Legal Immigrant: Visa in hand, my exploration of the linksland begins in earnest

With deep gratitude and humble thanks, I am pleased to announce that my wife and I have successfully navigated the halls of multiple government bureaucracies and—as of 4 a.m. GMT yesterday morning—have returned to our home in the Scottish Borders. Along the way, we picked up two extremely valuable possessions:

  • Matching visas that will allow us to remain in the UK for the next three years.
  • Bailey, our 8-year-old German shepherd and, essentially, our fourth daughter.

Both required us to jump through numerous regulatory hoops, fill out and sign reams of paperwork and fork over considerable sums of cash (both pounds and dollars). But I’m quite certain that, when we look back on it, the investments of time, energy, money and anxiety will be well worth it.

For now, it means I can resume my exploration of the world’s best, though perhaps not always best known, links golf courses. It means settling in at my new home club, the James Braid-designed Goswick just on the other side of the border with England. And it means sharing all of these experiences with you through this digital journal.

And, in all likelihood, it means being inspired to write a second book—encouraged by the early response to the first. That includes an endorsement from Allan McAllister Ferguson, author of Golf in Scotland, the definitive travel guide for the do-it-yourselfers; a positive take from Kirkus Reviews; and a very kind mention by Golf Digest’s David Owen on his blog, “My Usual Game.”

Oh, and thanks to Bailey, it means that—in between the golf swings and the keystrokes—I’ll be vacuuming up dog hair on an almost daily basis. But that’s a small price to pay for such a loyal and loveable companion.

So, without further ado, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming…

Down Shift: Singing the praises of a slower pace, both on and off the golf course

Jamie Gardner: Open have you longing to play the Old Course? He can help

Jamie Gardner: Open have you longing to play the Old Course? He can help