There are two factors that control ball flight in the golf swing. They are the arch that the club is swung on and the angle of the club face relative to that arch. Of those two elements the angle of the club face plays the biggest role in where the golf ball goes. The face angle is responsible for a minimum of 70% of the direction of the golf ball.
For a perfectly struck golf shot the arch of the swing needs to be parallel to the target line and the club face needs to be square to that target line at impact. This holds true for a drive, an iron shot, a chip shot or a putt. The impact for an iron and chip shot are exactly the same. The club face should strike the ball and then the turf with the hands slightly ahead of the club face.
The swing for a chip shot is actually just a miniature version of our full swing. To improve your ball striking, start off hitting big chip shots and work into full swings. Start by using a 7 or 8 iron with the ball on a short tee. Make swings that are only between knee high and waist high. As you swing into impact make sure to hit the ball and then the turf rather than trying to lift or scoop the ball in the air. The follow through should be about the same length as the back swing. With the speed and length of this swing, it is very easy to learn to control the club face at impact. The direction that the golf ball goes is where the club face was pointing at impact.
People are always amassed at how solid and how far they can hit these shots. As your shots fly straighter and are more solid, start to make bigger swings. First two-thirds length swings and then full swings.
Follow this exercise and the direction and length of your shot will improve and you will be on your way to playing better golf and having more fun!