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|Cleveland's 588 Altitude irons are hybridized from 3i down to PW. (Courtesy of Cleveland Golf)|
Golfers all have their quirks when it comes to "favorite" clubs. Nearly every golfer I know has a favorite club -- and a least favorite. I was playing a few weeks ago with a guy who lamented, "I can't hit my 7 iron. All my other irons are fine, but I just can't hit my 7."
I suggested taking it to the club pro to make sure it wasn't bent or otherwise damaged. But the exchange got me to thinking about the adjustable-head trend in drivers and the graduated "combo" iron sets that are so popular these days.
Even so, in most cases, once you pick a set of irons, any changes in shape, weighting, or offset throughout the set is usually pre-determined by the manufacturer.
Maybe, for example, you want a cavity back 8 iron, but the engineers who designed your set decided that everything shorter than the 7 iron should be a muscle-back. Or maybe you want to adjust the lie angles on your hybridized irons, but that kind of adjustability hasn't been anticipated by the designers of "game-improvement" clubs.
Enter Cleveland Golf's 588 Tour Trajectory (TT), 588 Mid Trajectory (MT), and 588 Altitude irons. The innovation embodied in these three sets is their complete interchangeability, allowing you to mix and match the three sets as best fits your game. This flexibility extends to the hosels, which can be bent on all sets as much as 2 degrees flat to 3 degrees upright.
The 588 TT irons feature forged clubfaces to heighten feel and workability. The thin topline and minimal offsets are geared toward better players who prefer a more traditional appearance at set-up, but a modest cavity back and undercut design also lend forgiveness.
The 588 MT irons feature multi-material construction with polymer, aluminum, and iron layering to dampen vibration while maintaining feel. Each clubhead is fully hollow to maximize perimeter weighting. The trajectory of the MT's, as the name implies, is somewhat higher than the TT but lower than the Altitude.
The 588 Altitude irons are full-body hybrid irons all the way down to the pitching wedge. Despite this extreme game-improvement design, the clubface is also forged, creating what might just be the best feel of any hybrid iron-set on the market.
The key to all the Cleveland Golf 588 models is the interchangeability. Returning to the guy mentioned earlier, if he played Cleveland Golf, he could replace his troublesome 7 iron for a hybridized Altitude. Another guy I play with could stay with the tour-style PW and 9 iron he likes so much, but jump more quickly to more forgiving MT irons than his current graduated set allows.
Cleveland Golf is one of the pioneers of customized clubfitting, and these 588 iron sets take this personal touch to the next level. You're almost guaranteed to find a clubfitter in your area who can help you figure out the best way to cobble together a full set of 588 irons ($87.50 each) that meet your own specific playing quirks ... err, requirements.
For more information, visit www.ClevelandGolf.com.
December 20, 2013
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
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