PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Lightweight meets adjustability in Cleveland 588 Custom driver

January 07, 2014

The engineering team at Cleveland Golf believes there is no such thing as the perfect driver. That's why they've embraced adjustable drivers, including their newest entry, the 588 Custom. The 588 Custom  features 12 settings to tweak ballflight and an adjustable weight screw.

John Rae, Cleveland's vice president of research and development, says the race for maximizing theoretical distance isn't as important anymore. Rather, it's optimizing how drivers work for particular players. "It's about determining what weaknesses players have and how we can design to fight those weaknesses," he says.

That's why the 588 Custom is designed with a relatively lighter weight (a total weight of just over 300 grams, or nearly 10 percent lighter than some leading adjustable drivers) and with the center of gravity shifted low and back within the head. The light weight increases the potential for higher swing speeds, while the rearward CG, aided by a weight screw in the rear sole, helps the club create more dynamic loft at impact in an effort to increase average player's launch angles.

But because one size does not fit all, the 588 Custom will offer two lofts and 12 settings on each loft. The 9-degree model accommodates a loft range of 7.5 to 10.5 degrees, while the 10.5-degree model fits into a loft range of 9 to 12 degrees. Face angle on each can be adjusted between closed and open across a range of 4.5 degrees.

The 588 Custom fairway woods and hybrids will not offer adjustability, focusing instead on saving weight to help lower the center of gravity and reduce overall weight to increase clubhead speed. According to Cleveland research, the overall weights on the 588 Custom fairway wood and hybrids are a little more than 20 grams less than the industry averages for those clubs. The hybrid features a sole that includes two subtle rails framing a center keel to improve turf interaction. The fairway wood is available in 14-, 15.5-, 18-, and 20.5-degree lofts, while the hybrid comes in 18-, 20.5-, 23- and 26-degree lofts.

The driver ($350), fairway woods ($200) and hybrids ($170) will be in stores February 7.