The standard operating procedure on chips and pitches is to set up open to your target and swing the club down and left through impact. You can hit the ball solidly this way, but it’s tough to control the trajectory and direction without a lot of practice.
An easier and more reliable way to hit these shots is from a square stance. That means your toes, hips and shoulders should be aligned parallel left of your target. Put a little more weight on your left leg than your right, and make sure your shoulders are fairly level. The ball should be centered between your feet for a medium-trajectory shot; a little more forward if you want to hit it higher.
When you swing, focus on moving the clubhead toward the target (above). A helpful visual is to imagine you’re tossing the ball underhand. You wouldn’t throw it left of your target. You’d go directly at it. That’s all there is to this technique.
Brandon Stooksbury teaches at Idle Hour Club in Macon, Ga.