Cleveland 588 Altitude Irons
Category: Max Game-Improvement Irons
Price: $699, steel; $799, graphite
WE TESTED: 4-DW with UST Mamiya Actionlite 55 graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Each hollow-headed hybrid iron has a low, deep CG to produce easy, high-launching shots. The forged face provides added pop at impact.
PLAYABILITY: Emphasis on “altitude”—überhigh launch for almost everyone; won’t obey too many orders but loves to go high and straight; completely manhandles thick lies; almost a chipper—ideal for bump-and-runs; let the club do the work and don’t get in the way.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Did we mention high and straight? Consistent, soft-landing shots let all but the worst swings slide; minimal sidespin, eliminates a lot of slices.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Good results for slower swingers who need the loft; decent pop for some guys and solid carry on off-center hits.
FEEL: Easy to track the club throughout the swing; flows through impact— almost smothers the ball; minimal feedback, with lots of shock-absorption to keep surprises out of the hands.
LOOK: A huge, unconventional head—think of a classic forged iron bundled in bubble-wrap; for a few testers, the “unmissable” look inspires confidence.
Minimal versatility even by Max GI standards; it’s not a bomber, and it can be hard to dial in distances; quite a few testers couldn’t get past the clunky appearance.
BOTTOM LINE: A one-trick pony that’s very good at what it does. This high-launch hybrid set works best for novice players and slower swingers.
NEXT REVIEW: Cobra Baffler XL Combo Irons