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Equipment

Cleveland 588 MT and TT irons: Editor Review

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Pros: The higher-launching, more forgiving MT irons and lower-launching TT irons blend together nicely to allow a player to mix and match a set. Both sets have better performance on mishits than most players irons, and a solid feel on center strikes. There’s real springiness to the forged faces — especially the MT irons, which perform like mini hybrids.

Cons: Less workability than many players irons. Blade enthusiasts won’t love the thick top lines of the MTs, and the TTs are a bit bulky for a “tour” iron.

Bottom Line: The 588 TT irons are a legitimate step forward from the 588 Forged line, adding distance and performance on shots struck both on and off center. Most players will sacrifice the modicum of playability for irons which look and feel this good. The opportunity to add more forgiving hybrid-esque long irons (the MTs) is a significant advantage, as well.

Overview

Following up the 588 Forged CB and 588 Forged MB irons, and several years removed from the Black Pearl era of Cleveland Irons, Cleveland Golf released the 588 MT (medium trajectory) and TT (tour trajectory) irons for 2013.

The company intends for the irons (as well as the super game-improvement Altitude series) to be fully interchangeable with one another so golfers can, as Cleveland says, “build the perfect set.” Thus, I reviewed the 3 iron (19 degrees) and 4 irons (21 degrees) from the MT line, in conjunction with the 5 iron through pitching wedge (44 degrees) in the TT line.

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The MT irons (above) are used by several of Cleveland Golf’s staff players, including Keegan Bradley, Charlie Beljan, David Toms and Graeme McDowell (Click each player’s name to see a WITB with full specs and photos).

Both the MT and TT models feature multi-material vibration-dampening inserts that are intended to provide a more consistent feel across the club face. Both models also are equipped with Cleveland’s Forged Face Technology, by which a forged face is essentially inserted into the golf club.

The MTs feature full-hollow construction, which creates “advanced internal weighting that adds forgiveness and promotes a lower, deeper center of gravity for optimal launch and … distance.” The line also features progressive blade heights, moving from shallower in the long irons to taller in the shorter clubs, while the TTs have a constant blade height and a variable blade length.

Performance

The club’s forged face insert is something of a trampoline, and initial ball speeds are quite high. However, the company has improved its way to a potential fault, as the pitching wedge is almost too hot to use around the green.

Between the hot face and the stronger lofts, players will likely be picking up a few yards with each iron. Happily, trajectories shouldn’t be markedly lower, due to the the CG and undercut design.

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Both the MT and the TT are remarkably forgiving: Mishits fly father and straighter, and that isn’t just talk. Unless you need to work the ball like Bubba Watson, you’re not going to suffer from the decrease in playability compared to, say, previous 588 Forged models.

The 588 MT irons really get up in the air, which will be a benefit for the vast majority of golfers. However, better players will want to stick with the TTs as their long irons.

The TT’s rounded sole and compact design, in particular, make it a versatile and functional club from the rough, and it’s likely to outperform competitors from the territories outside the fairway due to both sole design and a face that ensures maximum distance on even the least convincing strikes of the golf ball.

Looks and feel

In the longer irons, the MTs are reminiscent of the old Mizuno Fli-Hi: long body and wide sole. Depending on playability and personal preference, this may be confidence-inspiring or annyoing. The TTs feature a substantial cavity, but it isn’t visible at address. As mentioned before, the top line of the clubs is wide, and is of comparable width to the TaylorMade RocketBladez irons.

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The 588 MT irons have wider soles than the 588 TT irons, which lowers the center of gravity for a higher launch, but decreases versatility from the rough. 

A similar aesthetic to the RTX CB wedge models is evident on the rear of the club, and there are suggestions of the 2008 Cleveland CG Golds/Reds in the design.

Click here to read a full review of the Cleveland 588 RTX CB and MB wedges.

Cleveland’s claims about the vibration dampening effect of the insert held true, almost to a fault, as there was (not surprisingly) less feedback at impact than with most traditional players, although off-center strikes didn’t come with their usual sting.

The models demoed featured Cleveland’s Traction 85 S flex shafts, but a variety of options are available.

Cleveland_TT_Shaft_Options_

Additionally, the loft and lie chart is below. Predictably, the lofts are 3 to 4 degrees stronger than in the 588 CB irons and reflect the industry imperative of strengthening club lofts.

Cleveland_MT_Cleveland_TT_Loft_Chart

The Takeaway

The elephant in the room with this year’s iron offerings for better players is Taylormade’s RocketBladez. So, this year, Cleveland moved away from the traditional look and construction of their 588 MB and 588 CB irons towards polymer and forged faced inserts.

The death nell of the forged iron may have sounded years ago, but with the adoption of the larger, longer-flyinh irons by the world’s best players, it seems that the “players iron” of today is a club that would have been positioned between players club and game improvement iron five years ago.

It is this spot that the Cleveland TT irons (and to a lesser degree, the MT irons) occupy. And if you’re anything other than the staunchest of blade purists, the Cleveland TT is worth your consideration. Likewise, if you aren’t contending for your club championship, a mixed set of the MT and TT irons will provide key benefits throughout the bag.

