Testing the surface

QUESTION: Patty and Walter are playing in a match play tournament. Both players have stroked their tee shots onto the seventh green. Walter, who is nearer the hole, marks, lifts his ball and sets the ball aside. After Patty putts, Walter rolls the ball back to where it was lifted. Patty says Walter should be penalized for testing the surface of the green. Is Patty correct?
ANSWER: Walter says the rolling of the ball was not for testing the surface of the green. Although his procedure for replacing the ball is not recommended, no penalty is incurred. Patty is incorrect. See USGA Decisions on the Rules of Golf, 2016-2017, 16-1d/3.
Although Saturday clinics are no longer scheduled, private lesson can still be arranged by calling GMNCG(422-GOLF).

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