Karen Palacios-Jansen, LPGA Teaching Professional explains in her article on CardioGolf how:
"With a correct golf grip, your hand and wrist should rotate the club head so it stays square to the body throughout the swing. When the club is parallel to the ground, the toe of the club will point up. This is a square clubface.
If your hands roll to start your swing, then the clubface will be open. If you try to keep the clubface going straight back without any forearm and wrist arm rotation, then clubface is closed.
Check your halfway position in your golf swing and strive to keep the clubface square".
It is easy to see from the images that, on the incorrect one, Karen is demonstrating the hands rolling to start the swing. You can also see that the result is an open clubface and the club head has travelled too far to the inside. Everything else from here is a recovery exercise to get back to the ball.
Let's look at this from a slightly different perspective.
Instead of concentrating on getting the toe of the club to point up at the halfway point in the backswing, try concentrating on your hand path for the first foot of the backswing.
If you can take your hands back on the correct path for at least the first foot of your backswing without rolling or rotating them incorrectly then you have a very good chance of building and executing a repeatable and consistent golf swing.
Executing this move correctly will ensure that the golf club head stays outside the hands on the takeaway and that the correct angle and relationship between left arm and the shaft remains throughout.
Look at the knuckles on Karen's left hand on the incorrect takeaway demonstration. You can clearly see that the back of the hand has rotated round and has moved to the inside thereby being completely out of position and requiring compensatory moves from then on in.
Indeed, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson both agree that the first foot of the backswing is the most important foot of the golf swing. If you concentrate on your hand path through this "first foot" of your backswing you will improve your golf game beyond belief.
Next time you go to the driving range take a minute to observe the hand path of those golfers pounding balls and you will see most are in the "incorrect' category as they roll their hands to start the swing. This is an instinctive move, to get into a "hitting" position but it’s a swing killer and one of the main reasons why golfers struggle with consistency.
Conversely, next time you watch a PGA professional swing or see one of those golf swing sequence articles notice their hand paths for the first few feet of the backswing. They are all the same and look like Karen’s first image and not the second image.
Once you get your hand path correct everything else you read about or heard about in golf will all of a sudden start to make sense.
The good news is you can master your hand path to find out how click HERE and you are well on your way to developing a consistent, repeatable and powerful golf swing.