Another point of consideration in comparing Cleveland’s crop to their obvious competitor: the MT and TT lines both sell for $699, a price that’s below most of the competition.

Click here to see photos of Cleveland’s entire 2013 product line.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Thomas F

    Oct 23, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I have just ordered the Tt irons ! I done a lot of research and went to my local range for a fitting ! It felt so good hitting these!! Cannot wait to get my hands on them !

    • Garrick S

      Nov 1, 2014 at 9:09 am

      You will not be disappointed. I got mine two months ago. They are fantastic!!

  2. Jeff

    Sep 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

    So does this mean I can buy (if I want) only 4-7 of MT and 8-GW of TT?

  3. Jon S.

    May 23, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I bought the 588 MT’s after careful consideration of Callaway and Taylormade and I am glad I made the purchase. I have the 4 – DW in my bag now and could not be happier. It took a little while to get used to the higher irons and getting them to fly like my past clubs that I played for 10 years but after a few slight adjustments, I can always count on the yardage and flight pattern that is now a slight draw rather than a constant fade.
    The workability on these clubs is also surprising as it is a forged face rather than a full forged club and when properly hit, it will do what you intended it to do. I have never owned Cleveland clubs before but these have me sold for many years to come.

  4. John Davis

    Sep 19, 2013 at 3:06 am

    Hi all, I have just purchased these clubs. They’re bloody brilliant!! I have just come back to golf four months ago after not playing much other than the odd social game for near on 20 years. Got the wife into it, joined a club here in Sydney Australia and back in the week to week competition.

    Issue was I had old clubs, Bridgestone Rexceeds in fact. I found I had clubs that were not performing, very unforgiving and just not cutting anymore. I was being outhit by golfer I thought were worse golfer than me for distance. I researched the internet until could not do so anymore. Too much information but I did learn that I would benefit from new stick regardless and get better distances and for sure better control, two things I needed to improve my handicap.

    My handicap was given back to me was 20. Disappointing considering in the heady days as a teenager I played off 13 so not hitting my irons was frustration.

    I went to buy new clubs and I listened to current golfers who said, YOU MUST go and hit them, DO NOT buy them off the rack or internet. Thankfully I listened. First I bought a driver, a Callway Razer Fit 9.5 with stiff shaft. Great driver, hitting it miles. Bought a new Callway bag for it and my old clubs.

    Now, being a little OCD I wanted everything to match so when I went to try the different irons, I wanted to buy the Callaways but tried them , the Clevelands which I ended up buying and the Pings and the Mizuno’s which came second. I rated Pings third and Callaways 4th. Still does my head in as an old school golfer I wanted everything to match but now realise that it’s not important.

    What I did learn though from Cleveland was that not only do they feel incredibly nice to hit and they have great feel, but you can match the TT and MT clubs, I bought 4-6 in MT and 7-S in TT. Took some convincing but I am one of the converted. I also though that ad was a complete embarrassment when I saw it and I had even made up my mind I wasn’t going to buy those clubs because of the ad but when I tried them, I was sold. BTW, the ad is actually right on the money.

    I now have the clubs, they are great for OCD people too because they look the same yet you get the forgiving MT’s on the long irons and TT’s on the short irons.

    Seriously since having these clubs a month, I am heat seeking the pins on par 3’s and getting incredible accuracy and distance on long irons.Now I am hitting past those guys I thought I should have been hitting past all along. I also noticed that these clubs are incredible for forginess becaseu on the shots I have hit badly, I am astonished how they ended up. Already shot a 44 point game and my handicap is down from 20 to 17 already in one month! I swear by these clubs if you are interested to know and if you compare, you will see the difference between their peers, especially the feel off the club and I would say they are going to great for me as I lower my handicap because I will not need to replace them. When I asked why they felt so much better I was told it was because fo teh forged face. Now don’t take my word for it nor necessarily believe this, but there is something that makes these clubs that bit better, and maybe this is why.

    Next challange………….. need some more wedges in the bag!! Question is, which brand? 🙂 back to shops we go for more road testing I think.

    • metrybill

      Nov 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      Terrific and enjoyable comment from John Davis. Thanks, and welcome back to The Game. I am curious. What shafts were recommended for you and which model did you choose. Standard Traction 85 shaft seems awfully light and with a high launch profile.

      Has anyone else demo’d, bought or custom ordered the TT and MT irons with a different shaft than the off the rack shaft?

      • David W

        Jun 20, 2014 at 3:26 am

        Hi…bought a custom set of Mt 4,5 and TT 6-D wedge in KBS Tour shaft plus 588 forged in 54 and 58…fantastic combo..better control and distance. I chose the KBS as I had them in my old TM R9s. Lovely soft, crisp feel when hit on the sweet spot.

  5. Matthew Carter

    Sep 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Completed iron fitting at Cleveland Golf. Can’t wait to get my 588 TT’s. I agree with previous comment: CG is all about quality product without over the top marketing. Thanks Rueben! Best club fitters in the business. Next up…. Woods.

