all levels of golfers.

The Big Bertha driver formed the launchpad of a company that has created some of the best-performing clubs in the market in the subsequent years leading up to today.

Innovations That Built Callaway’s Reputation

We’ve picked out five key technologies that Callaway golf has introduced us to in the design of its golf clubs.

  • S2H2
  • Titanium Drivers
  • Carbon Composites
  • Jailbreak Technology
  • Ai Design


When the Big Bertha driver was launched, the primary distinctive design that made the club such a success was no neck joining the shaft to the head. Callaway called this design feature S2H2, meaning “Short Straight Hollow Hosel.”

Having the head directly connect to the shaft by removing the neck saved weight, which Callaway could redistribute within the head to widen the sweet spot, making a more forgiving club on off-centre hits. Callaway also introduced the Warbird Sole into the Big Bertha lineup. The Warbird Sole was contoured to aid turf interaction and helped the club head’s aerodynamics.

Titanium Drivers

While the original Big Bertha heads were larger than their contemporaries, the head shape increased further when Callaway launched the Great Big Bertha in 1995.

The increased head size was down to Callaway using a new material for constructing the head - titanium. Titanium was even lighter and stronger than steel, helping to take the performance and size of the golf driver's head to another level. The launch of the Great Big Bertha was important as it set golf driver construction on a new path using titanium as the primary material for head construction that we still see today.

Carbon Composites

2001 was a pivotal year for Callaway. Founder Ely Callaway passed away, and the company launched a new driver, which, although commercially unsuccessful, unwittingly played a part in how the current range is constructed.

The launch of the C4 driver raised eyebrows because the head was constructed entirely from carbon composite materials. Contemporary testing didn’t see any significant performance advantages compared to titanium drivers, and players didn’t like the dull sound at impact.

Although the C4 didn’t reach the heights that Callaway Golf hoped for, the concept of using carbon composite material didn’t die and was successfully reintroduced as the main material in the crown and sole of the 2017 Great Big Bertha Epic driver.

Jailbreak Technology

Debuted in the Callaway Great Big Berth Epic in 2017, Jailbreak technology joined the driver’s sole and crown via two vertical bars sitting behind the face. The design promoted higher ball speeds by amplifying the trampoline effect off the face when making contact with the ball by keeping the crown and sole more stable. Jailbreak was the backbone of Callaway’s driver technology up to the launch of the Paradym Ai Smoke, where jailbreak was replaced by a new, AI-enhanced face design.

Ai Design

Whether talking about the new Paradym Ai Smoke drivers or Ai putter series, Callaway is using artificial intelligence to offer solutions to help golfers who struggle to hit the centre of the face consistently. Callaway has stolen a march on its contemporaries, and it’s fair to assume that Callaway releases for the foreseeable future will be designed with the help of Ai.

Paradym Ai Smoke golf Drivers

Callaway Joins the Golf Ball Market

Callaway launched its first golf ball range in 2000 with the Rule 35 ball, which featured an unusual hexagonal dimple pattern and allowed golfers to choose between a hard or soft version of the ball. Callaway Golf succeeded with their initial releases, but Titleist still dominated the golf ball market, especially in the premium ball market.

Callaway upped its game by introducing the Chrome series of golf balls in 2014, and as we come to 2024, the Chrome family of golf balls has gotten stronger. Designed for different player attributes, the Chrome Soft offers the softest feeling and low spin for players with good clubhead speeds.

The Chrome Soft is joined by the new Chrome Soft Tour and Chrome Tour X balls for 2024. The Chrome Soft is a low-spin, medium-feel golf ball, while the Tour X has a harder feel, creating a little more spin.

Callaway is cutting more into Titleist’s domination of the worldwide golf ball market. Sales of Callaway golf balls have tripled between 2013 and 2021, taking its share value to over 20% of all golf ball sales worldwide.

What Other Companies Are Part of The Callaway Family?

There are several noteworthy companies and individuals that make up the overall Callaway family, which are:

  • Odyssey Putters
  • Roger Cleveland
  • Toulon Design Putters


Callaway purchased Odyssey putters in 1997 for $130 million and quickly engrained and improved the insert technology Odyssey had been developing. As the union blossomed, a putter legend was created and launched in 2001, the White Hot 2-Ball putter.

The White Hot 2-Ball featured a unique alignment aid in the mallet design. Based on the same size and circumference of a golf ball, two white disks were placed behind the face to provide a seamless link from the disks to the golf ball. Since its launch, the 2-Ball has gone through many different iterations, but it still forms the backbone of a putter lineup that has claimed over 800 professional wins worldwide.

Callaway Odyssey Ai One Golf Putter

Roger Cleveland

Roger Cleveland’s expertise in wedge design has made Callaway’s wedges highly versatile, offering differing bounces and grinds as well as different finishes.

