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Apr. 22—A drive between two sets of out-of-bounds stakes onto a three-tiered fairway sloped down toward a pond guarding the front of the green is what golfers face when they step onto the tee at the 599-yard, par-5 third hole at Twin Hills Country Club in Coventry.

Golfers who reach the end of the first tier with their drives can either lay up to the bottom of the hill just in front of the pond or go for the green in two. The putting surface is sloped from back-to-front and is guarded by a bunker directly behind it.

The club, which was sold to Courtyard 10 LLC in 2018 after nearly 60 years of ownership by the McDermott family, decided to add a new tee box and stretch the hole to nearly 600 yards last year.

“We built the new tee to challenge people a little bit more,” Head Professional Zac Stennett said. “We wanted to make it a little tougher for the long hitters. It’s been nice. It’s just growing in.”

The hole plays 530 yards from the white tees and 447 yards from the gold and red tees.

Stennett hits a fade off the tee, aiming at the left woods line and letting the ball drift back into the fairway. He usually goes for the green in two with a wood or long iron, but if he lays up, he positions his ball at the bottom of the hill to leave himself a pitching wedge or 9-iron into the green.

“The green is pitched from back to front, so you really don’t want to go long,” Stennett said. “You want to stay below the hole. You have a lot of options on the third shot. Most people are going to hit an eight, nine or wedge, so you can go after it. But you have to hit a good one or you’re going to have a downhill put.”

The hole originally featured a tree in the middle of the fairway, but it was taken down in the late 1990s, giving golfers a much clearer shot off the tee.

“It wasn’t taken out on purpose,” Stennett said. “It ended up dying. So we had to take it out. I’ve heard a lot of stories about that tree. I’ve heard that the straighter you hit it, the more trouble you’d get in. You’d be up against the base of the tree. It was like the 18th at Pebble Beach. It really opened up the hole when the tree was taken out.”

The hole features two of the course’s most famous landmarks — a bell in the middle of the fairway that players ring to alert the group behind them to tee off, and a stone bridge players cross to get to the green.

“It’s a signature hole because of the bridge down near the green,” Stennett said. “The bridge is iconic. It’s in our logo. It’s something people talk about. I really like it because people remember non-golf stuff. We have the bell and the bridge. It’s a great hole to play because of the options you have, but those are the two things that put it over the top.”

If you go: Twin Hills Country Club is located at 199 Bread and Milk St., Coventry. Visit twinhillscountryclub.com or call (860) 742-9705 for tee times.

For daily updates on high school sports in JI’s coverage area, follow Kyle Maher on Twitter: @KyleBMaher, Facebook: Kyle Maher, and Instagram: @KyleBMaher.

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