2017: Golf's Most Underrated And Overrated Stories

I enjoyed the nominations by the SI/Golf.com gang in discussing the most underrated and overrated stories from the past year.

I'm not entirely sure verdict is in on Donald Trump's golf impact, as Bamberger notes in his most overrated category, but I certainly agree with his most underrated:

The most underrated story was Spieth's Open win. In a lifetime of watching golf, I never saw anything like it, and the aftermath — how he and Kuchar handled it — was every bit as good.

Sens: I don't know if it was overrated but it got more play than warranted. Four young Tour pros go on a spring break trip together and film themselves yucking it up in the tropics. Sorry, but I couldn't have been more bored. You could take your pick of underrated stories from the women's game, because the women's game rarely gets the attention it deserves. But the ups and downs of Lexi Thompson's season — her run-ins with the rules; her rise up the rankings — have been compelling theater.

Passov: I'll nominate Bernhard Langer's performance on the PGA Tour Champions circuit as the most underrated story of the year. He posted 16 top 10s in 22 events with seven wins and three majors — at age 60!

A more complicated case of overrated/underrated is raised by Joe Passov in suggesting the Erin Hills criticism was overrated. But I think we are talking about different things here (venue vs. scoring).

For overrated, I'll go with the incessant second-guessing and criticism about Erin Hills as a U.S. Open venue. So it played easy. That's what the weather dealt and how the USGA set it up. Honestly, it was a terrific, thought-provoking modern design, whether or not it played precisely like a links. There were no controversies with the greens, except perhaps the tiny, tilted putting surface at the short par-3 9th.

I'd agree the second guessing of the scoring is overrated given that in the long term, few will remember the final number posted by Brooks Koepka. Unless...the narrowing at Shinnecock Hills in 2018 was a response to Erin Hills and backfires.