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What Is A Knee Knocker In Golf? – Explained!

what is a knee knocker in golf
what is a knee knocker in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of expressions and technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those expressions sometimes thrown out in conversation and television broadcasts is the expression “Knee Knocker”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly does the “Knee Knocker” mean in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what a Knee Knocker is in golf, along with some examples to solidify your comprehension.

What Is A Knee Knocker In Golf?

In golf, a Knee Knocker is a seemingly easy putt to make that for some reason makes you feel uneasy and like you are going to miss it. The main reason for knee knockers is the anxiety you feel due to the risk of missing an easy putt, especially if people are around.

In the great game of golf, the term “Knee Knocker” is a word that is fairly common to hear. Many golfers have heard of the term “Knee Knocker” before, as most people experience Knee Knockers. However, not everyone knows the term to go with the feeling of Knee Knockers.

When you hear the word “Knee Knocker”, it will almost always be on the putting green, during short game golf play.

In golf, a Knee Knocker is a relatively short putt that looks very easy to make, but makes you anxious because missing it would be embarrassing. A knee knocker is usually a bit of a longer putt than a Gimme Putt inside the leather.

Knee Knockers require you to actually attempt the putt, as the ball is too far from the hole to count as a Gimme Putt.

Knee Knockers typically occur when the ball is 3 to 8 feet away from the golf hole. Within 2 or 3 feet to the hole, the putt is no longer considered a Knee Knocker because in casual play, it is often a Gimme Putt, and in competitive play, players are good enough to usually not miss such a short putt.

In the case of a relatively long putt of more than around 8 feet away from the hole, Knee Knockers are less common because you are not expected to hole such a long and difficult putt.

You can read a real-world example of a Knee Knocker, down below.


Jeff is out playing golf with 3 singles (random people).

After his approach shot, Jeff’s ball lands 4 feet from the hole.

Jeff lines his putter up with the ball, and his legs start to shake slightly as he thinks of how embarrassing it would be for him to miss this putt.

“I hate Knee Knockers!” Jeff thinks in his head

The term Knee Knocker’s origin comes from the idea that when you are nervous, your legs are shaking, making your knees knock against each other. As the anxiety of potentially missing an easy putt sets in the minds of some golfers, their legs may start to shake, making their knees knock together.

Knee Knockers are not a pleasant feeling in golf, but we all live through them, hopefully with a carefree smile.

If you commonly feel Knee Knockers and miss them, it would be a good idea to invest some time into meditation, in order to clear your head of unwanted thoughts and anxiety. Meditation does wonders for locking yourself in the moment and on the task at hand.

If you would like to lower your golf score and reduce your chances of Knee Knockers, you can read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the term “Knee Knocker” means in golf. You also got to read about some real-world examples to further improve your understanding of the meaning of a Knee Knocker.

Do you have any other words you wish to know more about? What kind of putts feel like Knee Knockers to you? Let us know in the comments down below!

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