Ryder Cup tees up showcase for local artist

Last minute preps are in full swing at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

The Ryder Cup isn't just a chance to put Minnesota on the international stage. It will also be a showcase for a local artist.

Whether it’s the pictures on the windows in the entryway of the clubhouse, or the slogan on the stairs leading up to the first tee, Karl Jaeger's art will be everywhere at the Ryder Cup.

"It's an honor. I think it's the coolest sporting event there is. I've been a huge fan of the Ryder Cup since I was a little kid. Being part of it now and doing work like this is awesome," Jaeger said.

He has enjoyed drawing sports heroes for most of his life. After college, he started a business with his dad, Arts Sports Incorporated, doing artwork for golfers like Arnold Palmer and creating murals for teams like the Gophers, Huskies and Twins, as well other small schools around the country.

"It’s fun, but it’s a challenge. I like working with the teams. I like making them happy. Portray the history of a program," Jaeger said.

But Jaeger's big break with the Ryder Cup came 10 years ago when the captain of the US team, Minnesota native Tom Lehman, hired him to do a portrait of the players.

Since then, the PGA has brought him in to do several other portraits and murals for the international competition, including hundreds of pieces that will be everywhere from the locker room to the players lounge in the Hazeltine clubhouse.

"All kinds of mounted graphics from murals to frosted vinyl. Every square inch Team USA or Team Europe wants covered, they come to me and ask what can you do? I come up with ideas and try to make it look good," Jaeger said.

For the next two weeks, crews will be working hard to make sure the course is ready for the spotlight. Jaeger will be stepping up his game as well to make sure visitors' view of Minnesota is a work of art.

"We really want to put our best foot forward and say 'Yeah. This is some pretty cool stuff we just saw'," Jaeger said.