’s 21 most-read news and feature stories of 2017

December 13, 2017

Ready to relive a crazy year?

We sorted through the archives to find the most-read pieces of 2017 — ones that appeared in Sports Illustrated and GOLF magazines and also on — to give you another chance to recap the year that was. Sergio wins, Tiger returns, the continued rise of a social media sensation, a golfer in the White House and rules, rules and more rules — the last 12 months had it all.

Below are links to our 21 most-read news and feature stories of the year, so scroll down, click away and enjoy the best moments — and some even better prose — from 2017. Cheers.

1. First Golfer: Donald Trump’s relationship with golf has never been more complicated

Donald Trump is never more at home than he is on the links. But, as with everything in the life of a President, his relationship with the game — and the relationships he’s built through it — are more complicated now. — by Alan Shipnuck

2. Paige Spiranac is trying to make peace with her place in the game

Is Paige Spiranac a much-needed agent of change, helping golf reach a younger, more diverse audience while demonstrating the awesome power of social media? Or is she a sideshow exploiting our baser instincts while distracting from the real competition between the ropes? — by Alan Shipnuck

3. Lexi Thompson given four-stroke penalty after TV viewer spots rules violation, loses in playoff

LPGA star Lexi Thompson took center stage when a blunder cost her a major championship. She was penalized four strokes for improperly marking her ball and signing an incorrect scorecard after a viewer called in to report the infraction. It was just the first of many times the Rules of Golf dominated 2017. — by Josh Berhow

4. The man who found the land for Erin Hills will watch the U.S. Open from prison

Two decades ago Steve Trattner discovered the breathtaking property for what would eventually become Erin Hills, host site of the 117th U.S. Open. But as that project began to find its way, Trattner lost his, culminating in a grisly crime of which no one thought him capable. — by Josh Sens

5. LPGA sets strict new dress code regulations for players

LPGA pros were sent an email detailing strict new dress code rules for attire on and off the course, a surprising step backward for a usually forward-thinking tour. — by Kevin Cunningham

6. President Donald Trump drives cart all over Bedminster green

During a round at his club in Bedminster, N.J., Donald Trump took to making up his own rules and took his golf cart for a spin out on the green. — by Marika Washchyshyn

7. Rory McIlroy on Tiger Woods: ‘I could not live like that’

For four-time major-winner Rory McIlroy, the price of golf greatness, at least for Tiger Woods, was just too steep. — by Sean Zak

8. Jordan Spieth wins British Open in dramatic style with gutsy performance at Birkdale

Jordan Spieth triumphed at the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale thanks to a late-round comeback for the ages. — by Michael Bamberger

9. Tiger Woods’s DUI arrest a stark reminder of where his life is now

Tiger Woods used to have golf to fill his time, to give him drive, to let him exercise his vast competitive urge. For now, anyway, he doesn’t. Still, the time must be filled. — by Michael Bamberger

10. ‘He hit the ball on the screws’: Sen. Graham details President Trump’s improbable 73

Did the commander in chief really shoot 73, two strokes higher than his age, on a 6,800-yard course? Sen. Lindsey O. Graham takes us inside his round with President Donald Trump. — by Michael Bamberger

11. LPGA players react to new dress code: ‘It only really applies to a few people’

An email outlining new dress code regulations for LPGA players generated controversy and bewilderment. While some fans rushed to defend the Tour’s crackdown, others were puzzled. — by Kiley Bense

12. Rory McIlroy weds Erica Stoll: Details emerge from the ‘wedding of the decade’

While security was tight at the 350-acre estate, multiple Irish media outlets reported details on what was described as the “wedding of the decade.” — by Jessica Marksbury

13. Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Florida on Memorial Day

Tiger Woods was arrested for driving under the influence on Memorial Day Monday near his home in Jupiter, Fla. — by Kevin Cunningham

14. The story behind our Trump story (and one explosive quote)

Of the 7,424 words in Alan Shipnuck’s deep dive into President Trump’s ties to golf, seven words caused a media frenzy: “That White House is a real dump.” Here’s the story behind the story. — by Alan Shipnuck

15. Tiger Woods, fellow pros react to the Lexi Thompson rules controversy

Lexi Thompson and So Yeon Ryu both finished 14 under at the ANA Inspiration, but Ryu won the LPGA’s first major of the season by beating Thompson in a playoff. It didn’t get to that point without controversy. — by Josh Berhow

16. ‘Go get that’: What Spieth was thinking on the 15th green at Royal Birkdale

Was it a rude gesture toward his caddie or an in-the-moment celebration? In his press conference after his British Open win, Spieth said that his adrenaline-fueled outburst was pure theatrics. — by Kiley Bense

17. Spieth wins Travelers with hole-out from bunker, and his celebration was nuts

The Golden Child holed a 20-yard bunker shot on the first playoff hole of the Travelers Championship to take down Daniel Berger. His celebration was as good as the shot. — by Josh Berhow

18. The Other Arnold: Palmer’s daughter reflects on the chasm between the brand and the man

Arnold Palmer’s grown daughter, who has dealt all her life with both the manufactured image and the actual man, opens up. The private moments she describes with her famous father are intense, fragile and ordinary. They are filled with heartache and love. — by Michael Bamberger

19: Sorry, it’s not for sale: Meet the homeowners who refuse to sell to Augusta National

Over the past 15 years, Augusta National has gone on a buying spree, spending a reported $40 million to expand its borders. But there is one holdout: Herman and Elizabeth Thacker. — by Adam Schupak

20. Sergio! Garcia beats Justin Rose in playoff to win Masters, claim first major title

Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose battled in the final round of the 2017 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, and Garcia prevailed, winning his first major title. — by Michael Bamberger

21. A ‘crushing’ loss for Kuchar at Royal Birkdale, but a small victory behind the 18th green

Matt Kuchar couldn’t match Jordan Spieth’s five-under finish over the closing five holes, and he remains without a major title. — by Josh Berhow