I got a piece of advice from a pro last week who helped me quite a bit with this situation. Right now in springtime the grass is thick and wet. Chipping around the greens is very difficult, especially controlling distance. Sometimes the club is grabbed by the grass, killing the club head speed and shortening the distance. Sometimes the ball flies out of the lie like a rocket, traveling way too far. Other times the hozel catches, turning the face down and making the shot go left. And yet other times the toe catches the thick grass, opening up the face and making the shot go right.
Tighter Left Hand Grip
When I asked my friend the pro about this situation, and told him all of the above problems he gave me a five word lesson, "tighten your left hand grip." Could it be that simple? I went out to practice chipping two days ago to find out.
A few shots into practicing with the tighter left hand grip I noticed that I was able to slide the club under the ball much easier and more crisply, even in thicker lies. I found that the tighter left hand grip helped even on tight lies, mainly with making solid contact.
The issues with the blade being stopped by the thick grass, or opened/closed are greatly reduced with the tighter left hand grip as well.
There is a reason why golf pros are "pros." They know what they are doing. It is amazing to me that I can struggle with an issue for months and it can be solved in seconds when going to a professional instructor. Personally I don't use professional instruction enough, and most amateurs don't either. This is one of many great arguments to consult your local pro. The results can often be INSTANT.