At the Honda Classic Feb. 22-25, Rory McIlroy and eventual champion Justin Thomas both had interesting encounters with trees on the par-4 sixth hole of the Champion course at PGA National, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. On Thursday, Thomas hit his drive to the right of the fairway, near a large tree limb. The limb was on the line on which he wanted to hit a pitch back out to the fairway. While the limb was still lodged in the tree, it happened to be fully detached from the trunk, which made it a loose impediment under the Rules of Golf. Any natural object that is not solidly embedded and is no longer fixed or growing is classified as a loose impediment. Some common examples include leaves, twigs, pine cones, pine needles, acorns and stones. These loose, natural objects can be removed anywhere on the golf course except when they lie in the same bunker or water hazard as your ball.