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Review: Cleveland 588 Irons: Altitude, MT and TT

A 588 "Forged" Iron for Everyone
Not everyone is the same when it comes to playing golf.  There are die hard fans that play golf almost every day rain or shine, there are those that enjoy the game, but can only play on the weekends, and then there are those that play a few times a year, but still enjoy it when they can.  Since every golfer is not the same, Cleveland made their 588 iron series with multiple options to fit as many golfers as possible.  They range from super-duper-game improvement irons to a players forgiving cavity back iron.  The one thing they all have in common is a forged face.  This allows for great feeling shots off the face, but many options as far as design and forgiveness with the remainder of the head.
This review is a little different than some of my iron reviews since I received a few irons from each set.  They didn’t make up a whole set, Cleveland sent a 3 iron, 5-iron and 8-iron in all three styles.  I did my best to try to see how they might fit into my bag if I had a whole set, but with the other irons from a different set still in my bag it was a little tricky.

Cleveland 588 Altitude Irons

These are Super-Duper-Game-Improvement Irons.  Each one, even the 8-iron looks like a hybrid.  They have a forged face with a big wood like body as the back of the club.  If you love your hybrids and really struggle with irons, this is the perfect set for you.  The three irons I had all were very easy to hit and hit the ball very high.  Even with their high launch I didn’t notice any serious ballooning issues. 

While they do have a forged face which feels good, obviously they feel a little hollow.  This isn’t a surprise because of their design, but it isn’t exactly what the better golfer is looking for in their irons.  On the other hand I gave them to my wife to try for a couple rounds and she actually hit them quite well, even with Traction stiff flex shafts, probably because they are lighter weight steel shafts at 85 grams.  I think that with a woman’s shaft in them she might have hit them even better.  I see these fitting a new golfer, a very high hand handicap golfer, or a senior golfer looking for loft and easy to hit irons.  They have a pretty healthy off-set which does help the golfer that might put these in the bag.  They aren’t for me, but there are many golfers that would benefit from using these.


Cleveland 588 MT Irons

These are still Game-Improvement Irons, but in a much better looking package.  These are thick and forgiving, but look more like a regular iron.  The face is forged and now the body is designed to make them feel more solid, but I would still  say they are on the hollow side.  The look is like a traditional cavity back iron with plenty of offset and plenty of perimeter weighting to still forgive an off-center strike.  These three irons were getting closer to something I could play.  They do have thicker top lines and a thick sole, but at address they look like a normal game-improvement iron.

These were that mix between a distance iron and a game improvement iron yet in a decent looking package.  I might see a better golfer using the 3 and 4 iron of this set kind of like a hybrid.  They are easy to hit, elevate the ball nicely and feel pretty solid.  These are clearly aimed at the high to mid high handicap golfer.  These too have significant off-set to help fight the right side, but look in many ways like a normal iron.

Cleveland 588 TT Irons

These are a forgiving players iron.  They look much more compact, have less off-set and are not as forgiving as the other two sets.  The forged face again has a much more solid feel at impact because there is less hollow and more mass right behind the ball.  While these are not a muscle back iron or even their tour cavity back model, these are really nice.  They have great feel and great looks.  The thinner top line and sole would make these great for a mid-handicap golfer, even some lower handicap golfers will probably like these.  They don’t have nearly the off-set of the other two irons which gives the golfer more control of their shots.  I found much better turf interaction with these irons as well.  The thinner sole works well for my game.

I felt that these irons were plenty long still.  I hit them about as far as any iron I have played, but the trajectory was flatter and more pleasing to my eye.  I could see playing these irons in my bag without too many adjustments needed.  They come stock with Cleveland Traction 85  shafts.  They have a fairly deep undercut sole which still has a tiny hollowness to it, but much more solid and still fairly forgiving with ample perimeter weighting.

I can’t say that any of these will be going in my gamer bag, since I only have a 3-iron, 5-iron and an 8-iron, but I think a number of golfers could benefit from a full set of these in their bag.  They have good feel, only slightly hollower, and amazing forgiveness.  The three sets were designed to be interchangeable too, so you could make a combo set.  Altitude in the long irons, MT in the mid irons and TT in the short irons.  From Super Duper Game Improvement Irons to a Forgiving Players irons, the Cleveland 588 iron series have something for everyone.

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Quick Hits
+Forged faces
+Easy to hit

–Hollow feeling

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