Jamie Kennedy

Think Cleveland 588 and you will likely picture one of the company's popular wedges. However, that could be about to change. Earlier this year, Cleveland launched the 588 range of driver, fairway wood and hybrids, promising to be the longest and most forgiving Cleveland have ever made.

Cleveland 588 Custom Driver

With its black colour and gold detailing the 588 Custom driver almost feels like a special-edition from Cleveland. The large, slightly square 460cc head looks imposing behind the ball and I found the new face graphics subtly helped with alignment.

Holding the club for the first time, I could feel how light it was. Cleveland have been known for their lightweight drivers, most notably the Cleveland Launcher 270, 290 and 310 models. The 588 Custom driver weighs in a 305 grams and a light swingweight of D5, which is impressive for an adjustable driver.

Cleveland 588 Custom Driver At Address

To help tune in that promised distance and forgiveness, Cleveland have added their "Precision Adjustability" to the 588 Custom driver. On the surface it looks like a standard, adjustable driver but I can tell you it is far more than standard.

I was able to choose from 12 different loft/face angle settings thanks the adjustable hosel, as well as an adjustable weight screw in the back of the head.

Cleveland 588 Custom Driver Adjustability

Whilst the adjustability is extensive, it is also a little confusing.

The loft and face angle are not adjustable independently of one another. Screw the clubhead off and you will see the various settings noted on the end of the shaft. Whilst I thought +0.75 meant +0.75° of loft, I was wrong. It instead refers to the face angle.

Cleveland 588 Custom Driver Shaft Adjustment

The face angle is what Cleveland want golfers to adjust with the 588 Custom driver. Each 0.75° of face angle adjustment is said to equal 10 yards of left-or-right dispersion.

One you've picked your setting using the table provided with the driver instructions (seen on our 588 Custom driver news page), you simply screw the clubhead back on and see the setting you have selected through the small window on the hosel.

Cleveland 588 Custom Driver Shaft Hosel

In simple terms, the driver offers a total of 5° of face angle change, 3° of loft change and 3° of lie angle change. It did take some time to get my head around the adjustments, but once I did the change in performance was noticeable.

The first few shots I hit sounded and flew great, but pulled away to the right hand side of where I was aiming. I closed the face angle by 1.5° and was impressed to see the ball flying laser-straight with the same swings.

The loft adjustment however did not make as much of an impact. I played around with three different lofts, 9.5°, 10.5° and 11.5°, and didn't see as much of a change as I expected. The good news is they all flew well and never ballooned, but I did struggle to produce the high-flying, low-spinning flight that is the holy grail of driver performance these days.

That performance could have been helped by weight screw in the back of head that allows players to adjust the clubs centre of gravity. My driver came fitted with a 3-gram screw and new owners of the Cleveland 588 Custom will have additional weights of 7 and 11 grams to play with.

Cleveland 588 Custom Driver Weight Screw

As I said the feel and performance was impressive, but the best thing about the driver was the forgiveness. I don't pretend to find the middle of the face on every swing, but swing after swing I got the same strong, powerful feel and sound.

Whilst I expected this to be a distance gaining driver from Cleveland, what I found was one of the most forgiving drivers I've ever tested.

Cleveland 588 Custom Driver Face

Overall, I was really impressed with what Cleveland have designed. There is a lot to this driver. It is lightweight, large, long, forgiving and adjustable. Whilst I would have liked the adjustability to be a little easier to understand and independent in terms of loft and face angle, I am a fan.

At less than £280, you'll be hard pressed to get more bang for your buck than the 588 Custom.

Golfalot Rating: 4 stars
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Cleveland 588 Custom Driver - Product Details

UK Launch07 February 2014
UK Launch RRP£279
USA Launch07 February 2014
Handicap Range
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Left Handed Lofts9°, 10.5°
Right Handed Lofts9°, 10.5°
Colour OptionsBlack
Head Volume460 cc
Weight305 grams
Club Length45.5 inches
Swing WeightD5
AdjustabilityLoft, Face Angle, Weight
Shaft NameMatrix OZIK 6Q3 or Miyazaki JDL 6
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexLight, Regular, Stiff, X Stiff
Shaft Weight54.5, 55, 58 or 60 grams
Manufacturer's WebsiteCleveland Website

User Reviews

May 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017, using all Cleveland clubs and a full set of 588 custom clubs, I shot my age, 83.. The weight screw is 3 grams and I would like to locate, weights of 7 or 11 grams. Cleveland no longer makes these weights. Don't know if they would help, however? I will not part with any of these clubs. Still playing 18 holes, 3 times a week. Enjoy!

May 2016

I recently purchased this driver in the 9 degree model. I have used it for 4 rounds and it outplays my X-hot driver easily. It's more forgiving and stays long and straight on off centre hits. I am an 8 handicap and can work this driver both ways. The driver have a great flight and penetrating ball flight helping with shots into the wind. This is a very underrated driver and I would recommend it for all levels of player. It was less than half the price of the other comparable drivers which is great for those wanting to purchase quality golf equipment without breaking the bank.

December 2015

I have a 588 altitude and love it for its distance, weight and forgiveness, I regularly hit mid 200 meters +, I recently purchased a 588 Custom, I have had some difficulty due to height of the ball flight being much lower than the altitude but intend on giving it a go. Mine is 9.0 loft and I have it at NU upright to test today. previously it was set at N and low ball flight and many miss hits, rarely out of the middle, love my cleveland clubs and may I suggest any one wanting to get a fairway wood give the "black" range a go. they hit a bit longer than others, but good control and loft.

November 2015

I'm a higher handicap player and I would like to see a higher launch angle but my ball is flying straighter than ever and my slice has virtually disappeared. I am using the 'out of the box' neutral setting and am reluctant to change .I've not enjoyed any noticeable distance gain but staying on the fairway is everything! My 10.5 degree driver has a G-Tech standard flex. I love this driver.

July 2015

Have played this driver about 10 times and think i'm going to like it if I ever figure out the adjustments. The instruction pamphlet that comes with it is almost useless. Very confusing and not clear at all as to how adjustments can be made. Gives you a chart that only confuses you more. Be ready to spend a lot of time at the range trying to figure out what setting is best for you. The one thing I have learned is this driver, no matter the setting, gives a very low trajectory. Players that like to see that high beautiful high ball will be disappointed in this club. Hope I've helped someone. Now, back to trying to figure out how the adjustments on this baby work.

April 2015

I purchased this club feeling that it was the best of both worlds.. I carried a 11.5 degree, senior shaft driver & a 9 degree stiff tour club... The Cleveland 588 custom gives me the 2 clubs in one.. I have the 588, 9 degree, senior shaft and have increased, my driving distance, 15 to 20 yards.. I have it set at -.075 which gives me a little draw....The weight screw is 3 grams....I'm extremely pleased and know, I have found the driver for me...I"m 6' 3inches tall, 255 pounds and play, 18 holes, 3 times a week...I might, also add, I'm 81 years old...GOOD LUCK! Dave Gulajski

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