The greenside chip, one of the most important shots in golf:
Forget the one-foot putt for a second as the simplest shot in golf. Discounting the putter, the greenside chip shot is the simplest motion in golf. It doesn’t take a lot of moving parts, and the swing is short. Simplest doesn’t mean it’s the easiest. You may be having trouble with this shot, as a lot of golfers do. I’m going to make it simpler.
The chip is defined as a low, running shot, whereas a pitch is defined by more air time. The chip is the introduction to hitting a lofted iron. The manufacturer gave you a club that gets the ball airborne by the way it is designed as long as you hit the ball solidly.
The chip and run should be the workhorse of your short game. It is the most reliable shot around the green when you can't putt. I would estimate that at least 95% of the short game shots (from within 20 yards of the edge of the green) are played with a chip and run technique, and the other 5% is made up of putts from off the green, pitches, and bunker shots.
Getting the ball on the ground and rolling as soon as possible greatly increases the chances of the ball's behavior being predictable. That is not to say that a chip and run is always very low to the ground; just as low as possible. A chip and run style shot can be played with the most lofted wedge in your bag, in which case some people might refer to the shot as a "pitch and run." In many cases where the average golfer tries to pitch the ball up in the air, the "risk vs. reward" and the uncontrollable nature of a pitch (especially from a marginal lie) make it a poor choice.
So that becomes our first goal in chipping: Hit it solidly. With that in mind we are going to get the arc of our swing to hit on or past the spot where the ball sits.
All the essentials of chipping make sense if you keep hitting the ball solidly in mind. The weight should be leaning toward the left foot, the hands are slightly forward, and the ball is just back of the middle. These setup factors all encourage a solid shot. I keep mentioning solid because that is a must before you can have distance control.
In the swing, let the club make an arc going back. Do not keep the club too low or pick it up too sharply. On the forward swing, you want to avoid the most common fault in golf: the “scoop.” Make sure to bump the ball with the hands leaning slightly forward.
Doug's Rules for Great Chipping: