In golf, a “knee-knocker” is a nervous reaction to a short putt that for someone some reason gives the golfer trouble when it should be easy.


The term “Knee Knocker” is a reference to “knees knocking”, which is a term used for when someone is nervous or anxious about something.

It is related to the golf term “Jelly Legs”, but instead of being a short and rather easy putt, Jelly Legs usually come about because of the pressure present when faced with a shot or right before the first tee when there are a lot of people watching.

What Makes a Golf Shot a Knee Knocker?

Knee knockers are any short putts that give the golfer trouble or a case of nerves for some reason or another. Usually, a knee knocker putt is just between 3 to 6 feet in length.

Knee knockers are often missed, despite a great performance, it could end in a knee knocker.

Knee Knocker used in Commentary

Commentators or watchers can use the term knee knocker in several ways. Common examples include:

  • He played that bunker shotflawlessly but he was left with aknee knocker to make par.
  • She faced a knee-knocker after agreat game.