Lamkin Grips

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2014 appears to be signaling a fresh look at driver design from Cleveland Golf. Though some hints of past and popular technologies remain, the company’s new 588 Custom driver exemplifies a slight changing of the guard. Cleveland is saying this is the most complete driver they’ve made, and through adjustability and improved forgiveness, their longest.

588 Custom Driver

Based on exhaustive testing and tour validation, the Cleveland® 588® Custom™ Driver has a 460cc titanium head that offers the greatest combination of distance, forgiveness and accuracy in any driver Cleveland® Golf has ever made. An adjustable hosel offers 12 different settings to precisely tune loft, lie and face angle – loft and lie have a total range of 3°, while face angle has a total range of 4.5°. The back of the sole has an adjustable weight screw to optimize swingweight (standard weight is 3 grams). Advanced wall construction allows more weight to be positioned lower in the club head for a higher, more penetrating ball flight. Enhanced variable face thickness technology creates the hottest flight on center strikes and even faster ball speed on off-center hits for maximum forgiveness. A premium Matrix® OZIK 6Q3™ shaft promotes a mid-launch and provides an all-around combination of speed and stability with solid feel at impact.

Specs

LOFT

HEAD SIZE

LENGTH

SWING WEIGHT

LIE

WEIGHT

9.0°

460cc

45.50″

D5

60.0°

305g

10.5°

460cc

45.50″

D5

60.0°

305g

  • Both models available in RH/LH
  • Stock shaft – Matrix OZIK 6Q3 “Red Tie” at 58g in stiff flex
  • Available Feb 7, 2014
  • $349.99

Key Technology

Precision Adjustability

Like the XL Custom before it, the 588 Custom offers a wide range of adjustments through a 12-way hosel adapter. This enables the user to alter loft, face, and lie angle. Adjustments are made with the customary torque wrench, with the adapter’s position nicely displayed by way of a small window on the hosel. It should be noted that the 588 Custom weighs in at a total weight of 305g, which is quite light considering the adjustable features if offers.

Adjustable Weight Screw

In addition to hosel adjustments, the 588 Custom features an interchangeable weight screw that is positioned at the very back of the driver. The standard version is 3g, with both 7g and 11g weights also available. The weight screw allows the user to “optimize swingweight” according to Cleveland. This is important for a couple reasons. First of all, users can install a variety of shafts of different weights and lengths and keep a constant balance via weight screw changes. Secondly, users can dial in their preferred ‘feel’ quickly. In addition to all that, THP found that installing heavier weights helped increase launch angles.

Enhanced Variable Face Thickness

According to Cleveland, their enhanced variable face thickness technology “creates the hottest flight on center strikes and even faster ball speed on off-center hits for maximum forgiveness.”

VFT is a tried and true way for companies to improve performance on off center shots. In addition to improvements in this area, the face of the 588 Custom is a bit different than what we saw from the different offerings in the Classic series. Gone is the extremely deep face and its place is something a little shallower and wider. That should equal better performance for misses towards the heel or toe. While the Classic was quite forgiving for a deep-faced driver, the 588 Custom is designed to be the most forgiving ‘players’ driver Cleveland has introduced in some time.

Aesthetics

With its black, gold, and silver color scheme, the 588 Custom has a decidedly regal appearance. There certainly isn’t any question that it serves as Cleveland’s ‘premium’ driver offering after a close look. The Matrix 6Q3 also shares a similarly colored paint job, providing good continuity from top to bottom.

Again, comparisons to the Classic drivers of the last two years are somewhat difficult to come by. The 588 Custom has a much more aerodynamic appearance, both when looking at the face of the driver and from the profile view. The departure is a breath of fresh air from Cleveland.

At 45.5° inches in the stock configuration, the 588 Custom feels nicely balanced, though as noted earlier, that can be altered to the individuals preference, as can face angle.  Those who love the sound and feel of the original Classic will be happy to hear that the 588 is remarkably similar, even with the different shape and design. This is a good thing as far as we’re concerned, as the muted ‘crack’ produced at impact really is unique and pleasing to the ears.

The Matrix 6Q3, weighing 58g in stiff flex, is designed to offer mid launch and spin. The shaft was designed for use with the head, and as such is a bit lighter than the aftermarket version.  It felt true to flex, sufficiently stable for normal swings, and seemed to deliver a mid-trajectory ball flight.

Performance

The 588 Custom was tested both outdoors and indoors using a Vector X launch monitor and Srixon Z-Star golf ball. The driver was tested in its stock configuration with the 6Q3 stiff flex shaft.

Trajectory, Distance and Adjustments

While lacking the massive deep face of the Classic series, the Custom still appears to produce lower spin rates, and many stronger swingers should enjoy what it offers with the right shaft. We’ll stop short of saying that it is an extremely low-spin head, but it is definitely on the lower end of the spectrum, and as a result produced a mid trajectory ball flight for this tester. The wide range of loft adjustments alone produced around 3° difference in launch angles, and with two differently lofted heads available it should be quite simple for most players to dial it in with the help of a fitter. In addition, the aforementioned weight screw could be used for some further tweaking if needed

With ball speeds very much in-line with other current drivers recently tested, the potential for distance is certainly high because of the ability to fine tune the 588 Custom to an individual’s needs.

Forgiveness

As mentioned earlier, changes to both the variable face thickness and head shape have combined to make the 588 Custom more forgiving on off center hits. This tester’s high-toe miss produced surprisingly good results, with negligible losses in ball speed and carry numbers that were very similar to center strikes. In addition, the curvature of the face assisted in bringing the ball back towards center. It appears the Custom was able to retain the vertical forgiveness that the Classic series was known for, with better performance across the face.

