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Karl Jaeger aces Ryder Cup with artwork

By Ed DuBois

Ever since Tom Lehman invited Karl Jaeger to do the artwork for the U.S. Ryder Cup team ten years ago, the 1993 Buffalo High School graduate has steadily increased his involvement with the international event.  The highlight of his career, so far, was this year’s Ryder Cup event in Minnesota.

“I have been so closely involved.  I saw the looks on the players’ faces when they lost in previous Ryder Cup events.  Seeing the U.S. team win this year was fantastic.  I knew what it meant to them, and especially to Davis Love, who was the team captain in 2012,” Jaeger said.  “And I saw them do it in my home state.”

Attending the Ryder Cup in Minnesota could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and Jaeger saw it up close and personal.

“I made sure I was at the 18th green when they clinched it,” he said.


Every two years

He had waited ten years for that moment.  He had been looking forward to the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine all that time.

He was involved with the Ryder Cup in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, and now 2016.  Each time, one of the key projects was a hand-drawn artwork showing all of the U.S. team members.

“During the last three Ryder Cups, I have also done artworks in the locker rooms, in the clubhouse and in the team hotel.  I was asked to fill all kinds of spaces with art,” Jaeger said.

In 2012, when the Ryder Cup was in the Chicago area, the European team asked him to do the same for them.  The size and scope of Jaeger’s Ryder Cup involvement kept expanding.


Exclusive area

“I did the most ever this year,” he said.  “There were many different random projects.”

The project that was the most fun was inside the players’ locker room.

“The only people who would see the art were the players.  No one but the players was allowed inside.  It was really exclusive,” Jaeger said.

Love told Jaeger the players loved it.

“I was glad to hear it from him.  As the captain, he was the one to impress,” Jaeger commented.

On the Monday after the Ryder Cup concluded at Hazeltine, Patrick Reed, who Jaeger referred to as the “superstar of the weekend,” spoke to Jaeger.

“Spirits were high after they won the Ryder Cup.  He was very complimentary,” Jaeger recalled.

Beyond the locker room, just about every wall at the hotel and at the clubhouse had some of his art on it.  Some of the projects were huge murals that were put up with adhesive vinyl.  Others were works printed on boards and then applied to the walls.

“We even put graphics on the stairs to the first tee,” Jaeger mentioned.

He put graphics on the team captains’ golf carts, as well.


Worked for months

Work on the 2016 Ryder Cup projects began last spring in April and May.  Jaeger said each month thereafter was busier.

Most of the work took place “in the shop,” a building located just south of Buffalo’s Centennial Fire Station on County Rd. 134.  Karl and his father, Frank Jaeger, started a business, ASI (Art Sports, Inc.), about 20 years ago.  They have four employees who help with everything from graphic work to materials preparation to deliveries and installations.

Karl, who has been married since 2001 and has two daughters, comes to work each day ready to get creative and productive.  He creates art for all kinds of sports, but golf has been one of his specialties since the beginning and remains a key part of his overall career.


Proud to have role

So many projects were completed for the 2016 Ryder Cup, the removal of the art and graphics at Hazeltine took about a week.  Frank mentioned that Hazeltine would like to keep some of the art in place for a while.

Meanwhile, Frank and Karl are looking forward to the next Ryder Cup event in France.  They were able to travel to the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland and the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland.

Two years from now, the Ryder Cup will be in Wisconsin, and then in 2020, the Jaegers plan to be in Rome, Italy for the event.

Traveling all over the world to provide artworks and graphics at the Ryder Cup events is exciting, to say the least.  But so far, this year’s Ryder Cup in Minnesota has topped them all.  Karl grew up in Minnesota, and he has been a Ryder Cup fan since he was a little kid.  He considers it an honor to contribute his artistic talent to the event every two years.


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