“One of the things that was challenging, but cool was they wanted it to be specific to Pebble Beach, which was fun,” Corrado says.
The artist has played golf most of his life, but he has never been to the Monterrey Peninsula. His parents had taken a trip to Pebble Beach about five years ago, though, so he picked his mom’s brain and made sure landmarks like the Lone Cypress were included in his creation.
“And just the natural beauty — looking at the pictures and everything – I kind of was inspired to use some of the colors and the waves and the water and kind of that California feel,” he says. “I think that was probably the most challenging part was just making sure we got the elements in and to make sure that it tells the story and is specific to Pebble Beach.”
Corrado also researched Spieth, who turned pro midway through his sophomore year at Texas and won the John Deere Classic two weeks before his 20th birthday. He won his first two majors two years later and added a third in 2017.
And in an interesting coincidence, Corrado found that one of the signature features in his art could be used to tell Spieth’s story, as well.
“There’s an element that I use a lot in my artwork — I use these hands,” he says. “They’re kind of like these classic cartoon hands. And I use the hands doing like kind of a rock-on kind of hands, and it looks like horns or something.
“And Jordan, he went to the University of Texas, the Hook-’em-Horns hands, which is the same thing. So, I put that element in there, because I thought, well, this is cool because I already do this in my artwork. And it also is kind of a nod to his time at Texas.”
The detail was not lost on the 11-time PGA TOUR champion who tied for fourth last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
“Matt’s design is awesome,” Spieth said. “I really love the bold style and am excited it’s going to stand out on the course. It feels personal, too, with the Hook ‘em Horns and the iconic Pebble Beach lone Cyprus tree.”
Corrado always knew he wanted to be an artist, and he studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 2005 with a BFA in illustration. He’s developed a distinctive pop art style that is driven by the things that influenced him as a kid – skateboarding and comic books and graffiti, among them.
“Those are kind of like some of the core elements that I feel like inspired my art as I was growing up and as I was kind of developing a style,” Corrado says. “But I also really enjoy graphic design and clean, bold design stuff.
“So, I try to kind of pull some of those things in consciously and subconsciously, I think to kind of create a style and a visual language that can be traced back to me, too. Part of it is just a branding thing where you want your work to be recognizable and consistent in some capacity. So, it’s kind of a combination of those things.”
Corrado said the opportunity to design Spieth’s bag came out of the blue, a cold-call of an email, essentially. And he was immediately excited to participate in the project.
“I’ve done a lot of murals and I’ve done a lot of canvases and paintings and stuff like that,” he says. “But there’s something really cool that I always enjoy about actually putting artwork on like tangible products, things that people use and functional. …
“And it’s also a challenge to try to like figure out how to apply artwork to something like a golf bag. It’s just not it’s not something you see a lot, you know? So yeah, I thought it was really cool and kind of would be an exciting challenge and a good opportunity.”
The payoff comes this week when Corrado will see the bag on national television at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a tournament Spieth won in 2017.
“I hope I get to see the bag out there and I hope Jordan does well,” he says. “He usually competes pretty well in that tournament. I have some friends and stuff who will be watching too — they’ll be watching anyways, but it will be fun to have them maybe see my bag pop up, too, if it gets shown on the coverage. I’ll definitely be watching to check it out.”
And one of Spieth’s fans will have a similar experience May 13-16 at the AT&T Byron Nelson.