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Q: You’ve teed it up with many of the greats in the game of golf in your career. What’s that like?

A: I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve played a few rounds of golf with (Ben) Hogan. A couple of rounds with (Byron) Nelson. Lawson Little. No telling how many I’ve played with Sam Snead. Palmer. We played golf against each other since 1947. I played Arnold in the Pennsylvania Amateur. The first time I played him was 1947 at the Pittsburgh Field Club. He was the fair-haired boy from the western part of Pennsylvania.

I played him in the semifinals and birdied five holes in a row on him. I won the match 7 and 6.

His dad told me years later that Arnold never forgot that. This was Arnold in 1947. We’re not talking about an Arnold Palmer of 1960, or even 10 years later when he was a different player. But he still was a gung-ho player even back then. He was all-out for everything.

I’ve played a lot of golf with Jack Nicklaus. I played with Nicklaus the last round of the Los Angeles Open, his first professional tournament. He won $33.33 that day.

I played at Akron with Tommy Bolt, his first tournament as an amateur on the PGA Tour. He reminded me a few years back of that.

Q: Did you know then that he was going to be so great?

A: Bob Knight asked me that question. I couldn’t tell. Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough. Everybody said he was going to be. A lot of people out there who have made a heck of a name for themselves didn’t look on the surface like they could break an egg. They got the job done. One person’s name that comes to the forefront is Doug Ford.

I’ve also really enjoyed playing with Gary Player and Gene Littler. They’re a delight.

Q: What was it like playing with Hogan?

A: Rather intimidating. The first time I played with him was in Mexico City. I was paired with him and Gardner Dickinson. I was scared to death. I was in awe of him I should say. He doesn’t say much. That’s all I can say about him.

For some reason, playing with Sam Snead, I was more at ease. He always gave me the time of day, even if I wasn’t playing golf with him.

When I first came out on Tour, he’d always come up and say, “How’re you doing, Art?’ or “How are things going?’ I even got to the point where I felt comfortable going up and initiating a conversation with him.

Q: Was his swing that great?

A: Oh, yes, beautiful. I don’t know of a swing that you can compare it to.

Q: Was Hogan’s swing that good?

A: Hogan’s swing was more self-made. Snead’s swing seemed to be more natural.

Q: Did you ever play with the late Tony Lema?

A: Oh, yes. Quite a bit. In 1964 Bob Rosburg and I were paired with Tony in the last round of the San Diego Open at Rancho Bernardo. I won that tournament playing with him.

The last time I saw Tony was the Sunday he was killed in an airplane accident. I remember I was playing the eighth hole at Firestone and he was going up the second hole. I was playing in an outing the next day and picked up the morning paper and read where he had been killed that previous night.

Q: Was he talented, enough to be one of the greats?

A: Oh, yes. He had a nice golf swing, and he had length, too. He was tall.

Let me put it this way. He went to the British Open once. He played two practice rounds and won the tournament. That’s about as good as it can get.

Q: If you can come back on the Senior Tour, can you get a medical exemption to be eligible?

A: I have a medical exemption this year. The only way that would work if I were still eligible through the all-time money list. Otherwise, my medical exemption wouldn’t get me in a tournament.

Q: What about sponsor’s exemptions?

A: I would be very reluctant to go asking. I possibly could get into a handful of tournaments on all-time career tournament wins, 14, if I wanted to still play.

Q: If you couldn’t play competitively, would you be content to tee it up with your friends at Pueblo Del Sol or in Tucson?

A: I’d be content to go up and play with Ed Updegraff and people like that. I’d have to be thankful that I can do that. I’m not sure what’s going to take place. I’ll have a handle on it by September of October.

I think I’d still enjoy playing. But I still can play a couple of tournaments. The Tradition. They have a select list. And the Legends of Golf.

I would go out and try to see where my game is. If my game isn’t respectable, I guess I’m history.

Q: Have you made peace with that?

A: I can accept that. I’ve already shot some high numbers that are a little embarrassing before I got laid up. I got to wondering about myself. The high 70s.

Q: Did you ever play with Dr. Ed Updegraff when he was younger?

A: No, I didn’t play him until I moved out here. But I admire that man. He doesn’t realize just how darned good he is.

Q: Would he have been a good pro?

A: I don’t know. That’s another life. That’s a life that’s really hard to explain unless you get deeply involved into it.