Final Thoughts

Though a departure in many ways from the Classic series, the 588 Custom has managed to take what we loved about its predecessors and add improvements. This is a driver that a wide range of skill levels should enjoy due to its lower spin rates, increased forgiveness, effective adjustability and a more conventional shape. As always, THP recommends that consumers take the time to get fit before purchasing, so look for the Cleveland fitting cart at your local retailer. Further testing will be done on the 588 Custom in the coming months, so stay tuned to the THP Forum. More information is also available at www.clevelandgolf.com.

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Category: Drivers, Equipment, Headlines & News

About the Author ()

Editor and writer Ryan Hawk lives in northwestern Illinois with his fiance and son. He's been a writer for The Hackers Paradise for two years and has been involved with a number of THP events.

Comments (20)

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  1. Nebgolfer says:

    Great review, Hawk. There is so much to be excited about for this driver. Low spin + forgiveness is a big win. Hugely adjustable, yet only $349 is another win in my book. Sounds like this has a lot of performance and tech packed into it, and should appeal to a lot of people.

  2. O'Carroll says:

    Great review Hawk. Adjustability, a premium shaft, the same vertical forgiveness with added horizontal forgiveness, and all for a fair price point. This driver seems like a winner for Cleveland.

  3. #Cookie says:

    Solid review here Hawk!

    I had no idea this was coming in at only 305 grams, lighter than I anticipated.

    I really like the mid-launch low spin that this appears to have and am delighted to hear that forgiveness across the face has been improved.

    Also think that this is the best looking driver they’ve produced with nice sleek enhancements to the sole.

  4. Jersey Nate says:

    Wonderful review Hawk. I agree that this head shape is a breath of fresh air for Cleveland – as much as I really enjoyed the Classic offerings (and game the original Classic) I think it was time for them to go in a slightly different direction. Keeping the low spin and sound/feel of the Classic (IMO the best sounding driver I’ve ever hit), while adding lateral forgiveness and improved VFT? Sounds like a winner.

    I simply cannot wait to give this a swing.

  5. drp3434 says:

    Great review, Hawk. I love the sound of a more shallow and wider face. That is the type of club I love. I also love you use of “regal” 🙂

  6. Jeff Spicoli says:

    Great review. I have the original Classic in my bag, so I am always interested in Cleveland’s newest drivers (underrated for years IMO). I am liking all the adjustable features, especially the weight screws to be able to manage and change the swing weight to your preference.

  7. WCBM says:

    Excellent write up Hawk!! I can not wait to get this baby in my bag this year. I haven’t been this excited for a driver in a long long time.

  8. ddec says:

    A better high toe miss from this than the last 2 classic drivers is a welcome change for me. Good job buddy.

  9. Nate says:

    Low spinning, lighter weight and a smaller face – Yes please!! I didn’t see one thing in the review that didn’t scream awesome. Thanks Hawk for the review. I am very much looking forward to putting this through the motions.

  10. mikeg_74 says:

    Great review. the overall weight is surprising and i love the color scheme Cleveland put into this driver. At that price point it sets itself up to be competitive with the other OEM offerings coming out.

  11. Afwcardinal says:

    This club sounds great. Low spin head with that red tie shaft should be a monster off the tee. Look forward to giving this a try. Thanks for the great review Hawk.

  12. DawgDaddy says:

    Great review Ryan, love that this is paired with the red tie. This certainly sounds like something I need to give a try.

  13. Scrap Iron says:

    I need to go find this. Sounds like Cleveland hit a home run with this one.

  14. T2grn18 says:

    Great review Hawk!

    Interesting to see Cleveland go away from the Miyazaki shaft pairing. The light weight a 305g seems like head speed will still be rather easy to generate. I was a fan of the Classic from a couple years ago. I’ll be interested to take some passes with this as a comparison to what I’ve grown to know and like with their offerings in the past

  15. ole gray says:

    This is a beautiful driver and mated with the Matrix OZIK 6Q3 “Red Tie” at 58g shaft will snap plenty of heads back to check this baby out.

  16. Smallville says:

    The last Cleveland driver I’ve used is the Launcher, in 2010. It’s still one of my favorites of all time. This one sounds like a winner all the way around.

  17. 371tom says:

    Hi,,Can’t wait to try this one ..But lately I have been going over the edge..How much difference other than the shaft do you see between the Classic custom and the 588..Tom

  18. Adam says:

    I tested 1 of these on Thursday of last week I play off 1 so I didn’t think I could gain much distance currently using i20 with x flex whiteboard 73 g . We tested the 588 with all shaft options on the gc2 launch monitor . OMG what a club my ball speed went from 149 up to 164 in 2 hits and carry went up to 18-21 yards further less spin as we’ll got it down to 2200 from 2800 . Went for the 9 degree set at -1.5 degree so that comes out at just under 10.5 and the same shaft keegan uses the http://www.golfwrx.com/84815/keegan-bradley-witb/
    Shaft: Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 61X. I know this isn’t your Titleist or major brands but u must try this driver it’s a real eye opener …

  19. Chris says:

    The shaft is a Matrix 6q3, but not the “Red Tie” as another post suggested. The Red Tie is a bit different – especially 2+ degree less torque. This shaft was created for CG to fit the largest window of golfers and provide them with a premium shaft. 98% of golfers do not need to get an aftermarket shaft wih this stick.

  20. Art Mattingly says:

    Where can I purchase an 11g weight for my Cleveland 588 Driver?

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