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• PGA Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame •

Arthur Jonathan "Art" Wall, Jr.
Class of 2009

           

Art Wall was born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania in 1923 and learned to play golf at the Honesdale Golf Club. Art and his brother Dewey got there start in golf by caddying for their father at Honesdale. When their golf games began to show promise, their father a Pennsylvania State Representative, bought a membership at the Country Club of Scranton so they could hone their skills on a more difficult course. After high school Art and his brother entered the service and served during World War II, where Dewey who was said to be as good at golf as Art was killed in action. After the war ended Art enrolled at Duke University where he played on the golf team and roomed with Mike Souchak, graduating in 1949, at the age of 26. Wall won the Pennsylvania Amateur twice in the late 40s. After college he turned pro and worked as an assistant on Long Island for two summers, while testing his game on the PGA winter tour. In late 1951 he joined the PGA Tour full time and picked up his first win at the Ft. Wayne Open in 1953. The next year Wall won the Tournament of Champions and he went on to win twelve more PGA Tour events. Along with his victories on the PGA Tour, Wall won ten times on the Caribbean Tour. His last win came at the 1975 Milwaukee Open at the age of 51, which made him the second oldest to win on the PGA Tour. His best year was 1959 when he won the Masters Tournament along with three other tournaments. That year he was the PGA “Player of the Year”, won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average, led the PGA Tour in money winnings and earned a spot on the Ryder Cup team. The next year Wall won the Canadian Open. He played on three Ryder Cup teams and served on the PGA Tour’s four-man Policy Board three years. In spite of the longevity of his career it was marred by back ailments and other illnesses. Three times he qualified for the U.S. Open and didn’t tee off in the tournament. Three other times he was invited to the Masters and wasn’t able to play, one of those being 1960 when was the defending champion. He tied for second at the 1974 PGA Seniors’ Championship in his first year of eligibility and went on to several more high finishes in the tournament. He won the Philadelphia Section PGA Championship five times. In 1978 he won the U.S. National Senior Open by four-strokes with a 72-hole score of 18-under par. That National Senior Open was two years before there was a PGA Senior Tour or a USGA Senior Open. Some credit for the creation of the PGA Senior Tour should go to Wall. In April 1979 he was teamed up with Tommy Bolt at the Legends of Golf Tournament in Texas. At the end of regulation play they were tied with Julius Boros and Roberto De Vicenzo. In the sudden death playoff four holes were halved with birdies before the Boros-De Vicenzo team won with a birdie on the sixth extra hole. NBC-TV stayed with the telecast, which knocked out their Sports World and Nightly News shows. The TV ratings were so good that the PGA Tour decided that a PGA Senior Tour could be of interest to the golfing public. The next year Wall and Bolt won the Legends of Golf Tournament, which was one of two senior events that the PGA ran that year. In 1981 the PGA Tour had five senior tournaments and the schedule continued to grow. During his career Wall made so many hole-in-ones that it reached the point where he refused to divulge the total. For most of his career he represented the Pocono Manor Resort where his son Greg was later the professional for many years. He played in 31 Masters Tournaments, 15 U.S. Opens and 12 PGA Championships. Wall was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame in 2009.

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