Sports-oriented travelers can combine enjoyment of golf, tennis and bowling with travel through membership in the National Senior Sports Assn. (NSSA), an organization for people over age 50.
NSSA was founded in 1979 by Lloyd Wright, a former executive of the National Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Wright wanted to meet the needs of older golfers who could not afford to play famous national golf resorts. He also recognized that the game could mean an opportunity for mature Americans, particularly widows and widowers, to meet and enjoy sports activities. “Loss and loneliness,” Wright said, “are common companions of age, and golf is a great game for making friends.”
Golf tournaments are structured to embrace players of every level, including beginners, since the games are planned more with recreation and companionship in mind. A schedule of events is also planned for accompanying non-golfers.
An average of one event is planned each month and held at such famous U.S. resorts and country clubs as the Doral and Innisbrook in Florida, the Broadmoor in Colorado, Pinehurst in North Carolina, Homestead in Virginia, Desert Princess in Palm Springs and Waikoloa in Hawaii. Other events are scheduled in Las Vegas, San Diego and Lake Tahoe.
NSSA also takes groups to other countries including Scotland and Ireland and to Acapulco and the Caribbean. Tennis tournaments often are planned in conjunction with golf outings, since most major country clubs have excellent tennis facilities. Bowling events are usually held in Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City.
Costs vary with the resort and the season but a typical package includes four nights’ lodging, four breakfasts and two group dinners, sports expenses (carts and green fees), a special program for non-players, prizes and gratuities. Prices for ground packages range from $325 to $650 per person for golf, slightly less for tennis, bowling and non-players. Reduced package fees are available for people who live near an event site and who do not need lodging.
NSSA membership benefits include rental car discounts and discounts on sports equipment and apparel. Dues are $25 per year or $65 for three years and cover both member and spouse. Free information including a brochure, which outlines all NSSA membership benefits, and a current copy of the monthly Senior Sports News will be sent upon request. Write to NSSA, 10560 Main St., 205-MT, Fairfax, Va. 22030.
Golden Tours, the Southern California non-profit travel club for seniors, is offering its usual jam-packed selection of domestic and foreign travel packages for the remainder of 1991. The club offers everything from one-day local bus tours to month-long cruise adventures to Europe, South America, Asia, Mexico and Canada.
One-day bus trips include theater offerings, offshore dinner cruises and popular tourist attractions. Areas visited include San Diego and Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park; Santa Barbara and Solvang; Magic Castle in Hollywood; theater and concert programs in Long Beach; Palm Springs; Los Angeles music and dramatic theater, TV show tapings and museums and galleries. Prices vary from $17 to $60 for day trips.
Two- and three-day trips are scheduled to Las Vegas, Laughlin, Death Valley and Lake Havasu. Hawaii is frequently included on Golden Tours programs in trips that last from 8 to 15 days and visit two to five of the Hawaiian islands. Cruises to the Bahamas and Panama Canal and on the Mississippi Queen are also scheduled. Longer trips to Europe, Asia, Mexico and South America are planned several times during the year.
Membership in Golden Tours is $6 for two people at the same address, and is valid for 1991. For information and a list of scheduled trips, call (213) 289-6271 or write to Golden Tours, Box 1070, Alhambra, Calif. 91802.