Cleveland 588 Fairway Wood Review

When a company calls a particular club the longest ever it’s hard not to take notice.  In this case the club that Cleveland Golf is talking about is the new 588 fairway wood.  Cleveland has certainly impressed a lot of golfers these last couple of years, so this statement definitely makes me take notice.  They sent over one of their new 588 fairway woods and I was able to get out and see if this bold statement carries any weight.  Cleveland has come out with a fresh new design featuring some technology that they feel will make this fairway wood the longest one they’ve made to date. 

Tech talk:

The Cleveland® 588® Fairway combines power and forgiveness in a versatile design. A tour-proven profile offers optimal face, sole and crown dimensions to promote a clean, confidence-inspiring look from the turf or off the tee. Enhanced variable face thickness technology produces maximum distance on center strikes and greater forgiveness on off-center hits. Combined with a rear sole plug, advanced wall construction allows more weight to be positioned low in the club head for a higher launch. A premium Matrix® OZIK 6Q3™ shaft is designed for a mid-high launch, offering an all-around combination of speed and stability with solid feel at impact. Cleveland® 588® Fairways are available in lofts of 14.0°, 15.5°, 18.0° and 20.5° and carry a MAP of $199.99.

ALL-AROUND DESIGN

Tour-proven profile has optimal face, sole and crown dimensions to promote a clean, confidence inspiring look from the turf or off the tee.

LARGEST SWEET SPOT

Our latest enhanced variable face thickness technology creates the hottest flight on center strikes and even faster ball speed on off-center hits for maximum forgiveness.

OPTIMAL CENTER OF GRAVITY

Combined with a rear sole plug, advanced wall construction allows more weight to be positioned low in the club head for a higher launch.

PREMIUM MATRIX OZIK 6Q3 SHAFT

This shaft promotes a mid-high launch and an all-around combination of speed and stability with solid feel at impact. Made by Matrix, one of the fastest growing shaft brands on tour.

Aesthetics

Cleveland refers to it as a tour-proven profile.  The all-around design is meant to promote a clean, confidence-inspiring look.  I can take it a step further than that and say that not only is this a clean, confidence-inspiring look – it’s flat out pretty to look at as well.  I love the classic shape and design of the club.  The dark metallic finished crown is without any sight lines or graphics at all.  There is literally nothing to distract golfers from focusing on putting a solid swing together.  The satin finish on the face creates a nice a nice contrast with the crown to make alignment easy.  The smooth look continues on the sole of the club with the iconic Cleveland Golf logo and polished chrome finish making this club stand out in a crowd.

I really liked the feel of the 588. Everything from the moment you address the ball all the way through the impact zone this fairway wood feels good.  I loved seeing Cleveland continue with their trend of pairing tour caliber shafts with their clubs as a stock offering.  This time they’ve chosen the Matrix Ozik 6Q3 FWY which literally feels like it was made to go in this club head.  This pairing really creates a smooth and powerful combination.

Testing the 588

 

Testing took place on an About Golf simulator/launch monitor.  I was anxious to see how the 588 fairway wood would perform in ideal conditions while being able to get exact distances and launch conditions.  The thing that impressed me the most wasn’t necessarily the distance of the 588 fairway wood, but the accuracy and overall ease of hitting this thing.  I felt like I could make a nice stress-free swing and time and time again I’d see such a straight ball that I was beginning to wonder if this launch monitor was picking up the side spin properly or not.  I would later confirm that everything was fine with the machine – the club just hits the ball that straight.

Concerning the distance claims from Cleveland – Distance is definitely there, but I can’t say it’s the longest fairway wood I’ve hit. It’s certainly the longest Cleveland has put out among the ones I have spent some time with.  I regularly hit balls 250 yards off the deck and that’s everything I can hope for in a 3 wood.  250 yards and accurate – I’ll take that all day long.  Teeing the ball up I found even more distance (close to the 265 mark in some situations), which for me is a huge 3 wood. The ability to hit that number while maintaining that accuracy could really make a huge difference in my bag. 

Without a doubt the Cleveland 588 fairway wood shined most with its accuracy for me.  Like I said, the club just flat out works and a nice smooth, balanced swing provided the best results.  In my testing I really went after some shots to see how the shaft held up and even then the misses were not overly exaggerated like I’ve seen often times before.  This really firms up my earlier statement about this shaft being such a great fit for this fairway wood.  I love that Cleveland Golf has stuck with their plans to keep offering us high quality shafts as stock options.

Closing thoughts

I could go on and on about the looks of this fairway wood.  From the minute you get it in your hands you know you’re going to love it.  I was pleased to see that the performance matched those great looks.  The club sets up so nicely to the ball at address that you find yourself expecting to hit a great shot every time.  Cleveland really got it right with the design of the 588 line and it definitely shows in this fairway wood.   The 588 not only provides a great option for reaching long holes in 2 shots, but also becomes a great weapon off the tee on holes where a premium is placed on accuracy.  I can see this becoming somewhat of a game changer for a lot of golfers.  The Cleveland 588 will be available everywhere on 2/7/2014 for $199 and it should be on everyone’s short list of fairway woods to check out in 2014.

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Jason Kunze
Jason is a busy husband and father of 2 daughters who are both just starting to take up the game that he has loved for years. Golf is his passion, when Jason is not playing golf and testing equipment he's hanging out with all his friends on the THP forum discussing every aspect of this great game.
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