The current Jaws wedge line-up promotes high levels of spin through a new rough face design and improved groove pattern featuring micro-grooves to create impressive stopping performance on all types of shots.

Callaway Jaws Golf Wedges

Toulon Design Putters

Joining the Callaway family in 2016, many people wondered why Callaway would want another putter company when they already had such a successful relationship with Odyssey. While Odyssey putters feature inserts, Toulon Design putters have precision-milled faces designed to be the best in the world.

Sharing some technology with their Odyssey cousins, such as Strokelab shafts and head designs, the Toulon Design putters offer a different feel and price point than Odyssey putters, marking the distinction between the two brands.

Callaway Stars

Callaway has enjoyed success around the globe with its variety of tour stars. Phil Mickelson is the most successful Callaway staff player in the men’s game. He captured five of his six major championships as a Callaway staff player, followed by Jon Rahm, who won two major championships with Callaway. Arguably, the most successful Callaway staff player is Annika Sorenstam, with ten major titles amongst eighty-nine worldwide wins.

Exciting new talent in the form of Min Woo Lee, Sam Burns, Xander Schauffele, and the Hjoogard twins are leading Callaway’s next charge in the professional ranks with a host of stars using Callaway and Odyssey products as free agents to strengthen the brand further.

Callaway in 2024

Focusing on what’s new for 2024, Callaway has followed up on the success of the Paradym family of woods in 2023 with the launch of the Paradym Ai Smoke family. The Ai Smoke drivers take the performance of the 2023 Paradym drivers further by using a carbon chassis stretching from the crown into the sole, which is 15% lighter than the Paradym’s to help increase club head speed.

The big story for Ai Smoke is the new face created with AI and supercomputers to create what Callaway calls micro deflection points across the face. These micro deflection points act as mini sweet spots around the heel and toe of the face to maintain ball speeds and launch angles similar to if the shot had been struck out the centre of the face.

Callaway is blending cutting-edge technology with recording over 250,000 driver shots from all levels of amateur golfers to understand where they hit the ball across the face. We see more forgiveness across the face with the Ai Smoke range, even in the low-spinning Triple Diamond head, to help golfers who don’t always hit it out the middle.

Callaway has also added a new driver to the 2024 Paradym Ai Smoke lineup with the Max Fast. Principally designed for golfers who sit at the lower end of the clubhead speed spectrum, the Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast Golf Driver creates improved launch and spin for golfers.

Along with the drivers, we also see new AI Smoke fairway woods, hybrids, and irons. The Ai Smoke irons are hollow-head constructions and benefit from using Ai to create a face that prioritises stability and forgiveness from heel to toe, tightening up shot dispersion, especially in the longer irons.

There are three models in the Ai Smoke iron lineup geared around how fast you swing the club. The Ai Smoke is for golfers with medium swing speeds, the Ai Smoke Max Fast helps players with the slowest swing speeds, and the Ai Smoke HL helps players optimise their launch figures. The Ai Smoke irons join a strong iron lineup for Callaway, which includes the new Callaway Apex irons launched in late 2023.

The Apex range is aimed at better players with a forged blade and forged player’s cavity blade. The Apex Pro features a hollow head construction marrying a forged face to a stainless steel back to blend an exceptional feel with performance.

Callaway also has a strong lineup in the wedge department this year with the Roger Cleveland designed Jaws range featuring a variety of finishes, grinds and bounces for the ultimate performance and playability around the greens.

The Ai-ONE Milled series tops Odyssey’s lineup for 2024. Here, we see Ai used to create contours within a titanium insert that helps maintain consistent ball speed on off-centre hits. The AI-enhanced insert sits within heads that are 100% milled to create the ultimate look and feel to match the putter’s performance.

The Ai-One putter line features technology similar to that used in the Milled series of putters, the difference being that the insert is coated in urethane and features grooves to help create a better role off the face.

Callaway has long been at the sharp end of producing outstanding golf equipment that helps every level of player, from beginner to tour professional. They have a tradition of innovating the golf market with the use of new materials, such as titanium and carbon composites, through embracing artificial intelligence to enhance the performance of its clubs from driver to putter. Adding names such as Odyssey, Toulon Design, and Roger Cleveland to the Callaway family brings a richness of expertise and ideology to enhance how golf is played for all levels of golfers.

Callaway Golf at Nine by Nine Golf

We’ve fitted many golfers into Callaway products and are delighted to offer an extensive array of the 2024 Callaway range at Nine by Nine Golf.

Whether you are in the market for a new driver or fairway wood and want to try the new Paradym Ai Smoke range or change your irons, book a custom-fitting session with us to ensure you get fitted for the correct specifications to enhance your game.

You can also view our Callaway range through the Nine by Nine Golf website, and if you know what you are looking for, use our customisation options to build and order your ideal Callaway product.

Callaway Golf at Nine by Nine Golf

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