ClubTest 2013: Cleveland 588 Altitude Irons

March 6, 2013

Cleveland Altitude 588 Irons
Category: Max Game-Improvement Irons
Price: $699, steel; $799, graphite
3-PW with UST Mamiya Actionlite 55 graphite shaft.
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The hollow construction allows more weight to be redistributed lower and more rearwardA forged 17-4 stainless steel face enhances ball speeds and responsiveness. for improved launch conditions.

Its name says it all—Altitude—as clubs get the ball up in the air; a wide sole and deep CG make these fairly easy to hit from the fairway, sand or rough; consistently high, soft ball flight makes it possible to land shots on a beach blanket.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Mis-hits never stray too far from the target line and lose little distance; thin hits are forgiven; the clubs eliminate the slice.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Mid and long irons put a fairly good charge into the ball; large heads get respectable distance out of poorly struck shots.
FEEL: Soft impact sensation; the overall weighting doesn’t overpower you and helps stabilize the head on toe and heel hits.
LOOK: Big, bulbous-looking heads say “just hit the ball, I’ll get it up in the air”; short irons look a bit more traditional but have a thick topline and extra muscle behind the face.

Feedback is always neutral, making it hard to diagnose mishits; wide sole makes it difficult to put much touch on shots inside 100 yards, especially those around the green; some guys are turned off by the hybrid look throughout the set.

BOTTOM LINE: Not the prettiest sticks but they deliver on their promise. They get the ball airborne, keep it straight, and get high marks for accuracy/forgiveness.

NEXT REVIEW: Cobra Baffler Hybrid Irons