Green light for R&A’s golf testing facility at Kingsbarns

The proposed RA Equipment Testing Centre at KingsbarnsPlans for a new equipment testing centre at Kingsbarns Golf Links near St Andrews have been approved by Fife Council.

Designed by Wellwood Leslie Architects, the new 22,750 sq. ft facility is to be located to the north of the practice area at Kingsbarns.

Utilising the latest technology, the building will provide a world class testing and research facility that will house The R&A’s Equipment Standards department, which currently operates from three locations, under one roof. It represents a major investment for The R&A that will enhance its ability to monitor and apply the Equipment Rules on behalf of its 152 affiliated organisations around the world.

The building has been designed in an energy efficient, environmentally sensitive manner. As well as maximising the use of daylight, it will incorporate a range of features, such as air source heat pumps, and use sustainable materials, including an extensive sedum roof that will allow it to sit comfortably in its setting at Kingsbarns.

The new centre will incorporate an indoor test range to evaluate golf balls. On the range side of the building there will be a biomechanics testing bay, equipped with golf ball tracking radars and a marker tracking system capable of producing three-dimensional videos of golfers’ swings. Two golf robots, which are used for both research and the testing of clubs and balls, will be housed at the centre.

It will feature specially designed areas for the testing of clubs and other equipment using a mixture of bespoke and other more standard pieces of equipment. The testing equipment ranges from a container full of water, which uses the Archimedes principle to measure clubhead volume, through to an optical metrology system for iron clubs capable of measuring to sub-micron precision.

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