ON THE ROAD
Whether you spend life on the road for pleasure or work, it's nice to have the comforts
of home as you travel the highways and byways.
TRAILBLAZER checks in with folks who spend a fair amount of time on the road to see just what makes their home away from home.
This month, we find out why....PGA Pro Clayton Rask Loves Golf, Camping....and Canada
Pro golfer Clayton Rask is currently on the road in his second season on the PGA's Nationwide Tour, where he's combining his love of golf and camping by towing his 27-foot Sunnybrook Lite RKFS fifth wheel with a Ford F-350. He's happily pursuing a similar United States golfing and camping odyssey he enjoyed in Canada for several years--and thousands of miles--on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour. The Minnesota native and University of Minnesota alumnus qualified for the Canadian Tour after graduation by taking a train to Seattle, a bus to Vancouver, and a rental car to Swan-e-Set Bay & Resort (a filming location for Adam Sandler's golf flick, "Happy Gilmore"). "I made a couple of cuts, saw a couple of guys at the golf course with their fifth wheels and motor homes, and thought that would be a whole lot easier [and] save some money," he recalls. He's been combining his passion for golf, travel, and camping ever since.
What's your favorite thing about staying in your SunnyBrook versus a hotel room?
The luxury of having all of my stuff...more clothes than I could possibly need...my own bed. When I'm parked, I can go outside instead of sitting in a hotel room.
What are two of your favorite things onboard?
My fishing poles and my movies. That's about all I do when I'm not golfing.
What are a few favorite destinations and why?
[On] the Canadian Tour, Banff was always a good one. Vancouver Island. Out in Victoria was always good. We have family land in Wisconsin--that's where I grew up camping and that's where I got the knack for enjoying having the camper. It's pretty much wherever I end up. Anywhere out in the wilderness and I'm good to go.
Do you like taking highways or scenic routes?
It all depends. If I have time to do it, I'll take some back roads. I'm always up for a little bit of both.
It looks like you really enjoyed exploring Canada on the Canadian Tour, including finishing tied for second at 2010's Canadian Tour
Championship at St. Catharines Golf & Country Club in Ontario. Can you tell us some more about your experience north of the border?
It was very unique. We always started out west. I think the thing I like most about driving is that you're on your own schedule. Flying is time-efficient, but you're missing out on a lot. I've seen thousands and thousands of miles of the United States and Canada that most people won't get to see. I don't like having schedules. The only thing I like having scheduled is what time I'm supposed to peg it [tee off] on Thursdays [the traditional start of professional tournaments]. Last year [for the Nationwide Tour's 20-plus stops], I pretty much drove everything except to Mexico and South America. We used to have the Wayne Gretzky Classic up in Canada \ and I think they're talking about getting it back.
What's your favorite meal to make onboard?
Anything I cook on the grill. Sweet corn. Fish. Brats. I do like the Long Horn [Steakhouse]. Outback is always good on the way out of town [after a tournament].
Have you ever gone camping with your family?
We grew up doing it. Grandpa and grandma have--I think it's a 1976 Apache pop-up 16-footer with two slides. My uncle had a 14-footer that I [first] hauled around the Canadian Tour for the first few years. It's a little green guy...you can't miss it.
Rask's PGA Tour profile reveals a few more tidbits about life on the road--and fairways:
*Rask always carries beef jerky in his golf bag.
*His dream foursome would be with his dad, uncle, and grandfather.
*This movie buff's fave films are "Fast Five" and "Grumpy Old Men."
*Rask is never without his iPod.
*His biggest thrill thus far was his first hole in one.
*His first car was an '85 Camaro.
*His favorite food is pizza.
*Rask's favorite U.S. cities to visit are Dallas, Atlanta, and Scottsdale.