Sandia GC’s Knee Can’t Wait to Launch PGA Leadership Program

When it comes to the PGA LEAD program, Nick Knee thinks third time is a charm.

Knee, the 36-year-old head golf pro at Sandia Golf Club, said he had applied for the leadership development program for the third time and had recently become one of 10 members of the PGAs selected from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

Knee, a La Cueva High alumnus, is excited to join the two-year program that helps those who want to serve and impact nonprofit boards within the communities where they live.

“It’s a stepping stone for me professionally,” said Knee, who worked at Sandia for 12 years, the last four as head pro. “It allows me to learn and be taught by leaders within the PGA of America, and puts me in mentorship situations.”

Nick Knee, head golf pro at Sandia Golf Club, was recently selected for the PGA LEAD program. (Courtesy of Nick Knee)

Knee said he was the fourth Sun Country Section pro to be selected in a PGA LEAD class since the program’s inception in 2016.

Since 2016, there have been three Section Presidents and one Section Vice President, as well as 19 PGA LEAD Participants selected to serve on National Committees. The PGA of America said in a press release that the program reinforces its “commitment to creating a game, workforce and industry supply chain that better reflects American demographics.”

Knee humbly said the program would help him be “a good golf pro.”

Knee has shown great success in his ability to work with juniors, which he says he enjoys. In 2019 and 2021, he led two junior teams that reached the PGA Junior League Regional Qualifiers.

He said he gained useful knowledge as assistant coach of La Cueva football team over the past two seasons. He’s a defensive backs coach.

“It really helps when you’re on a good coaching staff like that,” Knee said. “I’ve been able to see the impact of other coaches on kids and I can bring that back to the golf course when working with kids.”

Knee played wide receiver and defensive back at La Cueva, where he graduated in 2005. He said he was a side piece at the state title in 2004, when the Bears went undefeated.

“What I learned playing there,” Knee said. “I try to pass it on.”

Kevin E. Boling