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Cleveland Golf Goes Classic With New Drivers, Irons, and Wedges

Jun. 28, 2012     By     Comments (5)

Cleveland Golf goes old school with retro looking drivers and the reintroduction of the 588 series of wedges.

Bag DropCleveland Golf has long been a company that many golfers have turned to, especially when it came to wedges. The original 588 wedge was regarded as one of the best ever made and many of those wedges stayed in the bags of their owners until there were no more grooves left on the face. Since the time of the original 588 many things have changed at Cleveland Golf, such as the namesake of the company, Roger Cleveland, moving over to Callaway Golf. During that time Cleveland has continued to make high quality clubs and have been very successful with the CG line of wedges as well as their jump into the world of super light drivers.

Now the company has brought back the 588 wedge as well as introduced new irons to go along with them. In addition to that, they have taken their drivers and given them a classic look.

Cleveland Classic Driver
Last year, Cleveland debuted their Launcher series of drivers in three different weights, the XL270 (extra light, 270 grams), the SL290 (super light, 290 grams) and the TL (tour light, 310 grams). The idea behind it is simple enough, the lighter the club is the faster you can swing it, but considering golf is a game based largely on feel it is important that the club had the right weight for the golfer using it. Basically, on the lighter end, the golfer will get the maximum distance while on the other end the most workability.

Cleveland Classic Driver

This year, Cleveland has incorporated those same ideas (which they call "Rightweight Fitting") into a new driver with new, or should we say old, looks. The new Classic driver has a retro look with a color shceme that will remind many of the old school persimmons drivers, albeit in a larger, metal package. The head of the driver has a traditional pear shape and the face of the club is extremely deep giving it the largest hitting area on any club that Cleveland has ever produced. The large hitting area coupled with the companies MAXCOR2 technology, which maximizes distance on off center hits, makes this one of the most forgiving drivers Cleveland has made. The gold color on the front isn't just for looks either as it also serves as an alignment aid.

As did the Launcher last year, the Classic driver comes in three different weights; 270g, 290g, and 310g. The 270 features the Miyazaki C. Kua 39 as the stock shaft while the 290 uses the Miyazaki C. Kua 43. The 310g version, which is the Tour version, uses the Miyazaki Kusala Black 61 as the stock shaft. It should also be noted that the 270g and the 290g come with square face angles while the 310g sets up one degree open. The drivers are available in a number of different lofts; for the 270 there is 9°, 10.5°, and 12°; for the 290 there is 7.5°, 9°, 10.5°, and 12°; and for the Tour there is 8.5°, 9.5° or 10.5° versions. Lefties can get either the 9° (or 9.5 in case of the Tour model) or 10.5° versions.

Both the 270 and 290 retail for $299, with the Tour (310) is $379.

588 Forged Irons and Wedges
Along with the new driver, Cleveland has brought back the 588 line of wedges and added the 588 line of irons. One major difference this time around with the 588s is that they are forged which the were not before.

Cleveland 588 Forged Irons

The 588 Forged irons come in two different flavors, the MB (muscle back) or CB (cavity back). No matter which set you choose, the irons are forged from 1025 carbon steel. Using a softer metal like this gives the highest level of manufacturing consistency according to Cleveland and allows for a soft, yet solid feel. The irons also feature Tour Zip Grooves with Laser Milled Technology which takes the groove size to the USGA limit and creates the optimal surface roughness on the face to maximize spin. The 588MBs feature a thin top line and minimal offset giving the better golfer more workability. The CBs have a slightly thicker top line than their muscle back counterparts and also have a slightly longer blade length to give more forgiveness. Players looking to get a bit more forgiveness in the longer sticks but maintain the workability in the scoring irons can opt for a combo set with the 3-6 in the CBs and the 7-PW in MBs. Both sets of irons come stock with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts available in R300 (regular), S300 (stiff), or X100 (extra stiff) flexes.

Cleveland 588 Wedge

Cleveland has also reintroduced the the 588 wedge which is one of the most successful wedges ever made. Like the irons, the 588 wedges are forged from 1025 carbon steel to give players a soft, yet solid feeling. Also like the irons, the wedges feature Tour Zip Grooves with Laser Milled Technology to maximize spin. The wedges are available in three different finishes; chrome, satin, or black pearl. Which ever finish you decide on, they are available in two degree loft increments from 46° all the way up to 64° with numerous bounce options.

The irons (3-PW) will run $999 while the wedges will set you back $125 each.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (5)

Discussion

  1. WUTiger says:

    Got to compare the Rocketbalz and Cleveland Classic drivers in February on a slow day at a local golf shop. The Classic in 290 grams | R flex | 10.5* loft worked very well for me. I especially liked the very deep clubface - reminded me of a custom persimmon driver I bought in Oceanside, CA in 1975. Only took about four shots to see how to get the Classic lined up. Much tighter groups than Rocketbalz R-flex, 10.5* loft.

    Got to try out the 588 wedges at a demo day in early June. Really a smooth club, has a less sharp leading edge than CG14, doesn't hang up if you hit shot a little fat.

    588 compares well with new Callaway Forged wedges, which I also hit that day. If you blindfolded me and gave me a 588 or a Forged to hit, i probably couldn't tell which brand it was... Both are solid clubs!

  2. I'll admit that at first I was not a fan of the Classic driver but seeing it in person changed my mind. It is unique looking for sure, but I've come around and like it now. I also am a fan of the deep face.

  3. I have the old 588 and would like a new set as the grooves are wearing but I do NOT want the zip grooves... No reason other than just don't like looking at them.

  4. sean_miller says:

    I'll admit that I love Cleveland Classics. I wanted a set of Cleveland blades for 20 years before I finally picked up a set of TA1s. Followed shortly by a set of TA3s. I have gently used 588 wedges (first generation) with several different grinds. The 2009 Launcher 3-wood with Red S shaft is probably the sweetest single club I've ever owned. Got a Classic 2 putter and a couple "Form Forged" blade putters. I think this qualifies me as being a fan of Cleveland Golf.

    Now . . . I do not care for the look of the new Cleveland 588 forged wedges. They're too busy, too shiny, and they don't look like Cleveland Classics. I was wedge shopping the other evening and they were the worst looking of all the new wedges imho. Except maybe for the new Mizunos with their super shiny chrom accents - lame!!

    The driver . . . I didn't hit one because even picking it up felt awful. I'd heard it looks better in person, but that's garbage. It feels way too light and the size of the head pretending to be a persimmon was disturbing. I waggled the 290g model with stock S shaft and had to fight back the vomit. If I want to hit a persimmon driver, I'll bag a persimmon driver. If I want a modern driver that looks good I'll hit a Titleist, a Callaway, or an i20, or maybe check out Cleveland's "Black" model.

  5. sean_miller says:

    PS. After all the harsh things I wrote, it should be noted I'm a huuuuuge fan of the 588 MB and the CB. Our local golf shop has a set CBs that may still have some of my drool in the grooves.

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