knoxville news
knoxville news knoxville daily sun lifestyle business knoxville sports travel knoxville classifieds knoxville jobs knoxville legal notices knoxville yellow pages smoky mountains contact facebook twitter linkedin rss entertainment knoxville advertising

Escaping to California Sunshine for Winter Sports
By Tom Adkinson

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Four sets of protective of mountains, 350 days of annual sunshine and warmth throughout the winter mean that Palm Springs and its neighboring communities in the Coachella Valley see the area’s population grow from about 200,000 people in summer to 800,000 in winter. Most of them simply choose not to think that the San Andreas Fault cuts across the valley, which is about 45 miles long and full of reasons to get outdoors.

california sunshine winter sports
Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic; image by Tom Adkinson.

For many residents and snowbird visitors, warm-weather sports are the attraction, especially golf on approximately 125 courses. There also is an influx of softball enthusiasts every February for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. This year, 32 teams will compete from Feb. 22-24 at a sports complex called Big League Dreams, where a vibrant clubhouse overlooks fields dedicated to Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. Participants always include top-ranked teams from the previous year’s NCAA tournament. Teams travel west to test themselves and get in some serious competition at the start of the season. The 2019 geographic spread for teams stretches from Daytona Beach (Bethune-Cookman) and metro Chicago (Northwestern) to Seattle (University of Washington) and Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach State).

winter golf palm springs ca
Winter golf in Palm Springs, California; image by Tom Adkinson.

Trip-planning resources:

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s new book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available at

Published January 11, 2019

knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2019 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy