50 Words or Less
Under-hyped overachiever. An excellent all-around driver with plenty of adjustability.
For at least the past three seasons, Cleveland has been making some of the most under-hyped, underappreciated drivers in golf. Thankfully, a driver does not need hype to perform, and perform is exactly what the new 588 Custom does.
From shaft to head to head cover, the Cleveland 588 Custom delivers a beautifully coordinated, understated look. Black with gold accents is the theme across the board; even the “Red Tie” Matrix 6Q3 is black with gold graphics.
At address, the 588 Custom bears a close resemblance to the 588 Altitude. From heel to toe its size is average, but it is quite long from front to back. The face is deep, but not big-as-a-wagon-wheel like the Cleveland Classic from a few years back.
Sound & Feel
Though it seems like an oxymoron, the sound off the 588 Custom is both quiet and explosive. Yeah, it made me scratch my head at first, too. Generally, drivers are explosive and loud or quiet and dull. In this club, however, Cleveland broke the rules. I’m glad they did; to me, the sound and feel is unique and very satisfying.
In my testing, the most standout feature of the Cleveland 588 Custom driver was the accuracy. Almost every ball that I hit near the center of the face ended up within five yards of the center line. Those that golf with me know that that’s unheard of. Even the shots that strayed far from the center were quite playable.
With regard to distance, I would classify the 588 Custom as mid-launch and mid to low spin. My launch was a touch lower than normal but so was my spin, so in the end I got my normal distance, just with a bit more roll than carry. The 588 Custom does have an adjustable hosel with 12 positions to allow you to dial in your preferred trajectory and shot shape.
Additionally, you can adjust the head weight of the 588 Custom. This is done via a weight port at the back of the head. There is a 3 gram weight that comes standard, and you can purchase additional weights of 7 grams and 11 grams to swap in. For me, the club doesn’t need any additional weight in the head because Cleveland uses a light weight stock grip. If you were to switch to a heavier grip, changing the head weight might be necessary to preserve the swing weight.
The Cleveland 588 Custom driver proves that hype does not equal performance. From distance to accuracy to the subjective elements, the 588 Custom delivers. For those of us occupying the middle of the fitting bell curve, this is one of the best pick-up-and-play drivers of 2014.
Price and Specs
The Cleveland 588 Custom driver is available in 9° and 10.5° for both RH and LH players.
The stock shaft is the Matrix 6Q3.
Retail price for the 588 Custom is $349.