If you want to know why today’s fairway woods and hybrids produce longer shots, brush up on your science. Specifically, metallurgy. Many new designs use exotic steel alloys in the face to improve ball speed. Their names (455, 475, HT1770, C300) and nerdy ingredients (molybdenum, anyone?) might sound dull, but their properties are white hot. These metals have what’s called “high tensile strength,” which means they can endure a lot of stress (sometimes 115,000-plus kilograms per square inch) before failure. The greater the strength, the thinner companies can make a clubface, which means more flex and less weight. (That saved weight can be used to preserve stability on off-centre hits, control spin and enhance energy transfer.) Those are good reasons to like these metals, but here’s a better one: Some are used in missile casings and jet fighters. Here are 10 new metalwoods to help you launch a few of your own:

The advanced steel in the face wraps around the top and bottom for maximum ball speed, and the larger size provides forgiveness.

MIZUNO JPX-EZ [above top middle]
The special metal in the face, the larger size and wave-like sole combine for more distance on shots all across the clubface.

COBRA KING LTD. [above top right]
Distance starts with the special-steel face, but a see-through sole plate and carbon-fibre crown shift mass low for higher launch and less spin.

TAYLORMADE M1 [bottom left]
The saved weight from the lightweight carbon-composite crown is relocated into two sliding weights in the sole that control your left or right misses.

TOUR EDGE EXOTICS EX9 [bottom right]
Power comes from a face that wraps around the perimeter, an ultra-high-strength steel that gets as thin as a nickel, and a sloping, aerodynamic crown.

The Art of the Steel

TAYLORMADE M1 [above top left]
The high-strength face insert helps boost distance, and two meaty, movable weights in the sole – one is 25 grams – let you tweak direction.

PARSONS EXTREME GOLF 0317 [above top right]
The hot metal in the face produces speed, and heavy tungsten weight screws in the sole help launch the ball high and control direction.

CALLAWAY APEX [above middle]
Its iron-like blade length will appeal to better players, but anyone will like the benefits of a face that wraps over the top and bottom for more flex.

TITLEIST 816H [above bottom left]
A special alloy face insert and a flexing channel in the sole rev the engine. Plus, there are two models, nine total loft options and a 16-way hosel to fit your distance gaps.

SRIXON Z355 [above bottom right]
Sure, the high-tech metal in the face launches shots faster, but the balance point of the lighter shaft and heavier head make the golfer’s swing faster, too.