The R&A is bringing all its operations for testing equipment under one roof at a new building to be based at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Fife.
A planning application has been lodged by Fife Council by Dundee architects Wellwood Leslie for a new 22,750 square foot facility to be based on ground north of the existing practice area at Kingsbarns.
As part of its role as the governing body for all territories barring the USA and Mexico, the R&A tests thousands of golf clubs and balls to ensure they conform to the Rules of Golf. With the USGA, the R&A also tests to make revisions to the Rules if it is deemed necessary, and they also undertake research into the physics of golf on an ongoing basis.
Previously these operations were based at three different locations and the new building will provide a world class testing and research facility that will house The R&A’s Equipment Standards department under one roof.
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. It will feature an indoor range to test golf balls, a biomechanics testing bay with tracking radar systems and two robots used for research and testing.
Dr Steve Otto, Director Research and Testing at The R&A, said, “The proposed new centre at Kingsbarns will deliver a number of benefits in terms of enhancing our research and testing capabilities. We currently deliver an extremely high standard of service to golfers, manufacturers and our affiliated bodies but we have to look to the future and developing a custom built centre will give us much greater scope to carry out this work efficiently and improve the service even further.
“We have worked closely with Kingsbarns Golf Links on the proposed development and we look forward to consulting with Fife Council and other relevant bodies on the application.”