When Hunter Thompson rang Bill Murray at 3am to discuss a new game called Shotgun Golf

The Daily Beast's Marlow Stern interviewed the great Bill Murray about his new documentary New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilization but also slipped in a question about the time in the early 2000s when Hunter S. Thompson rang Murray in the middle of the night to discuss a curious matter. (In 1980, Murray had portrayed Thompson in the film Where the Buffalo Roam.) Thompson had called the comedian to discuss a new sport the Doctor had invented. From the Daily Beast:

Bill: Yeah, it's absolutely true. He called me at some wacky hour—he was awake, of course—and there was something about it that was so immediate and necessary to talk about. It wasn't, like, "Go to hell," and hang up. We talked about Shotgun Golf for a while and riffed and exchanged, exchanged, exchanged. He wrote a piece about Shotgun Golf and he died soon after, so somehow, some part of me knew it wasn't so much about writing some piece about Shotgun Golf as it was his way of saying, "So long. I'll see you soon."

And from what I understand, the game involved hitting a golf ball and then shooting it with a shotgun?

Bill: Yes. With a shotgun. Hitting the golf ball and then having to shoot it with a shotgun.

I'm not gonna lie, that sounds like a lot of fun and I really wanna play it[…]

Bill: You just need some ammo and a decent swing. You don't want someone with a wicked slice or you could… hurt someone.

And from Thompson's transcript of the call that he included in his ESPN column:

HST: "I'm working on a profoundly goofy story here. It's wonderful. I've invented a new sport. It's called Shotgun Golf. We will rule the world with this thing."

BILL: "Mmhmm."

HST: "I've called you for some consulting advice on how to launch it. We've actually already launched it. Last spring, the Sheriff and I played a game outside in the yard here. He had my Ping Beryllium 9-iron, and I had his shotgun, and about 100 yards away, we had a linoleum green and a flag set up. He was pitching toward the green. And I was standing about 10 feet away from him, with the alley-sweeper. And my objective was to blow his ball off course, like a clay pigeon."

BILL: (Laughs.)

HST: "It didn't work at first. The birdshot I was using was too small. But double-aught buck finally worked for sure. And it was fun."

image (cropped): Photograph credited to "Cashman Photo Enterprises, Inc." Published by Random House. (Public Domain)