I think of times when I neglected my family because I was so involved in my professional golf life. That sounds like a strong statement. A lot of these fellows say their family comes first. I’m sitting here telling you I’m not sure my family always came first.

Q: That’s not that unusual, though, is it?

A: If you want to be truthful, it’s not unusual. If you whistle in the dark – and I’m not whistling in the dark today – I’m telling you the way I see it.

Q: When you’re in your 20s and 30s and in your prime as a professional and you have youngsters growing up, those must be tough decisions?

A: I wasn’t home when our youngest son was born. I was in Palm Springs playing in a golf tournament. That ought to tell you something.

I was out on the West Coast playing in a bunch of golf tournaments at that time. I was in the midst of playing in another tournament. And Douglas was born at that time. It probably wasn’t too smart, but that’s the way it happened.

I guess I’m a little selfish, but that’s the way it is.

Q: Perhaps it takes a little of that to be good?

A: Possibly so.

I’m not the goody-goody person everybody thinks I am or was. I’m pretty set in my ways.

Q: When you go back to Augusta or come to Tucson during the PGA and LPGA events, how do you think people perceive you?

A: People have been very kind to me. They give me the time of day.

Pat Bradley often talks of the time she and I were paired, by accident, in a tournament in British Columbia. We won it.

The LPGA, I’m in awe of those ladies. I’m impressed. They can play. That’s not an easy life. And I’ve got a handle on what it’s like.

The Tucson Open, it’s nice to back and see people like Bruce Fleischer, Payne Stewart, Curtis Strange. They give me the time of day.

Two years ago I was behind the ropes for a practice round. Curtis spotted me and asked me to come out where he was. These guys respect me. I’m not looking for anything. I’m just there to watch them.

Q: Have you ever given lessons?

A: I tried. I would be very reluctant to give a beginner a lesson. I don’t think I know how to start a person out.

If someone came up to me and asked me about their swing, I might be able to get through to them. But I’m not sure of that, either.

But I can generally pick a flaw or a good thing out.

Q: What about putting lessons? You always were a good putter.

A: I’ve had my good days on that. I have a handle on that. I could take a beginner and make them into a good putter.

Q: Have you had pros ask for putting help?

A: Sometimes I volunteer it and that’s not a healthy thing. If I see something that I feel a fellow is doing wrong, I have a bad habit. I might volunteer some information.

Q: Is it well received?

A: As far as I know. But sometimes being quiet is the best policy.

Q: Were you a good athlete in high school?

A: I think so. I played basketball, four years in high school and thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn’t know how enjoyable it was until I got out and missed it. I had a wonderful basketball coach, Morris Bobst. I mean to tell you, he was some kind of person I looked up to.

Q: Were you a scorer?

A: We didn’t score many points in those days. I made my share. My brother, Dewey, was a much better basketball player. He was a heckuva basketball player. At that time Long Island University was one of the top basketball colleges in the country. Claire Bee was the coach. Dewey was recruited by them. He was quick.

Q: Were you an inside player?

A: I played center and forward. I was 6 feet.

Q: Did you shoot the hook shot, which was popular in those days?

A: No, just the lay-up. I didn’t perfect that one.

Q: Are you still a basketball fan?

A: I love all sports, baseball, basketball. I love football but I don’t understand the game. They didn’t have football where I went to school. Soccer.

Baseball I didn’t play except for pickup games. I love baseball. I follow it to major league baseball to the `nth degree.’

Q: Do you watch games at home?

A: Oh, yes. I watched two games last night, ESPN twice. We have a dish. We don’t have a cable system out here. But we get everything.

My wife, Jean, is into baseball and all sports, too.

Q: You’ve made friends with Indiana’s Bob Knight?

A: He came up to Jean and me in Vail, Colorado, when I was playing in President Ford’s tournament. He came up to me and said, “I know where Honesdale, Pennsylvania, is.’ He used to go to a basketball camp there. He came over and introduced himself.

Q: Didn’t you have dinner with him when he was in Tucson for an NCAA playoff game?

A: He called up that morning. He was flying out here to play in the first round. He invited me to have dinner at one of the better restaurants in Tucson with him and his coaching staff.

Just being around him is interesting. I think an awful lot of Bob Knight. I realize there’s no in-between there with people. You either care for him or you don’t. I think the world of him.

He likes his golf, too.

Q: Have you ever teed it up with a U.S. president?

A: Eisenhower. Nine holes. El Dorado in Palm Desert.

He was just as down to earth as he could be. He could play. He swung the club pretty well. He didn’t always get over on his left side.

