The clubhouse at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Fife, Scotland.
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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The R&A has revealed plans to construct an equipment testing facility near the practice area at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Fife, Scotland, about 15 miles southeast of St. Andrews.

The facility will serve as the headquarters for the R&A’s Equipment Standards department and will house an indoor golf ball testing range, a biomechanics testing bay with ball-tracking radars, a tracking system to produce 3-D swing models and two golf robots to be used for both club and ball testing. 

According to an R&A press release, the 22,750-square foot building will have environmentally sensitive and energy efficient qualities including air-source heat pumps and a green, plant-covered roof. Other specifics include water containers that measure club head size using the Archimedes principle and an “optical metrology system for iron clubs capable of measuring to sub-micron precision.”

“The proposed center at Kingsbarns will deliver a number of benefits in terms of enhancing our research and testing capabilities,” said Dr. Steve Otto, director of research and testing for the R&A. “We have to look to the future and developing a-custom built center will give us much greater scope to carry out this work efficiently and improve the service even further.”

Along with the USGA, the R&A tests golf clubs and balls every year to ensure their compliance with the Rules of Golf. The R&A’s current equipment testing center is spread out over three locations in and around St. Andrews, but the new center will allow the organization to conduct advanced testing more efficiently.

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