Scottish Golf Courses

Kingsbarns is new R&A testing home

Facility set to offer ‘a number of benefits’, says R&A gear guru Otto

THE R&A has unveiled plans for a new equipment testing centre at Kingsbarns Golf Links near St Andrews, with the world-class facility set to become the new home of the R&A’s Equipment Standards department.

The facility will be kitted out with the latest technology and will provide a world-class testing and research centre, enhancing the governing body’s ability to monitor and apply the equipment rules on behalf of its 152 affiliated organisations around the world.


Each year, the R&A’s Equipment Standards department tests thousands of golf clubs and balls to ensure they conform to the equipment rules. Together with the USGA, the R&A is responsible for making any revisions to these rules if they are deemed necessary. It also conducts research into the physics of golf.

The new centre will include 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.

Dr Steve Otto, the R&A’s director of research and testing, 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 further.”

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