Q: If someone said you could only play golf three more times, what courses would you play? Anywhere in the world.

A: Cypress Point. Augusta National. Maybe a place called Saucon Valley in Pennsylvania. They held the U.S. Senior Open there two years ago when Larry Laoretti won. Fantastic course.

Cypress Point may be No. 1 with me. Outstanding.

Q: What’s the toughest course you’ve ever played?

A: Possibly Firestone when they redesigned it. I won the Rubber City Open there in 1958. Par was 72 on the course then. They made it longer and they made par 70. It was a tough golf course for me after that. Very difficult.

Q: Have you ever thought of designing golf courses?

A: I tried it just briefly back in Pennsylvania but quickly found out I was out of my element. Completely over my head. And it didn’t interest me that much. I had a friend who was in the engineering and architect business and he wanted to get into it. I did a little of it, but I needed a lot of help. A lot of help.

Q: Have you ever had days when you just knew you were going to play well?

A: I’m not sure that I ever teed it up knowing I was going to play well, but I had a lot of confidence in my ability.

Q: Did you play much match play?

A: The PGA Championship was match play. All the amateur tournaments were match play. At the start of my golfing life I played a lot of match play.

There’s something kind of final about match play that I didn’t care for. I liked to play golf. In match play if you didn’t have it that day you weren’t going to be around the next day. I’m not sure I liked that part of it. I liked to come back the next day and play, even if I wasn’t playing too well.

Q: Were you a good match-play player?

A: I don’t think so. I didn’t go very far in too many match-play tournaments, although I won some. I won the Pennsylvania Amateur twice, and that’s not bad.

Back then maybe I was a pretty good match-play player. I enjoyed playing the golf course. I didn’t enjoy playing the person.

Q: Is it difficult to fill your day now that you’re not playing golf?

A: Definitely. Time hangs heavy. I have to improvise. I go out and walk or I’ll make an unnecessary trip to Sierra Vista, even when I’m not going for physical therapy. I find myself doing things that aren’t absolutely necessary just to occupy my time.

Q: You didn’t get tired of the travel?

A: It didn’t seem to wear on me. Maybe as I look back on it now I’m content to be more at home. I must say I still miss it.

I miss the competition. I’m a very competitive person once get on the golf course. I may look easy-going but once I get on the golf course I’m another personality.

The Wall file

Born: Nov. 25, 1923

Birthplace: Honesdale, Pa.

Residence: Sonoita

University: Duke (1949 graduate, business)

Joined PGA Tour: 1949

Joined Senior PGA Tour: 1980

Family: Wife, Jean. They have two sons, three daughters and four grandchildren.

PGA Tour victories (13): 1953-Fort Wayne Open; 1956-Fort Wayne Open; 1957-Pensacola Open; 1958-Rubber City Open, Eastern Open; 1959-Bing Crosby National Pro-Am, Azalea Open, Masters, Buick Open; 1960-Canadian Open; 1964-San Diego Open; 1966-Insurance City Open; 1975-Greater Milwaukee Open.

PGA Tour earnings: $638,816.

Playoff record: 6-5.

Combined career earnings: $1,001,118

Senior PGA career victories: 0

Other senior victories: 1978 U.S. National Senior Open, 1980 Legends of Golf (with Tommy Bolt), 1982 Energy Capital Classic.

Other career victories: 1954 Tournament of Champions; 1963 and 1966 Caracas Open; 1964, 1965 and 1966 Maracaibo Open; 1964 Los Lagartos Open; 1964 Puerto Rico Open; 1965 Panama Open.

Other achievements: Member of Ryder Cup team in 1957, 1959 and 1961; PGA Player of the Year and leading money-winner in 1959; Vardon Trophy winner, 1959; among Tour’s top 60 money winners 18 times between 1952 and 1975.

Wall second on list of oldest winners

Oldest tournament winners on the PGA Tour Player………..Tournament……………Age

Sam Snead….’65 Greensboro (N.C.) Open…52 yrs., 10 mos.

Art Wall…..’75 Milwaukee Open………..51 yrs., 10 mos.

John Barnum. ’62 Cajun Classic………….51 yrs., 1 mo.

Jim Barnes…’37 Long Island Classic……50 yrs.

Ray Floyd….’92 Doral Ryder Open………49 yrs., 6 mos.

Hale Irwin…’93 MCI Heritage Classic…..48 yrs., 10 mos.

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