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‘Nice choice of options’

Tennis player and fitness fan find their sweet spot living at Devonshire

Created date

August 28th, 2017
Devonshire community members Phoebe and Bill Duff start their day with their favorite activities—fitness classes at PGA National Resort and Spa for her and tennis on the PGA courts for him.

Devonshire community members Phoebe and Bill Duff start their day with their favorite activities—fitness classes at PGA National Resort and Spa for her and tennis on the PGA courts for him.


After 17 years in their four-bedroom, four-bathroom house in Boca Raton’s gated Mediterranea community, Bill and Phoebe Duff decided to move. 

They chose Devonshire at PGA National, Erickson Living’s senior living community in Palm Beach Gardens.

Phoebe says they were rattling around in a too-big house. And Bill had tired of managing the upkeep required for a place that included a guesthouse and swimming pool. 

After attending a Devonshire sales luncheon and coming away impressed, they arranged to return again for dinner in Devonshire’s clubhouse with a community member host. 

Instant connections

“Everyone was very warm and welcoming,” says Phoebe. “We had plenty of chances to come have meals and spend part of the day.”

At the sales luncheon the Duffs were seated with a community member who is a dedicated tennis player; she uses Devonshire’s corporate membership privileges to play on the courts at PGA National Resort & Spa. 

“That’s a big plus to living at Devonshire,” says Bill. His sport is also tennis, and he now plays four times a week at PGA.

Phoebe was elated to learn that she could use Devonshire’s privileges to take PGA’s fitness classes. A former physical education teacher, “It was important that I have good exercise classes,” she says. 

She’s in classes seven days a week now, some at PGA and some at Devonshire’s on-site fitness center. They range from Pilates and aerobics to yoga and a barre class. 

The Duffs have always been active. Former Vermont residents, where Bill was an architect and builder, they were avid skiers—both downhill and cross-country. And Phoebe has always pursued a fitness program.

Devonshire appealed to them because it offered activities and amenities they each wanted. “We were seeking an ambience and lifestyle that would give us a nice choice of options,” Bill says. 

Besides tennis, he attends Devonshire’s monthly men’s luncheons that highlight presentations of interest to men. 

Together, he and Phoebe go on cruises offered through Devonshire’s activities office and use its transportation to attend cultural performances with their neighbors. 

They also enjoy the live clubhouse entertainment that Devonshire presents three to four nights a week and the Broadway-quality entertainment it showcases in its Stratford Performing Arts Center.

Those clubhouse activities are just a stroll down climate-controlled interior hallways from each of Devonshire’s three residence buildings. 

Dining pleasure

The clubhouse also boasts five world-class restaurants. That caught Bill’s attention because the Duffs expect to eat most of their evening meals at the clubhouse. 

“The food is excellent,” Phoebe says.

Devonshire’s culinary staff prepares everything to order. Extensive menus feature  community favorites such as prime rib, rack of lamb, and soft-shell crab. The Duffs often dine in the Cavendish Restaurant, which specializes in seafood. 

“We knew no one when we moved,” says Bill. “But community members invited us to dinner and kept in touch. Now we’re returning the favor by inviting new people to dine with us.”

The couple’s apartment is a two-bedroom, two-bath Imperial floor style with a den and a huge storage room. Its high ceilings and large walls readily accommodate their art, in particular a sketch that measures roughly 8 feet by 6 ½ feet. 

A Devonshire-preferred moving company handled their paintings and all of their belongings, with special care. “We’ve moved 14 times,” Phoebe says, “and this was the best mover we’ve ever had.”