As a fan of UK and Ireland links golf, I am often rather sceptical of continental courses that claim to be 'proper' links but Troia did not disappoint. The journey itself on the Setubal ferry builds the sense of anticipation and the scrubby, sandy dunes on the road in feel just right. It was blowing a healthy wind on the day that we played and you certainly had to strike your shots very well to find the small and well protected greens. Perhaps the fairways were a little too soft and sandy in places, thus making the classic bump and run shot less of an option but low, punchy wind-cheaters were certainly an asset on many holes. There is a good flow to the course and a fair variety of hole length to offer some respite from the challenge with a number of decent birdie chances. Standout holes for me were the 'postage stamp' style par 3 4th right next to the beach and the huge dog-leg left par 5 15th that called for some stout hitting to avoid sand and trees on the way to the putting surface. Well worth the journey to play and I hope to have a chance to return in the future.
Date: April 11, 2016