Meet Edina's Hometown Heroes

Edina is made up of people who pride themselves with making the city a great place for living, learning, raising families and doing business.

Debi Knudson

“Life is a journey; golf is a journey,” said Debi Knudson, Golf Teaching Professional at Braemar Golf Course. Golf is a passion and journey Debi says she is glad to have fallen in to.

Debi has worked at Braemar Golf Course for 10 years. For the first few years, Debi worked in the Pro Shop while she was attending school to earn a degree in financial planning. In 2004, then-Course Manager John Vallerie drafted the “Tee It Up Fore Fun” program, which is an etiquette class to help transition newer golfers from basic lessons and driving range practice to the golf course. John appointed Debi to research and develop the program.

Debi was in charge of the program for its first three years. For the last five years, Debi has been teaching group classes and private lessons as a Braemar Golf Pro. She has taught more than 3,000 students ranging in age from 4 to 90 and in all skill levels. She has also taught women’s golf camp, junior classes, junior camps and “Kidz Kamp” at both Braemar Golf Course and Dome. She has also been an integral part of the “Ladies Night at the Golf Dome” event, yielding more than 100 golfers at each outing.

Debi hasn’t always been an avid golfer. She said she started learning when she was 14 years old. She golfed maybe six times, and then never touched a club again. Fast-forward 25 years, Debi rekindled her interest in golf. She took countless lessons from several of Braemar Golf Course’s pros. The more time she spent on the course, the more she enjoyed it. In fact, it slowly became her passion.

“My professors would often make jokes that all I would talk about in my assignments are golf,” Debi said. “One professor told me, ‘Every time you talk about golf, you light up.’”

She kept working harder and harder at her game. After about three years of lesson and practice, Debi started competing. “As someone who has never touched a club and is now competing is very exciting,” she said. “Golf is a lifetime sport. You can start at any age, at any level.”

Debi has taken her passion in golf and is enthusiastically teaching student golfers. She said that as a teacher, the most important things are to stay encouraging, help students have positive attitudes and make sure the experience is fun.

“Teaching golf is a lot more fun that helping people clean up their finances,” Debi said. In addition to giving group and private lessons, Debi is also working on teaching two of her grandchildren her favorite game.
 

14 of 56  Heroes

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