Jeff won the Saskatchewan junior men's golf championship an unprecedented three times, won the Canadian junior title in 1989 and then won a scholarship to Rice University in Texas where he played NCAA golf for four years.
Jeff was born in Saskatoon, attended Alvin Buckwold and developed an interest in different sports. He played bantam and peewee hockey with the Saskatoon Flyers and he was a member of the team, which won the provincial peewee championship coached by Jim Scissons. He was a skier with the Saskatoon Alpine Ski Racing team for two years and was a member of the 1984-85 team, which won the provincial championship.
He and his grandfather, John Hughes, won the Fathers Day Open at the Wildwood Club in 1985 and it was his grandfather who started him in golf with three shortened clubs. Jeff was coached by Alex Kozakovich while a member of the Saskatchewan junior golf teams. He played in his first Canadian junior final at Edmonton in 1986.
When Jeff won the Canadian title in 1989, his home club of Wildwood posted a sign; Jeff beat Byran DeCorso of Guelph on a playoff hole at Charlottetown after the two finished in a tie for first place. Jeff shot a four-round total of 306.
After graduating from Walter Murray Collegiate, Jeff wanted to pursue his dreams of a golf scholarship and was accepted into Rice University, which played in division one of the NCAA.
While Jeff was away at school, his father, Jerry, was joined by directors of the Saskatchewan Golf Association in accepting the Sask Sport Athlete of the Year award. Jeff received the second place award, while competing for Rice University, at the Blue Monster tournament. Jeff led after the first round of the Southwest Conference tournament in 1993, but the eventual winner was Justin Leonard.