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May 5 2013

6:23 PM

Cleveland’s 588 irons making a splash


Graeme McDowell won the RBC Heritage with a mixed set of irons. (Lecka/Getty Images)

By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM equipment insider

Using a mixed set of irons on the PGA TOUR is something that rarely registers an eyebrow raise on a week-to-week basis. Last week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, 68 players had at least one iron that was different from the rest of their current set, while 25 players had at least two different irons in the bag.

This week at the Wells Fargo Championship, Phil Mickelson was one of the notables in the field who used a mixed set with three Callaway RAZR X MB (4-6) irons and four Callaway X Forged 2013 (7-PW) irons. 

And if you're looking for a recent mixed-set winner, look no further than Graeme McDowell, who won several weeks ago at the RBC Heritage with four different iron models (Cleveland 588 MT (3), Cleveland 588 TT (4), Srixon Z-TX II (5-9) and Cleveland Reg 588 Raw (PW)).

In recent years, players rarely mixed iron sets, choosing instead to drop long irons and incorporate hybrids. But with the return of utility irons like Titleist's 712U and Callaway's X Utility Prototype, hybrids are no longer the only long-iron alternative. 

Cleveland Golf has seen a massive spike this season in mixed sets and utility iron use, thanks in large part to its 588 line. The 588 MT (Mid Trajectory) long irons, the company's game-improvement long irons, have become a bag staple for a number of players this year — along with the 588 TT (Tour Trajectory), which has a lower ball flight -- to the point that Cleveland found itself at the top of the utility iron category the last two weeks at the Zurich Classic and Wells Fargo Championship. 

The craziest part of all? The 588 MT was never designed to be a utility iron. However, that didn't stop a number of players from replacing their current utility irons and hybrids with Cleveland's 588 MT, which has a hollow head design that allows weight to be distributed for a lower, deeper center of gravity.

Aside from McDowell, who used a 588 MT 3-iron and 588 TT 4-iron at the RBC Heritage, Keegan Bradley (Cleveland 588 MT 4-iron), Charlie Beljam (588 MT 2-, 3- and 4-iron) and Jerry Kelly (588 MT 3-iron) are also using mixed sets with at least one of 588 MT.

"I think players like them as a long-iron alternative because they're easy to hit and go forever," said Cleveland Golf PGA TOUR rep Rob Waters. "The additional length and the ability to work the ball are just a few of the reasons we've seen so many staffers put them in the bag."

For more information or to buy Cleveland's 588 MT or TT line, click here.

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