This piece of gear was crucial to Xander Schauffele’s PGA Championship win

callaway paradym ai smoke triple diamond driver

Xander Schauffele only missed 15 fairways all week at Valhalla, and this club helped power him to his first major championship win.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

With a birdie on the final hole of regulation, Xander Schauffele won the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club to secure his first major title and lose one of the least-appreciated titles in pro golf — best player without a major.

Schauffele won with supreme ball-striking, a sharp short game and a hot putter, but the one club that has helped redefine his game over the 2024 season and at the PGA Championship was his driver, which is a Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond with a Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana PD 70TX shaft.

Schauffele’s driving stats

With Valhalla Golf Club playing long and soft, distance played a massive factor in the championship, and Schauffele’s driving stood up to the test by ranking 3rd in strokes gained off the tee and 15th in driving distance. This gave him ample chances to approach greens from favorable positions and allowed him to rank first in greens in regulation (he was also 2nd in strokes gained approach).

Since 2021 Schauffele has increased his average clubhead speed from 119.8 mph (which ranked 24th) to 123.1 mph this season, putting him in the top 10 on the PGA Tour in 2024. This might not seem like much, but every extra mile per hour is worth up to 2.7 yards, and that means close to an extra 10 less yards on average into every hole that requires a driver off the tee.

It is these small advantages that add up over time. Schauffele is gaining .359 shots off the tee per round in 2024 vs. 2022, which over a four-round tournament is about 1.4 shots on the field.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond Custom Driver

Ai SMOKE TD DRIVER The new Paradym Ai Smoke driver represents a quantum leap forward in Callaway’s Ai journey. This new family of drivers feature the most sophisticated driver face in Callaway history, the Ai Smart Face. World’s First Ai Smart Face™ The all-new Ai Smart Face optimizes driver performance using swing dynamics from thousands of real golfers. This promotes optimal launch conditions and tight downrange dispersion. Workable Shape for Better Players Shaped with a neutral-to-fade biased face progression and a compact overall head size, Triple Diamond model will suit better players looking for workability off the tee. For players looking to increase ball speed and lower spin, a 14g weight can easily be repositioned from the rear to the front.
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Schauffele’s golf ball

We of course can’t forget this often overlooked piece of equipment. After all, it’s used on every single shot, and Schauffele’s ball of choice is Callaway’s newest Chrome Tour.

With the 2024 Chrome Tour series of golf balls, the engineers at Callaway are finally seeing the payoffs from the years of R&D, not to mention the tens of millions of dollars worth of manufacturing upgrades made to their Chicopee golf ball plant over the last five years. These upgrades have led to new product innovations, and with improved performance through the bag, tour usage has skyrocketed with staff players.

“In these new golf balls, it’s been a complete overhaul on every component inside of the ball,” said Eric Loper, Callaway’s senior director of golf ball R&D. “It’s those little details that really matter when a player opens the box and looks at the ball. Ultimately, we want them to feel like they are playing a premium product because it is.

“The core is a primary component to how the golf ball is going to perform,” Loper continued. “It enables us to manage spin rates through the bag, it changes the feel of the golf ball, but ultimately the core is designed to give us ball speed, particularly driver ball speed. If you have a slow core, you’re going to have a slow golf ball, so we set out to make our core much faster than we have before, capitalizing on what we’ve done in the past and building on that.”

A fast swing, a faster driver, and a faster golf ball all added up to help Xander Schauffele win his first major title.

Callaway 2024 Chrome Tour Golf Balls

Chrome Tour is the new gold standard in Tour Balls. From core to cover, every detail in the new Chrome Tour has been optimized for the better player seeking distance & feel. HYPER FAST SOFT CORE New Hyper Fast Soft Core produces exceptionally fast ball speed for long distance. SEAMLESS TOUR AERO New Seamless Tour Aero delivers a consistent ball flight on every shot. HIGH-PERFORMANCE TOUR URETHANE SOFT COVER New High-Performance Tour Urethane Soft Cover consistently delivers greenside control with incredible feel.
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Want to overhaul your bag for 2024? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.

Ryan Barath Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.

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