ERIN, Wis. -- The question has no right or wrong answer. It depends on whom you ask and how they interpret it. Even then, they might hedge. They might see both sides of the debate. It's understandable.
And yet, in the wake of Brooks Koepka's victory at the U.S. Open on Sunday, it's an increasingly valid query:
Which is better for golf -- one dominant player or a bunch of really good ones?
The easy answer is the latter. Koepka became the seventh consecutive first-time major champion, following in the footsteps of Sergio Garcia, Jimmy Walker, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Danny Willett and Jason Day. That's the most first-timers in a row since there were nine starting with the 2010 U.S. Open.
Parity has its upside. It helps strike a competitive balance, rendering major championships as unpredictable as the spin of a roulette wheel.
And it's hardly as if this recent run of winners is a list of flukes. There isn't a Shaun Micheel or a Todd Hamilton in the bunch. In fact, each of those last seven winners was ranked in the world's top 50 at the time of his win; all but Walker were ranked 22nd or higher.
Sure, it runs the risk of giving professional golf the feel of a deli line, where everybody grabs a pink ticket, then waits for their number to be called before they step up and claim a trophy. But it also breeds new stars, players who transform into household names in the span of four rounds.
"I think it's a great thing," said Rickie Fowler, who is still trying to win his first major. "It's a lot of the new blood, young guys. Some of the younger crew is coming in. I'm not saying the older guys are out, by any means, but I think we're making our presence a little bit more known."
Which leads to the other side of the debate.
Unpredictability might make for better theater, but predictability fills that theater more easily. As recently as a decade ago, Tiger Woods often was such a prohibitive favorite that the prevailing predictive question entering majors would be: "Tiger or the field?" And yet, it's impossible to contend that such domination was anything but beneficial for the sport.
Even Woods' most unspectacular Sunday coronations held interest for the masses, his uncontested No. 1 status paving the way for an unprecedented surge in golf. More people started playing. Television ratings soared. Sponsorship money skyrocketed.
Consider this: Koepka's winner's check of $2.16 million was more than the entire purse at the 1995 edition of this tournament, which just happened to be Woods' first U.S. Open appearance.
That's no coincidence.
Woods' contributions to the game are lengthy and numerous, but near the top of that list is the financial impact that wasn't just seen during the height of his prime but has persisted in the years since.
It's enough to leave anyone questioning whether the current run of first-timers is less beneficial to the game than a singular dominant figure.
"You need to have both," said Brandt Snedeker, who finished T-9 this week and is still seeking his first major. "You need to have one guy push everybody to get better, which Tiger did and Jack [Nicklaus] did before that. I don't know who this next generation guy is going to be, but it's fun to watch right now.
"I like seeing all these guys competing every week, trying to beat each other."
The truth is, these things come in cycles. One of the past seven major champions might turn into a dominant player. Koepka might parlay his first title into a handful more, just as Rory McIlroy did after winning his initial major during that streak of nine earlier this decade.
What we're witnessing right now is a competitive balance that didn't exist when Woods was at his best. At any major championship, any given week, any world-class player is capable of winning -- a notion borne out by those recent results.
It might not be the best thing for the long-term financial success of the game, but it's not exactly a hindrance, either.
There's really no right or wrong answer to the question of which is better for golf. And that's probably a good thing -- because nobody has any control over it anyway.