I'm in the camp of folks who like to see level par for the US Open. Erin Hills obviously had some teeth, but a near-par cut line and multiple guys double digit under par is not a US Open to me.
I think most courses on TOUR are a "fair challenge for the worlds best." i want to see these guys struggle. Can't wait for Shinnecock next year.
Personally I think the problem with this years US Open was simply not enough hazards. No water, and bunkers were mostly protecting greens, which in some cases, actually helped the players since it kept them out of the true penalty that is the fescue. These players need more of a challenge than laying up a little or knowing they simply needed to be a little bit more accurate. The fairways as mentioned were very wide and the players were mostly penalized on the greens. I suppose the extremely long par 3 was interesting, but I thought it was much too long and takes away some of the true challenge of a par 3.
I fall in the camp who didn't mind the easier course this year, but let me say that with a grain of salt. I feel like there needs to be a balance and a U.S. Open should be harder than a weekly tournament. The marketing experts say we amateurs love to see birdies. OK, fine, but the U.S. Open can be the one more difficult example.
That said, what I don't like, and this is a generality that applies in varied amounts from year to year, is the course setup. I feel the USGA's setup for the U.S. Open often brings way too much an element of luck into the play. Knee deep rough and greens that won't accept a very well struck shot has often been the rule in previous tournaments. This year wasn't as bad as many years in the past, whether by course design or setup design.
I was happy with the way it went.