Cruz Casados and Gleb Barkovskiy have backgrounds in business and finance but their ambition knows no bounds. They are about to take Tampa Bay by storm and unleash a golfing concept that is sure to take off and spread like wildfire.

When two entrepreneurs with a passion for golf get together we can’t be too surprised to see a concept like LUV GOLF: the first on-demand virtual golf service. The idea is to be able to turn any party or special event into the social event of the season as people are treated to a mobile service that brings virtual golfing simulators to a special event nearby, and the world of parties and special events will never be the same.




Matt Ip: Thanks for joining me today. Can you start by sharing the story behind Luv Golf? What is Luv Golf all about?  


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Cruz: I've always had a strong passion for golf. After the military got involved, I realized there was an unmet need for mobile golf experiences. That's where the idea sparked – to bring golf to people's homes and events. Our focus is on making golf accessible.

Gleb: Personally, I'm not a pro golfer, I'm into veteran consulting. What's interesting here is that while golf has been seen as an exclusive sport, we're changing that perception. We're making golf more inclusive, bridging the gap for both avid players and newcomers. It's about connecting with people who were curious but never took the leap into golf. This venture has brought new energy to the sport, especially in the context of recent events.

Matt Ip: What aspect of the industry resonates most with you?imag_3-Feb-13-2024-06-41-59-3869-AM

Cruz: What truly resonates with me is the ability to immerse oneself in the experience. Bringing golf directly to people's homes and even their workplaces has been incredibly rewarding.

Gleb: Given my background in veteran consulting, I don't claim to be a professional golfer. Consider how the world evolves – there's the initial popularity of mainstream trends, followed by shifts that redefine what's mainstream. Think of the steam engine and subsequent innovations. Golf, once perceived as an elite and exclusive sport, is undergoing a transformation. We aim to introduce an avenue that modernizes golf, not only for committed players but also for those who aren't seasoned golfers.

In doing so, we're opening doors for individuals who may have been hesitant about stepping onto the course. This initiative has successfully attracted newcomers. It's a fresh perspective on the sport, infusing it with a renewed vitality. The recent events surrounding Wall Street underscore the importance of education, and similarly, we're on a mission to educate more people about golf.

MI: What would you say your mission is in the industry?

Cruz: Our aim is to create an ecosystem of golf experiences and merchandise that opens up golf to a broader audience. We're not just about simulators; we're branching out into various lines of merchandise. We believe there's tremendous market potential in this ecosystem.

Matt Ip: What advice would you give first-time entrepreneurs?

Cruz: We're navigating this journey as newcomers ourselves. The initial step is to ground yourself in realism regarding the challenges ahead. It might sound straightforward, but the scope can be immense, especially if you're flying solo. Within our company, we take on numerous roles – from HR to marketing management. Thankfully, our combined experience equips us well for the task.

Gleb: I’d encourage new entrepreneurs to embrace the awareness of what you don't know and remember, it's absolutely fine not to have all the answers. The pitfall to avoid is neglecting an aspect and sweeping it under the rug, as it often returns to pose challenges. So, practice self-honesty, and arm yourself with preparation. Taking care of your well-being while traversing this path is crucial. Being practical and ready to put in hard work are essential. Don't hesitate to seek assistance when needed.

It's common for individuals to tie their self-worth to their business's success. However, it's vital to recognize that your business is an extension of you, not your entirety. Challenges will arise, but if you approach your business's growth as a personal developmental journey, you're more likely to achieve success. Consider it not merely an extension of who you are, but a distinct journey of its own.

We've actually printed almost every version of the plan, finding the tangible document to be immensely beneficial. It served as a bridge connecting the abstract idea to a concrete reality. The process helped us bridge the gap between concept and execution, providing a tangible touchpoint for our vision.


Matt Ip:  How has a Business Plan, written by the Plan Writers, helped you/ your business?

Gleb: A Business Plan from The Plan Writers has proven incredibly valuable for us. Personally, I am highly visual in my approach. Summarizing everything on paper visually allowed us to establish a comprehensive list of events, effectively mapping out the desired business flow.

Matt Ip: Would you recommend the Plan Writers to other business owners?

Gleb: I would indeed recommend their services, but I'd suggest doing so if they're ready to consider how they intend to leverage it. Engaging with Alex and striving to communicate our business intricacies not only provided us with valuable insights but also sharpened our business vision. I'm certainly in favor of recommending you guys, but I'd advise fellow business owners to come prepared and engage wholeheartedly in the collaborative process.



Cruz: We're excited to announce that we'll be the first to market with our innovative offerings. Stay tuned for more exciting developments!

Co-Owner and CEO (50%)

Mr. Cruz Casados

Cruz Casados is a co-founder and the CEO of LUV GOLF. Cruz Casados is a distinguished former Marine, avid golfer, and an accomplished graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Born and raised around a military family, Cruz always had a passion for serving his country. During his time in the Marine Corps, Cruz served as an Infantry Marine in various capacities and locations. He was deployed overseas to Afghanistan in 2011 and has earned several commendations and medals during his service of four years. After completing his service in the Marine Corps, Cruz went back to school to pursue his passion within the aviation industry. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a prestigious institution known for its excellence in aviation and aerospace education.

Cruz’s true passion is his love for the game of golf. Upon his honorable discharge from the military, he became an active member and player with the Veteran Golfers Association, a national organization that provides opportunities for veterans to compete and grow in the sport of golf. Cruz is an entrepreneur at heart. He has always been interested in exploring new opportunities and taking risks to achieve his goals. Over the years, he has sought out many opportunities to start his businesses and pursue his passions. Whether he is serving his country, playing golf, pursuing his education, or starting a new business, Cruz approaches everything he does with enthusiasm, dedication, and a relentless drive to succeed.

Mr. Gleb Barkovskiy – Co-Owner and CFO (50%)

Gleb Barkovskiy is a co-founder and the CFO of the LUV GOLF. Gleb Barkovskiy was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and came to the United States to attend school on full scholarship at age 11. Having to leave his family behind to pursue this venture, Gleb knew little of the life-changing journey ahead but was most excited about the promise of the American Dream. Having learned English along the way, Gleb graduated at the top of his high school class and secured a full-ride scholarship to pursue Economics at Bucknell University. While in college, Gleb became deeply interested in global capital markets and decided to pursue a career in finance. Gleb spent the summer of his junior year interning for Goldman Sachs Asset Management in New York and joined ALM First Financial Advisors in Dallas, TX, upon graduation. Gleb currently works for ALM First as a Director in the firm’s Investment Management Group.

Gleb is an explorer at heart, so outside of his immediate career responsibilities, he loves to play drums, mess around on his DJ gear, meditate, hang on the beach, and look for the next global destination to travel to.