  6. TIM DAVIS

    Jul 28, 2013 at 12:21 am

    people are like sheep.they follow the crowd.i don’t go for all the marketing,i go for what is quality,the cleveland 588 is quality.i don’t need a tv commercial to know that!!

  7. wes

    Jun 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    jpx-825 pro seem to have this category flushed

  8. Fabin Sarley

    Jun 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    those look like a straight rip-off of the diablo forged

  9. Sabin Farley

    Jun 22, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Callaway X-Tour from 2005 maybe?

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Equipment

Jimmy Walker spotted testing a Titleist prototype driver?

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As spotted by GolfWRX Forum Member “anthony007,” Jimmy Walker was shown on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive hitting an unidentified driver at the Warrior Open.

In anthony007’s forum post, along with the photo, he asks the question “Is this a new Driver from Titleist?”

Well, it’s hard to tell from the grainy photo exactly what the driver says on the sole. But then Jimmy Walker himself posted on Twitter saying: “Great catch! Its always fun to test new prototypes and the [Titleist on Tour] guys have given me some cool toys to play with that are incredible – but unfortunately I can’t talk about them yet!”

While the response is a bit cryptic, it does seem that Walker confirms he was indeed testing a Titleist prototype driver.

What do you think?

Click here to see what GolfWRX members are saying about the photo.

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Whats in the Bag

UNLV Rebels WITB: 2018 NCAA Men’s Championship

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The University Of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Men’s Golf team is participating in the 2018 NCAA Championship at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma on May 25-30. Representing the Mountain West Conference, the team is led by Head Coach Dwaine Knight.

To see the team’s full roster, click here

Below, we highlight the clubs and shafts that each of the players on the team are using at the championship.

Shintaro Ban

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX

Hybrid: Callaway Epic (20 degrees)
Shaft: Oban Steel 115

Irons: Callaway X Forged (4 and 5 iron), Callaway Apex MB (6-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Fourteen RM Raw wedge (50, 55 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (50 and 55), S400 (60)

Putter: Odyssey O-Works 7S

Harry Hall

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 70TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917 F3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue M-AX 65TX

5 Wood: Titleist 917 F2 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue M-AX 65TX

Irons: Titleist 718 AP2 (3-9 iron)
Shafts: KBS Tour V 120X

Wedges: Titleist SM7 (48, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

Putter: Evenroll ER5 Hatchback (36.5 inches)

Jack Trent

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-TP 7X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8TX

Hybrid: Titleist H2 818 (17 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 105X

Irons: Titleist T-MB (4 iron), Titleist 718 CB (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50, 56 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X5R
Grip: SuperStroke Flatso 1.0 (35 inches)

Justin Kim

Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-TP 7TX

3 Wood: TaylorMade M2 2017 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-TP 8TX

Driving Iron: Titleist 712U (3 iron)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 105X

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4-PW)
Shaft: KBS $-Taper 130X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Sm6 (50, 54 and 58)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Justin Chong

Driver: TaylorMade M4
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ 6X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M3
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 7X

5 Wood: Ping G30
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 7X

Hybrid: TaylorMade M1 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD 85X

Irons: Miura CB-57 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-09 F Grind and 58-08 M Grind)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey V-Line Fang O-Works

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Garrick Higgo

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 60X 120MS

3 Wood: Titleist 917F3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana Black 70 TX

Hybrid: Titleist 816H2 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 85H X-Flex

Driving Iron: Titleist TMB (2, 3 and 4 iron)
Shaft: KBS C-Taper 130X

Irons: Titleist AP2 (5-PW, GW)
Shafts: KBS C -Taper 130X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 Matte Black (55 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper 130X

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X7M Black Tour Only

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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Equipment

Spotted: New Aldila Rogue Silver 130 MSI shaft

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The official Tour launch of the Aldila Rogue Silver 130 MSI shaft is this week at the 2018 Forth Worth Invitational at Colonial, and we were able to snap a few photos on the range. MSI stands for millions of pounds per square inch, and basically, it refers to how stiff the fiber is — the higher the number, the greater stiffness it has.

Headed to retail later this summer, according to Aldila, the lower-launching, lower-spinning Rogue Silver 130 MSI is the successor to the Rogue Silver 125 MSI.

Per the company, the new Rogue Silver 130 MSI will feature the same tapered butt-counter-balanced design as the 125. The stronger 130 MSI carbon fiber produces slightly lower torque, however, and is the strongest material in a Rogue shaft to date.

Several Tour pros have already made the switch to the new shaft:

  • Jimmy Walker put the 70 TX in his driver for the first time at The Players. He had been gaming the 80 TX in his fairway wood since the Masters.
  • Kevin Chappell has been playing the 80 TX in both his 3 and 5-woods.
  • Martin Flores has put the 70 TX in his driver
  • Chez Reavie put the 60 TX in his driver at the Masters.

We’ll bring you more details as they become available closer to launch. Click here to see what GolfWRX members are saying about the new shaft in our forums.

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