No.93 Testing the Surface of the Putting Green
 

 
Question 1:
In match play, a player concedes his opponent's putt and then as a courtesy casually rolls the ball back to him one-handed, coincidentally not far from the line on which he now has to putt. What is the ruling?

Answer 1:

No penalty is incurred as it appears obvious from the manner and purpose of the player's action that he was not testing the surface of the putting green, nor obtaining information for his line of putt. Decisions 16-1d/1 & /2.
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Question 2:
A player lightly places the palm of his hand on the putting green behind his ball to determine how wet the grass is. Does he incur a penalty?

Answer 2:
No. There is no breach of Rule 16-1d (see below) and, as the line of putt is not touched there is no breach of Rule 16-1a. Decision 16-1d/4.

Part of Rule 16-1d states:
During the stipulated round, a player must not test the surface of any putting green by rolling a ball or roughening or scraping the surface.