Trust in golf distance measuring devices in users


Whether to improve training or performance, the use of technology is increasing in sport and golf is no exception. A common piece of technology used in both competitive and recreational golfers is the Distance Measuring Device (DMD). Trust in technology can affect the choice to use technology and the performance of the human-technology team. The purpose of this research was to examine a golfer's confidence in their own abilities to determine yardage and trust in a DMD after a series of golf rounds both with and without the DMD. Thirty-three golfers with a handicap of 20 or less, and who typically used a DMD, participated in a repeated measures design study where measures were taken at baseline and following each of five rounds of golf. Trust in automation and confidence to estimate yardage without technology were assessed using a modified validated questionnaire on trust in automation (Jian et al., 2000). Results showed that trust in the DMD remained high throughout the study and did not change after golfers stopped using the device. Golfers' confidence in estimating yardage (without technology) did change over the course of the study where confidence decreased immediately after they played their first round without the DMD. However, their confidence increased again after playing another round without the device. There was no significant change in golfers' performance over the course of the five rounds. Future research should consider actual estimate accuracy and its relationship to self-confidence in one's own estimates without technology and trust in technology.