For many seniors, golf is the primary focus of a vacation getaway. According to officials at Club 19, a Carmel-based organization now in its 12th year serving golfers in the West, 95% of its membership is over the age of 55. Club 19 offers members a choice of individual golf vacations with 2-for-1 green fees, members-only golf packages and frequent group tournaments.
Club 19 lists more than 300 Western golf courses--in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia--participating in its programs. Each course offers one round of golf for two persons for a single green fee (carts extra where required), with play permitted at each course twice a year.
The Club 19 directory has a description of each course, listing all of its facilities, plus driving directions from neighboring cities, nearby recreational activities and any restrictions for weekends, holidays or during tournaments. Starting times may also be restricted.
An additional incentive for membership is the frequent scheduling of tournaments at Club 19 member courses. Tournament sites have included Scottsdale, Ariz.; Kona, Hawaii; Feather River, Calif., and Charleston, S.C. Prices for tournament packages include special rates for non-players, and may be booked with or without air transportation to accommodate golfers who might prefer to drive or make other travel arrangements.
Twenty-five of the golf courses in the United States and Canada have created golf packages especially for Club 19 members. The packages vary, but most include one or two nights' hotel accommodations, one or more rounds of golf, plus carts, meals, range balls and use of health facilities.
Annual membership in Club 19 is $49 and includes a travel and entertainment guide that lists the specifications of all participating golf courses, and a quarterly newsletter plus discounts on lodging, restaurants, golf equipment and golf wear. For membership details, a copy of the current newsletter, course directory and sample flyer describing one of Club 19's tournaments, call (800) 347-6119.
Giovanni Tours, catering to seniors in Southern California, has released its 1994 schedule of trips, cruises and tours.
All Giovanni tours, whether domestic or overseas, include round-trip air fare from most U.S. gateway cities, breakfast and dinner each day, plus all tips and admission fees related to the tour. In addition, there are pre-departure familiarization parties, first-class hotels on all tours, and contests, gifts and prizes on each trip.
A sampling of 1994 Giovanni travel programs:
* Australia and New Zealand: 15 days, including Christchurch, Rotorua, Queenstown and Auckland in New Zealand, and Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra in Australia. Departs Jan. 10 and 17. Price: $3,994 per person.
* Canada: 13 days, including Niagara Falls, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Halifax, Montreal and Toronto. Departs June 2, 1994. $2,894 per person.
* New England: nine days, a combined history, fall foliage and culture tour with choice of two departure dates, Sept. 27 or 30. Includes Boston, Plymouth, Cape Cod, Lexington, Concord, New Hampshire and Vermont; there are clambakes and lobster feasts. $2,194 per person.
Other tours include Branson and the Ozarks (seven days), New Orleans (seven days), Route 66 (14 days), London Theatre and Countryside (seven days), Europe Triangle (Italy, Austria and Switzerland, 14 days) and the British Isles (17 days). Cruises in 1994 include Scandinavia (14 days), Panama Canal (15 days), Alaska (eight days) and the Mediterranean (14 days).