Portugal’s Troia Resort has been recognised for its continued sustainability by the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) after receiving the prestigious accolade of becoming GEO Certified.
GEO Certified is a comprehensive modern certification, developed specifically for three key areas of the industry: golf facility operations, golf development and renovation, and golf tournaments. The distinction serves as a credible platform for communications of real outcomes and continual improvement around nature, resources and the community.
Troia’s links course is located just an hour south of Lisbon, in the heart of Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, and close to the Arrábida Natural Park. Home to a wide range of flora and fauna, with more than 600 species listed, biodiversity has always been at the forefront of Troia’s operation – and GEO’s reputable certification has reaffirmed its commitment to making the resort sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Stretching 6,317m along the beach, the course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr and is regarded as one of Europe’s best, thanks to its breathtaking sea views, natural surroundings and challenging, diverse range of holes. Originally designed to connect the fairways with the natural dune surroundings, the greenkeeping team undertook a project to make this even more prominent in 2018, removing the semi-rough. This makes an interesting recovery shot for golfers and reduces the use of herbicides maintaining the turf. It also removed the need for a second mower with a different height of cut.
Troia also saved 45 million litres of water in 2018, compared with 2017 consumption, after introducing a management plan to improve irrigation and ensure the greenkeeping team used water more efficiently. The plan included a structured daily decision of whether to irrigate, as well as adjusting the frequency and applications used.
The resort’s environmental commitment also includes the reduction of plastic. All members and guests are encouraged to use recyclable or reusable bottles, both of which are stocked in the pro shop. The club has also stopped selling plastic golf tees.
Another contribution to GEO’s certification was Troia’s work in the local community and with junior golfers. The resort has been working hard to develop the sport nationally and encourage more youngsters to get involved. In addition to offering them the best facilities and coaching to improve, Troia also introduced an initiative in 2019 to offer junior golfers affiliated to the Portuguese Golf Federation a heavily reduced green fee, where juniors can play the full 18 holes for just €5, against the full rate of €102.
Alexandre Barroso, Troia’s golf director, said: “As an area preserved by strict environmental protection directives, Troia has to meet certain provisions in terms of development, but, as a resort, we have gone above and beyond these provisions to make it a first-class sustainable destination that blends seamlessly with the beautiful natural surroundings.
“We are very proud to have been acclaimed by the GEO and will continue to work hard to put even more programmes in place to enhance and protect the surroundings and wildlife habitats. Not only that, but we are also trying to raise awareness of the importance of the environment to our visitors and members, so have installed an information panel in front of our clubhouse that outlines the amazing diversity of flora and fauna across the golf course.”