The Cleveland 588 Wedge Review: An Updated Classic

You might want to take a look at the new Forged Cleveland 588 wedge if you’ve been searching for a wedge that offers classic looks and superb short-game performance. Wedges have long been one of Cleveland Golf’s specialties. In fact, this club has been the most popular wedge in golfing history.

But, has the company hit another home run with its new forged version of this wedge, or should you skip this one and go with some other club? To help you make an informed decision, I’ll describe the features of this wedge and share my thoughts on how it plays.

We’ve reviewed several Cleveland wedges on this website, and overall they’ve been excellent. But, the funny thing is, they may all have been trying to live up to the standard set by various versions of the Cleveland 588 wedge throughout the years.

Cleveland 588 Wedge Review

This wedge is the top-ranked, No. 1 wedge of all time. No other club manufacturer’s wedge can make that claim. And because of this legacy, you can bet every change to the club has been exhaustively tested. It’s a certainty that the updates in this new version weren’t made lightly.

The new Forged version of the wedge is a technologically-advanced update of the most attractive, versatile, successful wedge design ever developed. The original model of the wedge has long been a measuring stick for the performance of every wedge, with people often wondering how a club they’re considering measures up against the Cleveland 588 wedge. And now, has Cleveland raised the bar again by re-engineering this classic club?

The new, forged version of the Cleveland club keeps the graceful, tour-tested shape of its predecessors despite the addition of several recent advances in wedge design. For example, Cleveland’s Tour Zip Grooves™ and Laser Milled™ face technology create face conditions that comply with the Rules of Golf but maximize ball spin. The Tour Zip Grooves™ have the maximum allowable groove dimensions, and the Laser Milled™ face provides the maximum allowable surface roughness by precisely positioning four “texture lines” (tiny mini-grooves) between each Zip Groove™.

The forged 1025 carbon steel used in the head creates a buttery-soft but consistently solid feel. Even the shaft has been developed to perform even better than the shafts of the club’s predecessors. True Temper and Cleveland Golf worked together to create a suitable shaft for the forged version of the Cleveland 588 wedge, and the result is the club’s “Tour Concept Wedge” steel shaft. According to Cleveland, it produces more spin and superb feel but a lower, more penetrating ball flight than previous shafts.

The Forged Cleveland 588 wedge offers three bounce options (low, standard and high) as well as lofts beginning at 46-degrees and going all the way up to 64-degrees, in 2-degree increments. As a result the Cleveland 588 wedge is available in multiple loft and bounce combinations. The club also comes in one of two finishes: Chrome or Satin. All these choices allow golfers to choose the club configuration that best suits their course conditions, shot selection and preference in appearance.

I tested the 54-degree Forged Cleveland 588 wedge with the standard bounce and Satin finish. I can sum up my experience in just a few words: this club is capable of hitting superior shots from every conceivable lie. I used it off the fringe for low running chips, I hit full shots from the fairway and rough, I played it from the bunkers. I even hit it on the tee of a very short par three. No matter what the lie was like or what type of shot I was taking, its performance was consistently excellent. My full shots soared high and landed softly with minimal rollout. My low chips ran predictably.

This is a wedge with a classy appearance and even better performance. It’s accurate and serves up a large helping of confidence in addition to spin and distance control. It’s an easy-to-hit, versatile wedge for any type of player.

The Bottom Line: So, has Cleveland Golf knocked it out of the park again with the Forged Cleveland 588 wedge? Based on the rounds I played with this club, I think it’s a home run. This is a “players’ club” with the type of feel and consistent performance that top-caliber golfers demand, but it can also help “Joe Average” improve his short game. It inspires confidence and delivers plenty of spin on full approach shots. If you’re looking for a wedge with classic looks and superb short-game performance, this could be the one. There’s a reason the Cleveland 588 has been the most popular wedge in the history of the sport – and now it’s better than ever. This one gets two thumbs up!

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