It doesn’t take long into a round at Troia before a feeling along the lines of ‘all good things come to those who wait’ comes to mind. Just a handful of holes are required before you realise the journey to Troia was entirely worthwhile. The course is south of Lisbon – barely 20 miles from the centre – but that is far from the whole story. Troia is part of a large but unspoilt resort on a peninsula of beaches between the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve and Arrábida Natural Park, and the fact is there is no quick route to this white-sand utopia.
You can take the easier option of speeding along miles of Lisbon tarmac (A2 and A12) and do a loop down to the foot of the peninsula and then drive up its length. Or you can opt for the more romantic version via the Atlantic Ferries ferryboat or catamaran from picture-postcard Setúbal.
Either way, playing here ought to be No.1 on the list of anyone who comes to the ‘Costa Azul’ (Blue Coast), a point patently illustrated by its ranking within the top 10 in Continental Europe and as Portugal’s No.1.
The course is part of a resort that includes apartments, beach houses, a five-star hotel, a marina, a casino, three beaches and sports facilities such as tennis courts, and football pitches.
One of Continental Europe’s finest courses is well worth the boat trip or drive; a statement we are sure you will quickly agree when you make it here.
Troia enjoys an attractive site and the variety of holes is very good, with a lot of dog-legs equally split between left and right-hand. Its two key characteristics are the sandy waste areas just off the fairway requiring you to drive straight and the very small greens demanding accurate iron play.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, it is thus one of the most difficult courses in our Continental Top 100.
It has hosted Tour stars on its sandy pine-lined fairways and that they have frequently been extensively troubled by Troia tells you all you need to know about its difficulty – even if some trees have been removed to make it slightly more friendly.
At its best on the stretch of holes that hug a line close to the beach, fabulous sea views are a staple diet.
Within this demanding and exciting test there are a string of terrific holes. Two frequently mentioned are the par-3 3rd – perhaps because the architect rates it as one of the best short holes he’s ever designed – and the closing 18th.
Perhaps Troia’s greatest strength, though, is in not having a weak hole. You never seem to play a hole you feel lowers the quality. One of Continental Europe’s finest courses is well worth the boat trip or drive; a statement we are sure you will quickly agree when you make it here.