"Should the club be in the same position at impact as it was at address?"
After some replies and comments to the contrary, he answered his own question:
"In principle, yes, the club should be in the same position at impact as it was at address. Though some differ due to personal mannerisms and play well despite of them."
Manuel advises the following club position at address and presumes it for this discussion.
Obviously this static picture of address does not look like a typical dynamic picture of impact.
So, how can they be the same?
He elaborated "because the body is turning at the top and everything is moving together. The body is moving and turning ahead of the club, so when it gets to the ball the club will be in that same address position but the body will be in this position (he displays the typical impact body position). So at that point this (pointing at the arm and club) will be in extension together."
"The impact position is something that just happens because of the turning action of the body in relation to the club's motion."
"The key thing: To hit a square object flush it must return as it was though the body would be turned and with the hands ahead it can not be flush."
At address he advises a neutral grip, the club centered as seen above and weight 50/50 on each foot.
During the swing, the player can replace the club as it was addressed for "flush" contact even though the body position will be different.
Read this related article concerning Sam Snead:
For your own improvement, try the following drill found in PGA Golf Professional John Hayes' book: "Learning Golf with Manuel"
Swing the club to the end of the back swing and stop; now return the club (the whole club) as it was at address and stop. Now hit the shot with the same intent, without any of the stopping, allowing the club to continue to the finish of the forward swing.
So the intent is to simply set the club back to the address position (see pic above) from the end of the back swing and let it continue to the finish.
Manuel said "this gives a student a good picture of impact, and it also takes the impulse to "hit" out of the equation."
This technique has proven itself to be effective on the lesson tee and on the golf course for students. And according to the article it worked well for Sam Snead too.
So yes, in principle the club should be in the same position at impact as it was at address. Physically, the club may be different than at address but it's not something you do, its something that just happens because the body position is different.
Consider and experiment with this technique. It's simple, it works and is something you can do.
All for a better game,